When it comes to animation, I know that most people will think of Disney first, but for me, Pixar is always what springs to mind. **I know that it is now technically Disney Pixar but in my mind they will always be separate studios. You can fight me on it :)**
One of my favourite things about a Pixar film, and a very valid reason why you should always go to see them at the cinema, is that there is usually a short film before the main event. And so, in readiness of Toy Story 4, I thought I would share with you my top ten Pixar Shorts.
10. Luxo Jr. (1986)
Looking back now, Luxo Jr is not the most visually appealing short but, at its time, it was considered a breakthrough in animation. Also, the incorporation of the Luxo lamp into the Pixar logo means that this short has to be included in my top ten, purely for nostalgic reasons.
9. Knick Knack (1989)
At some point we have all probably owned some sort of ‘greetings from’ type of holiday souvenir, well Knick Knack is a humorous take on the interaction between a snowman in his snow-globe and the tropical trinkets from sunny, far-off places. Admittedly, Knick Knack doesn’t have as much heart as I have come to expect from Pixar but instead it focuses on the comedy aspect.
8. Day & Night (2010)
Beautifully done, Day & Night marries both 2D and 3D animation in a very clever little short that looks at the idea of celebrating each others differences. Two figures, Day and Night, meet but don’t get on at all and end up fighting. However, they soon they discover the great things that they each have to offer and develop a great friendship.
7. Partly Cloudy (2009)
We’ve all heard the story of the storks delivering babies but Partly Cloudy takes this simple concept and adds some Pixar magic to it. In this short clouds make baby animals and the storks deliver them. Cute, right? But what about when that baby is an alligator, or a shark? That’s where things get a little more dicey.
6. Lou (2017)
The lost and found box in a school is home to a creature called Lou, who is made up of an assortment of items that have not been claimed by their owners. He loves to watch the kids playing during recess but is angered when he sees a boy called J.J. bullying the other kids and stealing their toys. However, Lou has a toy belonging to J.J. and will return it only after he has given all the other toys back to the other children. J.J. soon learns the happiness that giving can give him and with the help of Lou, manages to return all the items back to their owners.
5. Lava (2014)
Typically, Pixar’s music choices help to elevate the story being told on screen but in Lava the story is told through song, and the animation takes on a somewhat supporting role. Inspired by director James Ford Murphy’s love of Hawaii (source), Lava tells the story of a lonely volcano who just wants someone to love. Every day he sings a song to his love who doesn’t come. After thousands of years, his lava is all but gone and he sings his song one last time before sinking beneath the waves. However, all is not lost….
4. Bao (2018)
What I love about Pixar is that there is always a great message or theme to each short and Bao is no different, offering a unique and adorable look at a mother suffering from ’empty nest syndrome’, and the relationship between food and family. Let’s be honest, if there is anyone who could make you feel emotionally connected to a steamed bun, it’s Pixar.
3. The Blue Umbrella (2013)
The Blue Umbrella will give you a whole different appreciation for a rainy day. In a sea of black umbrellas, Blue spots a Red umbrella and becomes quite smitten, however when their owners go off in different directions, it seems that the possibility of love is lost. However, the city comes to life to help bring the couple together.
2. Piper (2016)
Piper tells the story of a baby sandpiper who, when learning how to gather food at the shoreline, gets drenched by the oncoming tide and develops a fear of the water. However, when watching the hermit crabs, she learns a new way to gather food, and a new way of looking at the world.
As with most Pixar films and shorts, the story is charming and endearing but, for me, what really sets this one apart is the absolutely stunning animation. If you’ve not seen it yet then you absolutely have to check it out, it is honestly beautiful.
1.La Luna (2011)
La Luna tells the story of a young boy, Bambino, who is learning the ropes of the family business with his father and grandfather, both of whom have their own particular ways of working. When a giant star lands that is too big for them to move, Bambino discovers his own style and finds a solution to their problem.
La Luna was my first experience of a Pixar Short, introduced to me by Mark, which may have something to do with why it is at the number one spot but don’t let that take anything away from the beauty of this coming-of-age short film. It is visually stunning and the music is beautiful.
Most people would assume that our cat was named after Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter but no, Luna’s name was inspired by this charming animation. Watch it in full below, and enjoy.
So there you have it, my top ten favourite Pixar Shorts. Do you have your favourite, let me know.