Pixar Short Films Collection 2
The second collection of shorts from Pixar Animation Studios bustles with brilliance; bringing together a collection of quick features that are as disparate as they are entertaining. Some are offshoots of pre-existing franchises, some are original topics, and some (in the extras section,) are student films from the studio authors. But, while hardly equal, they are all worth your 4-6 minutes.
The franchise shorts are where the peaks and valleys lie. A couple of "Mater’s Tall Tales," featuring Larry the Cable Guy’s "Cars" character and someone doing a wretched imitation of Owen Wilson, feel like bad TV episodes and stand far below the rest of the disc. But the two "Toy Story Toons" - one where the gang constructs a fake Hawaiian Vacation for Barbie and Ken; another where Buzz gets stranded in a Toys Anonymous meeting for abandoned Happy Meal castoffs - are pure gold. There’s also shorts riffing on "Up" and "Wall*E" that will keep kids laughing for the entirety of their short running time. I’ll ignore a 12-minute educational "Ratatouille" short that’s included, because it feels like a special feature from that film’s DVD - which it is - and sticks out glaringly from the rest of the package.
The rest are original shorts that played theatrically in front of films like "Wall*E" or "Toy Story 3". Rest assured that all are imbued with the kind hearted comic bliss the Studio is known for; but best are "Partly Cloudy" - which depicts the process by which storks brings kids to their parents with, well, violent ends - and "Presto", which is a "Looney Toons" style chase caper.
These twelve ’feature’ shorts are backed by a collection of student projects - many of them traditionally animated - by Pixar maestros Pete Doctor ("Up,") John Lasseter ("Toy Story,") and Andrew Stanton ("John Carter"). Self-contained and totally devoid of 3-D, these bite-sized movies may play even better at home than they do in front of Pixar classics in theaters.
"Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2"
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack