This month, Chronicle Books releases The Art of Pixar Short Films which goes behind the scenes of the small films that helped Pixar become an animation fan favorite. Many look forward to seeing these shorts when they accompany Pixar’s feature-length films in the theaters.
We asked author Amid Amidi, also author of Cartoon Modern and co-founder of Cartoon Brew to give us some behind the scenes trivia that he discovered while writing the book. When you’re done with the list, enter our contest to win a copy of the book and a copy of the Disney DVD, “Pixar Short Films Collection, Vol. 1” See the bottom of the post for how to enter.
10 Interesting Facts about the Pixar Shorts
1. The names of the characters in “The Adventures of André & Wally B.” are a nod to the names of the characters in Louis Malle’s art-house film “My Dinner with Andre.”
2. “Luxo Jr.” marked the first time a fully computer-animated film was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Animated Short Film.
3. In 2003, the United States National Film Registry selected “Tin Toy” as one of twenty-five films to preserve because of its “cultural, historical or aesthetic significance.”
4. The clown in “Red’s Dream” was cheekily nicknamed “Lumpy” by the crew members due to his awkward appearance.
5. When the film “Knick Knack” was re-released in 2003 in front of “Finding Nemo,” the “Sunny Miami” knick knack character and the “Atlantis” mermaid were re-rendered with cleavage reductions to make the film more family friendly.
6. Director Ralph Eggleston came up with the idea of “For the Birds” while he was an animation student at CalArts in the early-1980s, nearly twenty years before he made the film at Pixar.
7. “Boundin’” director Bud Luckey agreed to sing the song in his short film only after his first two choices for singers died.
8. Early in the design process of the animated short “Lifted,” director Gary Rydstrom held a crew party with two food items: Mallomar cookies, to help inspire the shape of the aircraft, and Jell-O, as a model for the skin texture of the aliens.
9. “Jack-Jack Attack” is based on an idea that was originally part of “The Incredibles,” but during the production of that feature, director Brad Bird “discovered the story had enough momentum without it” and decided to create the short as an extra for the film’s DVD release.
10. Joe Ranft, who was the original co-director of “Mater and the Ghostlight,” was tragically killed in a car accident during the making of the short. The short was completed by John Lasseter and Dan Scanlon. When “Cars” was released in 2006, the film was dedicated to the memory of Ranft.
Want to win a prize pack containing The Art of Pixar Short Films and a copy of the Pixar Short Films Collection Vol. 1 DVD? Add a comment below with the name of your favorite Pixar short. Feel free to share why you love it so. Two winners will be randomly chosen to win a prize pack. Deadline is Tuesday, March 3rd at midnight.
April Whitney, Publicist & Amid Amidi, Author