You are on page 1of 6

The Adventures of Andre & Wally B.

(filmmakers commentary: Lasseter, Ospy,

Their first short film as a group, made as part of Lucasfilm in 1984 (Computer
Wanted to do character animation in 3D
Had to use (restrictive) perfect geometric shapes
The body was a problem… originally drew from old Mickey Mouse drawings.
Ed Catmull suggested a teardrop shape. It was put into the computer to be bent a
variety of ways.

Luxo (filmmakers commentary)

Pixar was created in February of 1986 when Steve Jobs bought the Lucasfilm
Computer Division from Lucasfilm
Modeled a desk lamp and started moving it around in the animation system as if it
were alive.
The hardest piece of animation was the cord (and also the rolling of the ball).

Red’s Dream (filmmakers commentary)

Made using the Pixar imaging computer
The clown was one of the first organic facial Pixar had ever done.
Digitized sculpting of Lumpy the Clown
Exaggerated squash and stretch to compensate for lack of motion blur
Pathos for the ending of Red’s Dream
First film where the lighting exceled

Tin Toy (filmmakers commentary)

1988 for Sigraph
Hadn’t really done a human character before
Built new programs to be able to create and animate the baby
First time doing “toys being alive”
Sound by Gary Rydstrom (Skywalker Sound)
Why toys end up under sofas for long periods of time
One of the challenges was finding a caricatured human and making it more cartoony
than realistic
Won an Academy Award

Knick Knack (filmmakers commentary)

1989, six years before Toy Story
Drained after “Tin Toy.” Wanted to do a cartoon… geometric shapes, no human
characters, plastic… something the computer could do really well
Made in Stereo 3D
Inspired Warner Bros and Chuck Jones’ cartoons.
The story was created in about 2 days
Original music by Bobby McFerrin

Geri’s Game (writer/director Jan Pinkava commentary)

Wanted to make a great short film while also doing research and development into
human characters. Human characters are difficult in the computer animation
Tried to write a story with just one character… with some conflict
19 animators was a challenge in keeping performances consistent
The music French musette
Sound work by Tom Myers at Skywalker.
The lighting changes throughout the film as though Geri has been playing the whole
The short took about 1.5 years from beginning to end, half that time was
storyboarding it and actually getting the story right. Working very hard to make it
play in terms of story reels, just still pictures, before starting production.

For the Birds (Ralph Eggleston commentary)

Began as an old student film
Each of the birds has its on personality. But, when all the birds are there, they pretty
much have just one personality. They become one when the big dopey bird comes
Supervising technical director (Bill Wise) headed the feathers
A small crew worked on this film for 2 years.
Each bird has a gazillion feathers and they actually DO work
Hand-animated the falling feathers because of some technical challenges trying to
get the feathers to fall in a natural way

Mike’s New Car (commentary)


Boundin’ (Director’s Commentary)

Written, directed, and vocals by Bud Luckey from Montana
Infuences from Montana, Arizona, the West
For the background, he was thinking “Grant Wood” and the designer “Mary Blair”
Bud was a 2D animator for years. The computer gives more control over the
The Jackalope is an old uncle character based on Wallace Barry, hair style based on
Charlie Russell
The lamb has a farmer’s tan and a stubble after being shaven
Recorded a rough idea of the song and did some drawings, then showed it to the
Pixar guys
Carousel movement for the bound

Jack-Jack Attack (commentary)


One-Man Band (commentary)

Pitched the idea to Michael Giacchino because the musical pieces had to define what
the characters are. But, eventually each theme had to be able to overlay one another
like they were written together (counterpoint).
John Lasseter encouraged filmmakers to NOT let the band-playing sound like score.
The music needed to sound like it was coming from these characters live. To sell this
point, the music for the first half of the film was very simple so that it could be
believable that it was coming from a single person… and then, once you believe it,
you’re permitted to begin cheating and pushing the music and sound.
The ambient noise that goes with the characters: the sounds of the rigs, the foley
Had Giacchino writing the music very early on during the storyboarding process.
Score based off boards. Boards based off score.
Steve Blume, Editor
We get to a point, then the music stops… it becomes nonmusical. The piece is
basically a silent film that relied a lot upon the acting.
Mark Robertson, violin soloist

Mater and the Ghostlight (commentary)

Inspiration came from a real story that happened along Route 66
Mater as the tow truck, always helping folks, big heart
The story was designed around the idea of the Sheriff telling this tale
With short films, the characters are easy for the filmmakers to fall in love with
The short film was created with the models from the “Cars” film

Lifted (Director’s Commentary)

Gary’s first time directing for Pixar… For years did sound design for Pixar
This film was an opportunity to tell a story visually and sonically, without dialogue
Wanted the lighting for the film to switch back and forth radically
Wanted abduction to look like you’re in some high budget Spielbergian sci-fi movie
and for the interior of the spaceship to look like the DMV
His dog does Stu’s voice
Stu’s helmet is several sizes too big. He’s trying to wear it “cool,” but it keeps
slipping into an uncool position.
Likes to use sound to indicate things you don’t see onscreen
If you hear something and you can’t see it, you can only imagine how horrible it is
The emotions of Stu’s character are mirrored in his antennae
The timing of the person falling is the exact timing of Wile E. Coyote falling in the
classic roadrunner films
Wanted the quilt to pull over Ernie’s body as if being tucked in by an unseen mother
Because of the material Stu’s made out of, they wanted to express his emotions by
stretching his face all sorts of ways The goal of the film was to put Stu through every
emotion possible within the 5-minute period.
Music by Michael Giacchino evokes classic Hollywood sci-fi

Your Friend the Rat (Director and Designer Commentary)

This short was a great opportunity for a lot of the animators to do 2D again (many of
them come from 2D)
Styled from old Disney 50s educational films, Ward Kimball
What’s the caricature of the moment? What’s the gag?
Wanted a woodblock look for the revolution section
Had the music written early enough to animate TO it
One of the difficulties with the animators was to ry and get them to pull back a little
and animate less
Wanted a song in it, a la Schoolhouse Rock
Playing with and integrating different styles of animation

Presto (Director Commentary)

Sort of a classic cartoon throwback, with a Pixar twist. Film takes place in real-time.
So, they couldn’t just cross-dissolve from one gag to another like in old cartoons. It is
a self-contained story in 5 minutes and NOT a serial.
Entirely pantomimed, no jazzy dialogue to move the story along.
Presto has these powerful hats and all he’s able to do is stage a mediocre magic act
around them, exploiting the hats and the rabbit.
The sadness in Alec’s brows, like he feels bad about ruining the act… but he really
wants that carrot. He’s incredibly apologetic that it had to come to this. He’s not a
sadist. This characteristic hopefully adds to the humor.
Alec is able to do all these things, barely moving at all. In contrast, Presto has to
move around a LOT.
The happy ending you don’t normally see in classic cartoons
The issue of bringing the carrot back

Burn-E (Director Commentary)

A character from Wall-E
Burn-E had a lot less to work with than Wall-E, in terms of showing character. So
character had to be shown through editing and what he was doing and sound.
2 stories in the short: what’s happening with Burn-E and what’s happening in the
actual Wall-E film.
Burn-E’s boss has only 3 light spires so Burn-E only has 3 chances. Successful
movies have rules that you’re following and you understand the parameters and you
play with those.
Burn-E’s only job is to attach broken light spires on the ship. Each character has only
one thing that they’re supposed to do (Supply-R just supplies the Spires).
Tried to make it feel like a 70s/80s sci-fi
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (hummed by BURN-E in the beginning)

Partly Cloudy (Director Commentary)

Pitched the seed of “Where do storks get their babies from and what is that world
like?” Maybe it’s like a postal service. What if the clouds made the babies?
Had to build a story from the seed.
Didn’t want dialogue. Wanted a silent film where the characters would communicate
without language.
The ending was really about how to communicate a gesture of love (Bob Peterson
contributed as a story advisor)

Dug’s Special Mission (Director Commentary)

What was Dug doing there when Carl and Russell meet Dug?
Dug’s character was a challenge to create all the way through the end of the film
Reused elements and props from “Up,” rather than making new ones for the short
The lighting in this was more “Dug-friendly,” made Dug look better
Dug’s hair was a real challenge.
Facial expressions were pushed further in the short than in the film

George & AJ (Director Commentary)

Came up with the idea while drawing storyboards for the film “Up”
No-budget film animated in After Effects (Cooley did the drawings)
Used Pixar staff for acting

Day & Night (Director and Layout Artist Commentary)

Directed by Teddy Newton
Opened the picture to make the audience think they were watching a familiar
cartoon they’ve seen a million times before, filling the frame with customary cartoon
imagery only to break into something unfamiliar
The background could mirror his personal state.
Unlike other Pixar movies, a big portion of this was drawn by hand. These drawings
were scanned into a computer and vectorized. Had to take pencil and paper
drawings and bring them into the computer. You have someone drawing at their
desk, and you have someone else modeling the set in their computer… and they
might as well be in two quadrants of the world.
Both teams had to eyeball this and hope it all gelled (two mediums). Quite a
Not only wanted the internal landscapes to express the characters’ experiences, but
wanted the sound to do the same.
Greg Sniyder and Barney Jones provided sound. Didn’t want music, just sounds that
mirrored the actions of the characters. If the two characters were grappling each
other on the beach, they would only use sounds you’d hear on the beach to match
with their movements. Eventually used music, but primarily source music that
stemmed from the world.
They’re in the same world except Day and Night each see the world from their
Stereo is anything that’s projected when you don’t just see it on the flatscreen (i.e.
If you saw this film in 3D, you would notice that the stereo effects are played quite
flat deliberately. The depth becomes more evident as the characters become
interested in one another.
Radio tower inspired by Wayne Dire lecture.
The sunset: Day & Night don’t necessarily change who they are or turn into the
other, they just come out of the situation with a different perspective, empathizing
with another worldview. The thing inside them has changed.
It’s not that they switched worlds, it’s that they saw each other’s perspectives.
The cast and crew were very devoted in taking on the unknown with this project.

Hawaiian Vacation (Filmmakers’ Commentary)

Directed by Gary Rydstrom
The goal was to show a different aspect of the toy universe: What do toys do when
you go on vacation?
A short movie with 22 speaking roles.
Wanted it to feel like “Toy Story,” same music and everything.
Glitterpen is tough to do in computer animation
The toys have to make do with the limitations of Bonnie’s room
Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
The pauses were more important than anything (Jack Benny)

Related Interests