The Best Pixar Shorts You’ll Never Stop Rewatching
Pixar and Disney may continuously be at odds for the best animation studio, but there is one thing that Pixar excels at for sure — shorts.
The studio does more than create lucrative movies (that tear our hearts out) like Up and the Toy Story franchise. They’ve also produced over 20 top-notch short films since the ’80s that share the spotlight with their amazing films.
Here are five Pixar shorts that animation fans couldn’t help but rewatch!
‘Luxo Jr.’ | Toy Story 2
John Lasseter & William Reeves’ Luxo Jr. took home three awards and for a pretty good reason. While this short was released with Toy Story 2 in 1999, it was created back in the ’80s. At the time Pixar was leaps and bounds ahead when it came to animation, but they still weren’t 100% prepared to dish out the realism we see in their human characters today.
So, the studio worked on humanizing inanimate objects. It’s a skill they excelled at and one that makes Luxo Jr. very special!
In the short, viewers see their trademark lamp brought to life as two different entities, a parent and child. Their iconic ball, an easter egg that appears in every Pixar film, is also present!
‘Lava’ | Inside Out
Lava may not have received any awards or nominations, but there are certainly people who enjoy the short! It tells a love story that takes place over thousands of years. A volcano that makes its home in the ocean longs for love. Another volcano, one under the surface of the ocean, hears his song.
The short is exceptionally straightforward and simple, something that Pixar typically doesn’t do. The difference irritated some, but it certainly made a lot of sense given it was released with Inside Out.
Despite being released with the emotional rollercoaster of a film, it has pure Moana vibes.
‘Jack-Jack Attack’ | The Incredibles
Jack-Jack Attack wasn’t a theatrical release like many of Pixar’s other shorts but was a fun bonus for those who purchased The Incredibles on DVD back in 2005.
Inspiration for the mini came from a scene that was initially going to be included in the full-length film. Once the scene was cut, Bird decided it would be perfect to expand into a short to accompany the movie.
The short film follows Kari, a babysitter who is tasked with watching the youngest member of the Parr family. It’s evident that Elastigirl is hesitant to allow her to babysit but Kari is sure she’s got it … until the little Parr starts flexing his superhero muscles!
It’s a comical short that makes us think about how hard it must be for parents to raise kids with superpowers.
‘For the Birds’ | Monsters, Inc.
In case you didn’t know, Pixar adores birds, so they pop up in a lot of their projects! Ralph Eggleston’s For the Birds took home an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film as well as several other awards, including an Annie Award and an award from the Anima Mundi Animation Festival.
The funny film tells the story of an outcasted goofy-looking bird. When he attempts to join his tiny bird friends on a wire, they mock him relentlessly. Well, ultimately their bullying ends up in perfect payback. It’s slapstick comedy gold.
‘Piper’ | Finding Dory
Alan Barillaro’s Piper won an Oscar (as well as an Annie Award) … if that doesn’t scream perfect short, what does?
Honestly, it’s not surprising Piper ranks No.1 given the plot. The 2016 computer-animated mini-film tells the story of a hungry baby sandpiper who is trying to overcome her fear of water.
The animation quality for this short is out of this world. The sand is photorealistic, the water effects are unbelievably real, and the colors that come through in the horizon are perfection.
While it’s only a short journey, there is something truly magical about watching the little sandpiper brave the tides to find food. Pixar also did a stellar job making those waves seem just as terrifying as they would be to a small child! It’s painfully cute and ultimately the little bird manages to overcome her fear! What more could you want?