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Pixar Short Animated Films
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Disney Pixar Short Animated Films & Where to Find Them

Jane Howarth itcherWhere did those few minutes of magic start out?  Let’s take a peek at the secrets behind Disney Pixar short animated films. And here’s the oldest secret – it wasn’t always a Disney company. ~ Jane Howarth

Pixar Origins

Back when Pixar was a George Lucas side project, their animations were made by software developers.

Sound like a weird way to create art?  Yeah, just a little.

With inspiration from his desk lamp, John Lasseter lent Disney animator experience and Cal Arts training to make more than a tech showcase.


Creating that Pixar Magic

That meant taking the focus off the most dramatic scenes – recreating what Walt Disney brought to animation.

‘The thing I wanted to do in Luxo Jr. was make the characters and story the most important thing.’

John Lasseter

And it worked!  That trademark poignancy gets me sniffling every time.  After seeing the results, and a failed attempt to get Lassiter back, the Disney deal was struck.

New Short Animations

It doesn’t end there!  Why are Pixar shorts always so innovative?  Any of the team can pitch.

Have you seen The Blue Umbrella? I was so worried for that little guy!  Imagine my concern that like Lassiter’s lamp, the newest short is based on Saschka Unseld’s real life sorry brolly.

He saw it, pitched and here it is!

Where can you See Disney Pixar Short Animations?

La Luna’s clinky, clunky stars are still twinkling online in a little extract.

During Oscar season, the full Disney Pixar short animation was on the official Pixar Short Films channel, so keep checking for treats.

Disney Pixar movies come complete with animated shorts, so search those DVD menus too!

One-Off Animated Shorts

There’s a whole lot of Pixar out there, but for the one-off shorts (and the feature they accompanied)?  This is the place!

The Adventures of André and Wally (Alvy Ray Smith, 1984)

Luxo Jr. (John Lasseter, 1986)Toy Story 2 (John Lasseter et al., 1982)

Red’s Dream (John Lasseter, 1987)

Tin Toy (John Lasseter, 1988)Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995)

Knick Knack (John Lasseter, 1989)Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003)

Geri’s Game (Jan Pinkava, 1997)A Bug’s Life (John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, 1997)

For the Birds (Ralph Eggleston, 2000)Monsters, Inc. (Pete Docter et al., 2001)

Boundin’ (Bud Luckey, Roger Gould, 2003)The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)

One Man Band (Mark Andrews, Andrew Jimenez, 2005)Cars (John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, 2006)

Lifted (Gary Rydstrom, 2006)Ratatouille (Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, 2007)

Presto (Doug Sweetland, 2008)WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

Partly Cloudy (Peter Sohn, 2009)Up (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, 2009)

Day & Night (Teddy Newton, 2010)Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

La Luna (Enrico Casarosa, 2011)Brave (Mark Andrews et al., 2012)

The Blue Umbrella (Saschka Unseld, 2013)Monsters University (Dan Scanlon, 2013)


On the Pixar Trail

What’s your favourite Disney Pixar short animated film, and have you managed to track it down?  I still love The Blue Umbrella, even if it’s kind of scary.

So let’s hear from you!


Hi, I’m Jane, BA (Drama, Film and TV) and MA (Cultural and Creative Industries). When I’m not writing about creative things, I’m designing or planning them. If you’re brave enough to risk an avalanche, look behind the stacks of books and DVDs and you’ll find me balancing a cup of tea, a handful of knitting and a cupcake.
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