Pixar Short Films: Collection 2 [Blu-Ray]
As a collection of shorts, there's little to connect the series of animation experiments and promotional materials included on this disc beyond the titular studio. In itself, this isn't a negative, seeing as Pixar is typically synonymous with animation mastery and the blending of emotionally and thematically complex storytelling for adults with compelling entertainment for a youth audience. But the shorts films, which are usually included as Blu-Ray supplements to keep the trajectory of a franchise alive in between sequel instalments, don't often inspire the same awe or spectacle as their feature-length counterparts. In fact, most of them tend to be thematically superficial and exceedingly bland on the narrative front. This is particularly evident in the two Cars shorts included with this package, both of which focus on idiotic pick-up truck Mater (as voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), as he joins a flight squad and travels through time. Though the animation and direction on the dreadful Air Mater short is indicative of Pixar's high quality aesthetic, the short itself is little more than a series of flimsy redneck jokes and bland set pieces. More intriguing is the Ratatouille offering, which gives an entire history of rats throughout the ages. Utilizing a plethora of animation styles, both complex and rudimentary, this film manages to amuse and entertain while offering a great deal of potentially dry historical information. One of the strongest examples in the collection comes from the Wall-E universe, showing some of the sidebar experiences of another robot, Burn-E. It's this short that will be played most amongst younger viewers and adults alike. Less likely to be viewed more than once is Day & Night, which features a romance between translucent blobs that emphasizes the daytime and nightlife highlights of any given locale. Sadly, its limited perspective suggests that all good nightlife exists in Vegas, which is an absurd and vulgar assertion to shove down the throats of children. More morally appealing is the Partly Cloudy short, wherein storks delivering babies tend to avoid the cloud that offers up electric eels and porcupines, leading to insecurity and erratic emotional behaviour (causing thunderstorms) on his part. While cute and amusing, this short also teaches children to be understanding of difference, making concessions if necessary. Also included with the collection are several original student films from the various Pixar directors, which come in pencil shading varieties, as well as stationary imagery. One even suggests that the Inuit are interchangeable savages, dating these short films in a way the commentary and introductions fail to address.
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