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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2

November 13th, 2012

Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon: DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack

When the Pixar Short Film Collection, Volume 1 came out five years ago, I was super excited. Not only do I love Pixar's theatrical release, but I like short films in general and there are so few places to get them. I'm less excited about volume 2, because Pixar has been releasing its short films on DVD and Blu-ray, so if you have been keeping up with their releases, you have this already. But, is there more to this release than just the short films?

The Movie

The short films included on this release are:

  1. Your Friend the Rat
    Remy and Emile given an impassioned defense of the rat.
  2. Presto
    A stage magician deals with an uncooperative rabbit.
  3. Burn-E
    WALL-E becomes the bane of a simple repair droid after knocking out a light and complicating his simple repair job.
  4. Partly Cloudy
    We all know storks deliver babies, but where to they get the babies? From clouds, of course. This short tells the story of a cloud that only seems to make dangerous animals and the poor stork that has to deliver them.
  5. Dug's Special Mission
    After Dug accidentally lets the bird get away, Alpha gives Dug a series of simple missions, just to keep him out of the way.
  6. George & A.J.
    The story of George and A.J., the two nurses who were supposed to pick up Carl Fredricksen and how his escape inspired others.
  7. Day & Night
    Day and Night compete for which one is better in a fight, but soon learn to appreciate their differences thanks to women in bathing suits.
  8. Hawaiian Vacation
    Bonnie goes on vacation to Hawaii and Ken and Barbie try to sneak into her luggage so they can have a Hawaiian vacation as well. It doesn't work. That's when the rest of the toys decide to help by simulating a Hawaiian vacation.
  9. Mater's Tall Tales: Air Mater
    Mater tells Lightning the story of how he learned to fly.
  10. Small Fry
    Bonnie and her mother eat at a fast food restaurant, one giving away Buzzlight year toys with their kids meals. The display Buzzlight year decides decides to replace the real Buzz. Meanwhile, the real Buzz is stuck in a support group for discarded kids meal toys. (On a side note, you know some fast food executive watched the end credits and thought, 'French fries in the salad! Perfect!')
  11. Mater's Tall Tales: Time Travel Mater
    After an accident results in a clock stuck to Mater's engine, he can travel through time. He witnesses the founding of Radiator Springs, and nearly messes it up.
  12. La Luna
    This short is about three generations of a family, whose job involves the moon.
While not part of the main program, there are also student films from many of the directors featured here, starting with...
  1. Nitemare
    A young boy struggles to sleep, as his imagination gets the better of him.
  2. Lady and the Lamp
    A lamp in a store is knocked off the shelf by his fellow lamps and breaks his bulb. In a desperate attempt to replace it before the store opens, he accidentally screws in a bottle of gin instead.
  3. Somewhere in the Arctic
    A group of Inuit chase a polar bear in the arctic, but he keeps outsmarting them.
  4. A Story
    The story of a neglecting child, Melvin, dragged into the TV screen by his favorite cartoon character, Ted, where they have to stop a mean clown, Randy.
  5. Winter
    A little boy wants to play in the snow, but after his mother bundles him up to keep him warm, he can barely move.
  6. Palm Springs
    This short takes place in Palm Springs, but Palm Springs of the Jurassic Era where a caveman and a dinosaur interact.
  7. Next Door
    A man returns home from work to a life where every action is timed down to the second. His next door neighbor is a young girl whose overactive imagination messes with his scheduled life.

The Extras

All of the main features have audio commentary tracks, while all of the directors' student films have introductions.

The video is very good, but not quite up to the level of the average Pixar theatrical release. Obviously, they don't put as much resources into their short films. Excellent detail levels, very vibrant colors, and very deep blacks. The audio is clear, but a lot more uncomplicated than the theatrical releases. The audio / video on the students films is obviously a lot weaker, but that's to be expected given the age and the production quality of the films.

The DVD costs $20 while the Blu-ray costs $28. That's a little high, but still acceptable.

The Verdict

Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 doesn't have the same historic feel as the first volume, but there is a wide variety of stories from silly and lighthearted to the more emotionally weighty. Nearly all of them have strong replay value. Add in the extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray Combo Pack, and they are worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Jodi Benson, Don Fullilove, Jess Harnell, Michael Keaton, Patton Oswalt, Bob Peterson, Peter Sohn, Dan Whitney, Owen Wilson, Emily Hahn