Showing posts with label Inside Out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inside Out. Show all posts

Jun 21, 2015

The 5 Best Pixar Theatrical Shorts

With the release of Inside Out this weekend we are graced with another Pixar short. Pixar has become at least partially known for the charming shorts they play in front of their films. Over the years the shorts have increased in length and in emotional impact. However, some of the older shorts are still just as touching as the newer ones. So, let’s take a quick seat and sit back as we prepare ourselves for a heartwarming and heartbreaking look back at the 5 best Pixar theatrical shorts so far.

5. Day and Night

Starting off our list is the short Day and Night. As every Pixar short does, this one tackles issues much greater than just two characters struggling to get along. Day and Night touches a lot on coexistence with those who are different than ourselves. However, once it shows us how to get along with others who are different, it shows us that we are all really one in the same. Day and Night has some really clever visuals that help depict the emotions and reactions of both characters. The facial animation on each character is very descriptive as well, which Pixar has become masters of. Most of their shorts have no dialogue, so they rely upon their ability to convey emotion with body language and the settings they create. With the message and imagery in this short, it deserves the number 5 spot no doubt.

4. Luxo Jr.

Being the second short that Pixar ever made and becoming the defining symbol of the company are just two reasons why Luxo Jr. deserve to be on this list. However, Pixar’s ability to make me care so much about two lamps speaks volumes about how much more impactful this short really is. The story is one about a father/mother and a son/daughter. The parent lamp is trying to play with its child, and is surprised by the ability the child has to bounce back (quite literally). Much like most parents, the lamp realizes how resilient their child is even when saddened. The short also catches the wonder and happiness that children have when they are doing something as simple as playing with a ball. Luxo Jr. reaches both parents and kids, and tells a story of appreciation on both accounts. It’s a great short that I’ve remembered since the first time I saw it.

3. Knick Knack

Knick Knack is one of the funniest shorts from Pixar, if not THE funniest. It’s a little hard to put my finger on exactly, but this short is much more about the comedy than it about the message when compared to other shorts. There’s something about the levity in this that just makes it so enjoyable to me. It’s a great story about being trapped and being left out and learning to accept your situation, but honestly it’s just really fun to watch.

2. Lava

Lava was by far the most heartbreaking short film I’ve ever seen from Pixar. It was beautiful through and through. From the visuals, to the music, to the story, to the characters. It was nice having actual voices in the short, which as we know almost never happens. I think it was a great move on their part because it helped break my heart (in a good way). It was so sad to see the loneliness felt by the volcano and his inability to communicate with the other volcano. His descent into the ocean made me tear up. However, Pixar being who they are, they took me to the saddest parts of my soul to bring me back up and give me the pay-off I was looking for. The volcano’s ascension back to the surface to meet the other volcano was a moment that nearly made me cheer in the theater. This was without a doubt a high point in Pixar’s short film career.

1. Geri’s Game

Geri’s Game holds a very special place in my heart. It was the first short I had ever seen, and I was blown away. I didn’t know you could even tell a story this quickly, nor did I think one could be as engaging as this was. Another reason it holds a special place in my heart is the fact that it introduced me to jazz. I always loved watching this short just to hear the music in the background. However, Geri’s Game isn’t only the best short because it means so much to me, but it is the true embodiment of what Pixar is. Pixar is all about the child inside of us and allowing that to come out. Geri’s Game is all about a single elderly man playing chess against himself. He is conniving and cheats and laughs and does all the things we would do as children when playing with one another. A Pixar short has always needed to remind me of this aspect of life, and Geri’s Game not only delivered on this message, but will always remind me of where I come from as well as where I’m headed. It tells you to remember to have fun, no matter where, when, how, or with whom. I can’t think of a more memorable, enjoyable, or pure message.

So that’s it folks. As always, let me know what you all think. What’s your favorite short? Do you remember seeing any of these for the first time? Did any impact you in a special way? Please be sure to follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey and check out my website where we talk all things nerdy! Thanks for reading everyone!

Jun 19, 2015

Regular Guy Review: Inside Out

Inside Out? More like tear my heart out from the inside out. Pixar does what it does best here. It pulls on your heart strings and plays sweet sweet music with them. Inside Out makes you cry, laugh, and cheer just like most Pixar movies do. However, I will say that perhaps expectations were too high and this movie felt like a bit of a let down due to some of the press surrounding it. So, let’s hop on the control panel, and decide what emotion describes how I felt about the movie.

What Worked?


Image result for riley inside out

Let’s face it. Pixar’s ability to feel a spectrum of emotions during their movies wouldn’t be possible without their creation of such memorable and relatable characters. Riley, the little girl in the film, was much like any of us were as children especially at her age of 11. I remember acting out, feeling sad, wanting to run away, the overwhelming nervousness of a new school, and trying to face each obstacle with a smile on my face. She really reminded me of myself, and I feel like most people could relate to her as well. The real finesse on Pixar’s part comes in the form of their embodiments of emotions. Each major emotion is a living being who helps take control of Riley’s body and decisions. These characters could have fallen flat and seemed one dimensional especially since they are inherently one dimensional being that they are the physical embodiment of one emotion. Each one interacts and works so well off of the other though that you really get to see the full spectrum of human emotion. Even the side characters are ones who play an integral part in helping our heroes much like most side characters in Pixar movies. They ensemble reminded me of Finding Nemo, where each new side character was vastly different than the last, but each one helped fit a role that needed to be filled.


Image result for Joy with the memories inside out

It was very interesting and unique to see an adventure within Riley’s mind, as well as the consequences of that adventure in her real life. It was a great dynamic. Joy and Sadness’ journey to save Riley’s long-term memories in order to maintain her personality was one that you grow to care about very much. It made me even reflect on some aspects of my former self that I may have lost or let go. Also, Riley’s subsequent reactions to each decision made in her brain by the emotions, whether it be running away, quitting hockey, crying in class, or yelling at her parents, all made for a trip that played out like a rerun of my own life. I think most people probably felt similarly. Joy’s journey to understand that each emotion must live in tandem was also a great lesson learned that played out very lovely. Each piece of progression in the plot, although thickening the main plot, had a great message of its own. Most movies can’t do that as smoothly as Pixar managed to do in this film.


As usual, Pixar just crushes it when it comes to visuals. Every aspect of their animation is just so unique and flawless. They delivered on their definite style while also feeling different enough from previous movies that it wasn’t distracting.

What Didn’t Work?

Plot Layout
Although I enjoyed the journey very much, and I like each lesson that was learned, it was a little too predictable. The film literally has Joy and Sadness run from each personality island in order just to have each one crumble before they get there. It just seemed unnecessary to have each one go down in order. Also, the visual representations of these islands, long-term memories, and thought train, made it too obvious that they were going to take a very specific route out of the control center, and back there again. This isn’t a huge grievance, but usually Pixar is a bit less on the nose about where they are going with a plot whether it be visual cues or even verbal ones.

They started out much like they do in every movie, with a little 5 minute introduction scene to get you invested in the characters before they jump into the main story. However, once we jump into the regular story, things just didn’t seem to slow down enough for me, and it made everything feel rushed. It didn’t help that the plot itself dealt with a time constraint, but perhaps the pace was set fast on purpose in order for the audience to feel rushed to have Joy and Sadness return to the control room. I just didn’t think it worked to well. I felt literally exhausted at the end of the film because there was just so much emotion, and so little down time to process it.

Overall Assessment

Of course this movie is great. It’s really good. However, I wouldn’t agree with a lot of hype asking or stating that this could be Pixar’s best movie yet. I highly disagree with that. It comes in softly as my 5 on my top 5 Pixar films of all-time. To be fair though, Pixar is like a guy who only shoots and hits net. Every once in a while though, they hit the backboard or the ball circles the rim and still goes in. Pixar rarely misses, but sometimes their shots look a little better than others. This was definitely a make, but it just wasn’t quite as great as their phenomenal films. You should really go see it, but don’t feel too distressed if you can’t make it to the theaters. You can wait for this one to come to Redbox or something else. Just be sure to see it.

Score: 8/10

As always, be sure to tell me what you think? Have you seen the film? Will you being seeing it in theaters? Do you think it's Pixar’s best so far? Please make sure to follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey, check out my website, and check me out on