So Pixar only do computer animation, right?
Not according to this second celebration of Emeryville’s short-film output, in which the glossy professionalism with which the company is usually associated comes laced with more lo-fi ’toonery of the line-drawn persuasion.
Take Your Friend The Rat for example, in which Ratatouille rodent duo Remy and Emile offer a brief guide to their species’ history in traditional non-pixel format.
Then there’s George & A.J., an even more unsophisticated outing for Up’s nursing-home custodians, told wholly in storyboards.
Admittedly these are the exceptions as opposed to the rule. But at least they prove John Lasseter’s team are as tied to animation’s past as its future, something that will no doubt come in handy should the studio ever have a power cut.
Ratatouille and Up aren’t the only titles to have spin-offs in a compilation that also includes WALL.E add-on BURN-E, Toy Story mini-capers Hawaiian Vacation and Small Fry, and two ‘Cars Toons’ featuring gormless tow-truck sidekick Mater.
All are fun in their own derivative right, Dug’s Special Mission particularly for its insights into Up’s fractious canine relations.
Yet it is Pixar’s stand-alone efforts that really soar, the rib-tickling Presto, the delightful Partly Cloudy and the sublime La Luna fully exploiting the imaginative potential of a conjuror’s top hat, an overworked stork and a family of janitors sweeping stars off the moon.
Student undertakings by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter provide the icing on what’s already an irresistible cake.