Picking favorite Pixar feature films is a task akin to picking a favorite child – it’s difficult, it’s heart-wrenching, and you’re going to try to pick all of them (unlike picking a favorite child, though, picking a favorite Pixar feature is significantly less likely to cause a Maury episode). Picking Pixar shorts, though, since there are so many of them, is a lot easier (plus, they can all be watched in succession – that’s why I love short films, it’s great for folks with moderate-to-short attention spans like me). Here are my favorites:
5. Knick Knack (1989)
Knick Knack features some great music (apparently done by Bobby McFerrin (!)) and has a story that blends not-so-innocent lust with an almost Wile E. Coyote-esque plotline. A snowman in a snow-globe sees a girl in a snowglobe from Miami and tries to get to her – failing miserably in the process with more and more elaborate tools (including at some point little dynamite!) A truly amazing work that pays homage to cartooning classics.
4. Day & Night (2010)
This I chose mainly for the amazing animation – this was the first time ever Pixar used a hand-drawn style, at least in part – and less for the story, which (while nice) isn’t all that great. Truly, though, it’s the actual style of this short that makes its mark – the animation, both computer-based and hand-drawn, and further how they mesh, is truly incredible.
3. Luxo Jr. (1986)
Gotta go with this classic somewhere, the one that put Pixar on the map – not to mention the one that Pixar honors with their logo. It’s so simple, yet holds up so well – it tells a really great story in just a short amount of time. Plus it led to a few Sesame Street pieces (which are on the awesome DVD collection of the Pixar shorts which you should run out and get right now), which is cool.
2. Boundin’ (2003)
This short is one of the few with actual dialogue – well, monologue, which in this case is Bud Luckey in spoken word, as narrator, jackalope and sheep – and it’s just a really heartwarming short with some great, carnival-esque music.
1. Geri’s Game (1997)
This one I love because it’s just plain absurd – an old guy playing chess against himself for the right to his own dentures. It’s completely silly, completely innocuous, but it just works.