To celebrate the release of Monsters University, we have picked our top 10 Pixar short films. Most of them are available to watch in full here, so if you have a spare 5 minutes, these Pixar shorts are guaranteed to make you smile.
1. Lifted (2006)
Lifted was released in conjunction with Ratatouille, and follows a young alien as he is attempting to abduct a man while he’s sleeping. Lifted was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
2. Partly Cloudy (2009)
Partly Cloudy was released in conjunction with Up. It’s about cheerful clouds that produce babies and kittens for the stork to deliver.
3. For the Birds (2000)
For the Birds was released with Monsters, Inc. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. It’s about little birds on a telephone wire.
4. Day and Night (2010)
Day and Night was released with Toy Story 3. It is about two characters – ‘Day’ and ‘Night’ who experience the emotions of the events occurring inside them. Possibly the most unusual of the Pixar shorts, Day and Night was described by Up production designer Don Shank as “unlike anything Pixar has produced before”.
5. Presto (2008)
Presto was released with WALL-E. It follows a magician and his rabbit. Director Doug Sweetland said that he was heavily influenced by classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes, with Alec the rabbit being compared to Bugs Bunny. Presto was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
6. La Luna (2011)
La Luna was released with Brave. Here is a snippet of the film – for the entire version you have to buy the DVD! La Luna was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film Oscar. Its about a boy, his dad, and his granddad in a boat.
7. Geri’s Game (1997)
Geri’s Game was released with A Bug’s Life. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 1998. Its about an old man who plays chess by himself.
8. Knick Knack (1989)
Although Knick Knack was made in 1989, it wasn’t shown theatrically until 2003, with Finding Nemo. The Guardian called its director, John Lasseter “probably the closest thing to God that has ever graced the electronic images community.” Terry Gilliam selected it as one of the best animated films of all time.
9. Paperman (2012)
Paperman by videobash
Although produced by Disney animation studios, so not technically Pixar, Paperman won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, and so deserves a mention here. It was theatrically shown with Wreck-it Ralph. Film critic Leonard Maltin called it ‘perfection itself’
10. The Blue Umbrella (2013)
Lastly a mention for Pixar’s latest short film, The Blue Umbrella, due to be released alongside Monsters University. Its about a blue umbrella that falls for a red umbrella. Its director, Saschka Unseld, has said that he was inspired by an abandoned umbrella. He said: “I stopped because it looked like such a sad thing, and rain was pouring on it.” Having seen the film, I can say it is the sweetest most lovely short film you’ll possibly have ever seen.