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The History of Pixar’s Short Stories

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The History of Pixar’s Short Stories

Annabelle Goettl, Media Editor

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Pixar is a movie company that has produced Oscar worthy feature films such as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Inside Out, to name a few. Everytime a new Pixar film hits the theaters, people get excited for the title movie and seem to overlook the short films that are shown right before the feature. These short films are just as impressive to the audience, proven by their many Oscar nominations. As a result, does anyone wonder “Why does Pixar bother to create these short films when they are making the ‘big bucks’ off of their full feature films?”

In fact, Pixar’s real reason for creating the shorts is to test the waters of new technology. With their large platform, they have the opportunity to conveniently get a wide audience for input. Before Pixar was known as the amazing animation studio it is today, it was actually called “The Graphics Group,” a group designed to cater specifically to computers and hardware. In order to begin selling companies innovations, an employee suggested that they start making short films to showcase the latest technologically. One of the first notable short films was called The Adventures of Andre and Wally B which showcased the groundbreaking animation using motion blur in CG animation. By continuously creating these short films, “The Graphics Group” through Pixar was able to simultaneously entertain their audiences as well as persistently develop new softwares and ability to work with computers and hardware in a creative way.

John Lasseter, an American animator for Pixar, was quoted in an interview about Pixars shorts, saying that “The art challenges the technology- and the technology inspires the art.” Lasseter was able to transform storytelling by being able to tell a story through a computer animation.

Every year, senior Helen Innes makes an effort to watch all of the Pixar shorts, saying that, “I try to make an effort to watch the nominees for the Oscar short films. They are usually pretty good and something different to watch especially considering that there is a special category dedicated to the short films.”

Technology has evolved incredibly into the animated films you see today, like Inside Out and the Toy Story series.  So, after reaching so much success, why does Pixar continue to release these short films? Well, Pixar still sees incredible opportunities to grow and hopes to continue exercising and brainstorming new ideas through these short films. A short film is a short commitment and therefore the perfect opportunity to try new things free of the fear of error. Also, new animators come in to work on these short films as a preliminary to getting to work on the big feature films so they are able to work in the Pixar environment on a real project.

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