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Monday, March 9, 2009

The Art of PIXAR Short Films Book Review

Released February 25th, 2009

Page count: 160 pages

The Art of PIXAR Short Films

By Amid Amidi

Foreword By John Lasseter

Research Associate Adam Abraham

Published By Chronicle Books

Distributed by Raincoast Books in Canada

Designed By Public





The Art of PIXAR Short Films Book Review By John C.

Every year when a new Pixar film comes, along with it is a new short film. Last year with WALL•E, we saw Presto, the hilarious little film about a magician and his rabbit. This year with Up, we will see Partly Cloudy, which is about a cloud named Gus, who is in charge of making tough babies like alligators and porcupines, and his stork, Peck, who wants to move on to delivering more cuddly babies, like humans and kittens. The short films have been about many different things, an old man playing chess in Geri’s Game, or in their very first short film, Luxo Jr., a lovable baby lamp. But no matter what they are about, they are always brilliant in their own way.

The Art of Pixar Short Films is a beautiful new coffee-table book by Amid Amidi, cofounder and co-writer of Cartoon Brew. The book is filled with beautiful artwork from Pixar’s first 13 short films. People will likely recognize some of the art, like from the very popular Boundin’ and For The Birds, and some of it is rarely seen, like a picture of the original Knick Knack, before the mermaid underwent breast reduction. The book goes hand-in-hand with the Pixar Short Films Collection DVD, which was released by Disney in 2007.

The book should be an essential part of every Pixar fans collection. Anyone who doesn’t know about the company, and it’s humble beginnings as a software firm, will find the book very interesting. Pixar’s films, feature and short, are an important part of animation history, and this book brings to light the history of the shorts we all know and love. Check out the book, and watch the DVD. You will seriously have a good time.


The Art of PIXAR Short Films Book Review By Erin V.

Before reading through The Art of Pixar Short Films, I re-watched all of the Pixar shorts themselves. This book contains all of the short films found on The Pixar Short Films DVD, from The Adventures of André and Wally B., to Lifted. The book does all of the films justice, and gives a great background to how each one came about. Containing amazing production art from over 20 years of short films, This is a great book to add to your collection.

The Art of Pixar Short Films covers the first 13 Pixar short films. Divided into three sections, this book is very nicely organized, and easy to read. After the foreword and introduction, it starts with the ‘Early Shorts’. [The Adventures of AndrĂ© and Wally B., Luxo Jr., Red’s Dream, Tin Toy, and Knick Knack.] All of them being written by John Lasseter, and the last four being directed by him as well. The next section is appropriately named ‘The Next Generation of Shorts’. [Geri’s Game, For The Birds, Boundin’, One Man Band, and Lifted.] All of these shorts are written and directed by other members of the production team, which is a good way for them to try their hand at directing. In fact, Gary Rydstrom who directed Lifted, is now at the helm of his first feature length project, Newt, slated for release in a few years.

The last section of the book is called ‘Feature Film-Based Shorts’. [Mike’s New Car, Jack-Jack Attack, and Mater and the Ghostlight.] These are all directed by the same directors as their respective movies. Mater and the Ghostlight marked John Lasseter’s first time back at directing a short film since Knick Knack in 1989.

The beautiful production design photos fill the book even past the acknowledgments at the back. When you first open up the book you are greeted with storyboard art on the inside of the cover from all of the shorts included in the book. Also of note, is the cover art of Luxo Jr. on the front. This nice piece is featured inside on page 55, and is a pastel piece done by John Lasseter in 1986. This book that is a must-add to your collection, right down to the indented Luxo Jr. hidden underneath the dust-jacket.

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