Check out our review of the Pixar Short Films Collection 3 Blu-ray!
Characters from Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Cars are among those featured in thirteen animated shorts by Pixar in this collection.
The shorts included are: “Bao,” “Lou,” “Piper,” “Sanjay’s Super Team,” “Riley’s First Date?,” “Lava,” “The Radiator Springs 500 ½ ,” “Party Central,” “The Blue Umbrella,” “ The Legend of Mor’du,” “Partysaurus Rex,” “Marine Life Interviews,” and “Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool.”
The third volume of animated Pixar shorts is an excellent compilation of their recent work, and includes one Oscar winner (“Piper”) and two nominees (“Sanjay’s Super Team” and “Lou”).
The subject matter shows a lot of variety, even if about half of the shorts are spin-offs from Pixar feature films. In truth, the best shorts are those not based on their feature films. The animation styles, however, are the real draw here: even though most feature the 3D animation style used in the Pixar features, others range from photo-realistic (“Piper” and “The Blue Umbrella”) to hand-drawn storybook style (“Legend of Mor’du”). The animation on many of these shorts is nothing short of beautiful.
The shorts included on the disc are:
“Bao” - The strength of a mother’s love is shown in this touching tale of a dumpling that comes to life. Originally released with Incredibles 2 in 2018, the short includes optional commentary by director Domee Shi, producer Becky Neiman-Cobb, and production designer Rona Liu. Running Time: 7:41.
“Lou” - The playground bully learns a lesson, thanks to a Lost and Found box that comes to life. It was released theatrically with Cars 3, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2017. It includes optional commentary by writer/director Dave Mullins, producer Dana Murray, and editor Tony Greenberg. Running Time: 6:43.
“Piper” - A hungry shorebird goes on an adventure in this fantastic short released with Finding Dory. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film of 2016, and includes optional commentary by writer/director Alan Barillaro and editor Sarah Reimers. Running Time: 6:05.
“Sanjay’s Super Team” - A young Indian boy imagines his Hindu gods are superheroes in a sweet tale about the culture gap between fathers and sons. It was originally released with The Good Dinosaur and nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2015. It includes optional commentary by writer/director Sanjay Patel and producer Nicole Grindle. Running Time: 7:07.
“Riley’s First Date?” - Inside Out’s Riley decides to hang out with a boy, and everyone involved has issues dealing with their emotions. This short hits the same beats as the film, and it crams some solid laughs into four minutes. Originally released with the home video release of Inside Out in 2015. It includes optional commentary by writer/director Josh Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen. Running Time: 4:40.
“Lava” - The story of a volcano who finds love is told in song, in this beautiful short set in the world of Moana. Released theatrically in 2015 with Inside Out, it features optional commentary by writer/director Jim Murphy and producer Andrea Warren. Running Time: 7:12.
“The Radiator Springs 500 ½” - Lightning McQueen defends his town from a bunch of off-roaders in this cartoon set in the Cars universe. This “Cars Toon” is the first to feature Owen Wilson returning to voice Lightning. It was released in 2014 on Disney Movies Anywhere and the Disney Channel, and features optional commentary by co-director Scott Morse and editor Torbin Bullock. Running Time: 6:02.
“Party Central” - Mike and Sulley help the Oozma Kappa fraternity throw the greatest party ever, in this fun and frequently hilarious expansion on the Monsters University story. It takes an idea from the hit film and elevates it with Marx Brothers-like gags. It was released theatrically with Muppets Most Wanted in 2014 and features optional commentary by writer/director Kelsey Mann. Running Time: 5:33.
“The Blue Umbrella” - In this exquisite and touching short, an umbrella finds love in the midst of a city rainstorm, with the help of some unexpected friends. It’s beautifully animated, even if it doesn’t fit the usual look of Pixar shorts. It includes optional commentary by writer/director Saschka Unseld, lighting supervisor Brian Boyd, and supervising technical director Chris Burrows. Running Time: 6:46.
“The Legend of Mor’du” - This parable from the world of Brave tells the tragic story of a prince who chose power over family. It was released in 2012 with the home video release of Brave, and includes optional commentary by writer/director Brian Larsen and writer Steve Purcell. Running Time: 6:51.
“Partysaurus Rex” - Rex finds himself the center of attention - and the life of the party - when he joins a group of bathtub toys. This Toy Story toon was released in 2012 with the 3D re-release of Finding Nemo, and includes optional commentary with writer/director Mark Walsh. Running Time: 6:34.
“Marine Life Interviews” - The supporting characters from Finding Dory are interviewed about their thoughts on the forgetful fish. It was released in November of 2016 with the home video release of Finding Dory. It includes optional commentary by director Ross Haldane Stevenson and Finding Dory associate producer Bob Roath. Running Time: 2:04.
“Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool” - A clever “infomercial” in which various Cars characters give not-quite-authentic “testimonials” on the racing school. It was released in November of 2017 with the DVD/Blu-ray release of Cars 3, and includes optional commentary from writer/director Jim Murphy and producer Marc Sondheimer. Running Time: 2:48.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The CGI animation is beautifully rendered in high definition, and the video exhibits eye-popping colors and superb detail.
The audio is a 7.1 HDMA track, and while it won’t exactly give your sound system a rumbling workout, there is good clarity and the music gets proper prominence.
There aren’t a lot of special features on the disc, but you do get video introductions and audio commentaries with each short, which is interesting. As a Disney animation fan, I enjoy hearing from the creative teams behind the shorts, so allowing the creators a chance to speak is a welcome touch.
The bonus features on the disc are as follows:
Video Introductions. Each short includes an introduction (usually one minute long) by the short’s director, providing some insight into what inspired them to create it.
“Making Bao” featurette. Writer/director Domee Shi discusses the process of making her short, which included bringing her mother into Pixar to show animators how she cooks traditional dishes, a primary focus of the short. Running Time: 6:02.
“Caricature: A Horrible Way of Saying ‘I Love You’” featurette. The animators of Pixar discuss their tradition of having “caricature parties” in which they draw their co-workers. Running Time: 3:53.
Audio Commentary. Each short includes an audio commentary, with the director and often with other members of the crew.
Digital Copy. A code that redeems a digital copy of the collection is included. The code redeems in most video services, including Disney’s Movies Anywhere service, VUDU, FandangoNow, and iTunes. The code can also be redeemed for Disney Movie Rewards points.
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Running Time: 76 minutes
Rating: Not rated
Aspect Ratio: Varies; most 2.39:1
Audio: English 7.1 HDMA, 5.1 Dolby Digital, and 2.0 Descriptive Audio. Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish, French
Special Features: Video introductions, Two featurettes
Audio Commentary: Participants vary. See list of shorts for the list of participants.
Label: Buena Vista Home Entertainment