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Pixar Short Films Collection 2 Blu-ray Review

While a few of the Pixar shorts are merely passable, the majority of them are gems.

If you’re tired of popping on a Pixar disc just to watch one of the Pixar shorts that was not on the first “Pixar Short Film Collection,” you will be happy to know that a new collection featuring 12 other shorts has now been released. Without further adieu, let me give you a breakdown of all the shorts included here:

First up is “Your Friend The Rat” which features Remy telling his brother Emile the history of rats. It’s not the most exciting of shorts, but I like the variety of animation ranging from 8 bit video game graphics to the hand drawn 2D animation.

“Presto” is a cute short about a magician, his magic hat, and a carrot loving rabbit. The less said the better as the charm of the short is seeing how it unfolds.

“Burn-E” is a clever short that is told from the point-of-view of a repair droid named Burn-E. This is essentially a side story that takes place during “Wall-E.” This is far and away one of the best shorts here.

“Partly Cloudy” is a sweet, imaginative, and funny tale about the relationship between a stork deliverer and a jovial cloud who creates not so friendly beings. Like many Pixar works, it will tug at your heartstrings.

“Dug’s Special Mission” sees the scene stealing dog from “Up” going on a big mission to find the bird. More Dug is ALWAYS welcome.

“George and A.J.” is told from the point-of-view of 2 Shady Oaks nurses who attempt to collect senior citizens for the nursing home. Unfortunately for them, all of the senior citizens are escaping in extravagant ways. It should be noted that the animation is done in an odd, storyboard style with no dialogue synch or accurate voice acting. Quite frankly, it’s pretty awkward and I don’t think it belongs here. It should be an extra feature and not a featured short.

“Day and Night” is a beautifully done short with a day being showing off to a night being. It has to be seen to be fully understood and visualized.

“Hawaiian Vacation” is the first “Toy Story” short in which Woody, Buzz and company stage a Hawaiian vacation for Barbie and Ken. Even after 3 films and now shorts, it’s safe to say you can never have enough of these characters. They can do no wrong.

“Air Mater” finds Mater telling a story about his trip to a town full of Airplanes where he learned how to fly. While I enjoyed the first “Cars,” the underwhelming sequel and overexposed Mater has made the franchise become tiresome and uninspired. This short is little more than an introduction to the planes that will be featured in an upcoming direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray spin-off.

“Small Fry” is the second “Toy Story” short and it’s even better than the first. All you need to know is that there is a very tiny Buzz Lightyear character and a lost REAL Buzz Lightyear meeting with discarded toys. Hilarity definitely ensues.

“Time Travel Mater” is another of “Mater’s Tall Tales” in which he and Lightning McQueen travel back in time to see how Lizzie and Stanley how met. This is definitely an improvement over “Air Mater” just from a technical standpoint. I loved the different color schemes and styles for each era that was visited.

Last, but not least there is “La Luna” which is a magical story of a boy, his father and his grandpa as they clean shooting stars off the moon. It’s not hard to see why this was nominated for an Academy Award.

Summary: Some folks might scoff at having to buy this set of 12 Pixar shorts that have been previously released on other Pixar DVDs and Blu-rays, but if it’s definitely worth owning for the extras (see below) and if you don’t own all of the Pixar discs already. Recommended.

Video/Audio:

The shorts are presented in 1080p widescreen and, to no surprise, they all look stunning. As I have said in the past, CGI Pixar films and shorts look absolutely flawless on Blu-ray and this statement still holds true with these shorts.

Viewers have the option of playing the shorts with 7.1 DTS-HD or 5.1 DTS-HD audio tracks. While the 7.1 track definitely has more oomph to it, you can’t go wrong with the 5.1 track either. It’s a win-win situation.

Extras:
* DVD Copy.
* Each of the 12 shorts features optional commentary tracks that factoids, backstories, animation, story and directorial discussions, . “Your Friend The Rat”- Director Jim Capobianco and production designer Nate Wragg, “Presto”- Director Doug Sweetland, “Burn-E”- Director Angus MacLane, “Partly Cloudly”- Director Peter Sohn, “Dug’s Special Mission”- Director Ronnie Del Carmen and supervising technical director Brad Winemiller, “George and A.J.”- Director Josh Cooley, “Day and Night”- Director Teddy Newton and layout artist Sandra Karpman, “Hawaiian Vacation”- Director Gary Rydstrom, story supervisor Jason Katz and supervising animator Angus MacLane, “Air Mater”- Director Rob Gibbs, producer Kim Adams, and production designer Bob Pauley, “Small Fry”- Director Angus MacLane, “Time Travel Mater”- Director Rob Gibbs, editor Torbin Xan Bullock, and production designer Anthony Christov, and “La Luna”- Director Enrico Casanosa and producer Kevin Rehen.
* Disney trailers.
* Two student films by Andrew Stanton titled “Somewhere In The Arctic” and “A Story.” ‘Arctic’ is a goofy short that features a polar bear evading hunters. “A Story” revolves around a boy, a cartoon character, and killer clowns and is quite interesting as it has a rather dark tone.  Introductions to each short by Andrew Stanton are included.
* Two student films By John Lasseter called “Nitemare” and “Lady and the Lamp.” “Nitemare” is a pencil drawn animated short about a boy and the monsters in his room. ‘Lamp’ is another charming pencil drawn animated short about living lamps in a lap shop.  Insightful introductions to each short by Lasseter are also included.
* 3 student films by Pete Docter dubbed “Winter,” “Palm Springs” and “Next Door.” “Winter” follows a boy being excited by snow, ‘Springs’ involves a caveman and a happy dinosaur, and ‘Door’ revolves around a young girl and a grouchy old man. All 3 shorts are light, cutesy animated adventures. Interesting introductions by Pete Docter precede each of the 3 shorts.

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November 19, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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