unprecedented string of hit animated features was built on the short films in this collection. John Lasseter and Ed Catmull used these cartoons the way Walt Disney used the "Silly Symphonies"
during the 1930s: as a training ground for artists and a way to explore the potential of a new medium. Although it's only 90 seconds long, "Luxo, Jr." (1986) ranks as the "Steamboat Willie" of computer animation: For the first time, audiences believed CG characters could think and feel. (It was also the first CG film to make audiences laugh.)
When the artists began work on Toy Story, they had learned so much from the shorts, they were ready to undertake that landmark creation. In the later shorts, the viewer can see the artists continuing to experiment: with a more realistic human figure in "Geri's Game" and with new ways of suggesting atmospheric effects in "Boundin'." Some of the more recent shorts continue the adventures of the characters from the features. "Jack-Jack Attack" reveals what happened to the hapless baby-sitter while The Incredibles were off fighting Syndrome, while "Mater and the Ghost Light" shows that life goes on for the inhabitants of Radiator Springs. When Sully from Monsters, Inc. tries to adjust his seat in "Mike's New Car," the animators prolong the moment to wring every drop of humor from the situation--just as an earlier generation of animators milked Wile E. Coyote's antics for all they were worth. The long-unseen films for Sesame Street are an unexpected bonus. A delightful collection of entertaining shorts, and a significant chronicle of the growth of computer animation. --Charles Solomon
Collection of 13 short films from the animation studio responsible for 'Toy Story', 'Monsters Inc' and 'Finding Nemo'. Features 'The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.', 'Luxo Jr.', 'Red's Dream', 'Tin Toy', 'Knick Knack', 'Geri's Game', 'For the Birds', 'Mike's New Car', 'Boundin', 'Jack-Jack Attack', 'One Man Band', 'Mater and the Ghostlight' and 'Lifted'.