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Pixar Short Films Collection (V1)
DVD disk
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A collection of all 13 of Pixar's currently released short films.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you've ever seen a Pixar film in theaters or bought one of their DVDs, you've undoubtedly seen one of the short films that precede their features. Here, Pixar has taken all of the shorts and put them into one nice package. Almost all of these are wonderful little pictures, no doubt, but the value of the set will likely depend on how many of the other Pixar films you own.

Let me list off the shorts and their accompanying Pixar DVDs so you can figure out how worthwhile this package will be to you:

The Adventures Of Andre & Wally B.
Found on: None

Luxo Jr.
Found on: Toy Story: The Ultimate Toy Box (NOTE: This short is not found on the individual DVDs for Toy Story and Toy Story 2.)

Red's Dream
Found on: None

Tin Toy
Found on: Toy Story: The Ultimate Toy Box (NOTE: This short is not found on the individual DVDs for Toy Story and Toy Story 2.)

Knick Knack
Found on: Finding Nemo (2-Disc SE)

Geri's Game
Found on: A Bug's Life (2-Disc SE)

For The Birds
Found on: Monsters, Inc. (2-Disc SE)

Mike's New Car
Found on: Monsters, Inc. (2-Disc SE)

Boundin'
Found on: The Incredibles (2-Disc SE)

Jack-Jack Attack
Found on: The Incredibles (2-Disc SE)

One Man Band
Found on: Cars

Mater And The Ghostlight
Found on: Cars

Lifted
Found on: Ratatouille

Even if you own many of these short films already, the convenience of having them altogether is definitely cool. On top of that, it's amazing to see how the first couple of shorts (made in the '80s) compare in terms of CGI animation to the later ones. The advancement is huge.

Out of the bunch, my personal favorites are "For The Birds" (about a flock of small birds excluding a larger, dopier one), "Boundin'" (about a sheep who learns to enjoy life regardless of what he looks like), and "One Man Band" (about a battle between two musicians that leads to unpleasant results). They're beautifully animated and each has its own delightful, self-contained story... though I can't help but think that the little girl in "One Man Band" was a total bitch (is that harsh?). Similarly great shorts include "Geri's Game" (about an old man playing himself at chess) and "Lifted" (about a young alien attempting to abduct a human).

Meanwhile, the movie spinoffs seem somewhat better suited as supplements to their accompanying films and not as stand alone shorts, even if they are quite funny. These include "Mike's New Car" (from MONSTERS, INC.), "Jack-Jack Attack" (from THE INCREDIBLES), and "Mater And The Ghostlight" (from CARS).

The earlier, less seen shorts are probably the most interesting, but as mentioned beforehand, this is mainly for technical reasons. "Luxo Jr." is great because it's the classic that developed into part of the Pixar logo (with the hopping lamp), and "The Adventures Of Andre & Wally B." is fascinating just to see how crude the animation looks. "Knick Knack" is also rather unrefined, yet the story and humor make it one of the DVD's best. That leaves us with only two shorts unmentioned, those being "Tin Toy," which is cute but also terrifying because of how deformed the baby looks, and "Red's Dream," which is unpolished, ugly, and depressing. I imagine that the latter will be the film that goes most overlooked when revisiting the otherwise excellent collection of Pixar shorts.

NOTE: The newly released DVD for RATATOUILLE includes one short film not featured here, entitled "Your Friend the Rat." If people are wondering why it's not included, don't. Despite making a nice educational lesson for kids, it's nothing remotely special, and hardly matches the caliber of anything else found on the DVD.
THE EXTRAS
Considering the short films are kind of extras in themselves, Pixar has done a solid job offering additional content to make this set more worthy of a purchase.

Audio Commentaries: In what's easily a main selling point for this collection, all but one of the Pixar shorts (that being "Jack-Jack Attack") come with commentary from their accompanying filmmakers. Due to the brief nature of the films, all of the commentaries are quick, to the point, and easily digestible. The only one that's worth skipping is the track for "Mike's New Car," which features the children of the directors rather than the actual directors.

The Pixar Shorts: A Short History (23:32): A terrific documentary exploring the evolution of the company and how the shorts reflect the studio's rise to power.

Sesame Street Shorts: Here we have four vocabulary lessons, each running under a minute and featuring the "Luxo Jr." lamps.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The question about whether "Volume 1" of the PIXAR SHORT FILMS COLLECTION is a quality set is not the issue here, since it most definitely is. The concern lies in whether the audio commentaries and convenience of having all these excellent shorts together overcomes that of you possibly owning several already, and that it only lasts about an hour total. Personally, as a huge fan of Pixar, my answer is yesit does.
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