One of my favorite parts of seeing a new Disney Pixar movie is the short film that comes before the movie. They teach a lesson, are entertaining and touching. It’s one reason I always make sure we get to the theater early so we don’t miss it. Well, Collection 3 was released on Blu-Ray and DVD today! And this collection has some of my absolute favorites from over the last few years.
My favorite is Piper! Remember that plucky little seagull? This was the short before Finding Dory.
A flock of sandpipers hunt for food at a seashore, rushing to peck at the sand when the wave recedes and retreating when it comes in. One baby is encouraged by her mother to join the flock, but she fails to retreat in time and is drenched by the incoming surf. The incident leaves the baby terrified of the water; she refuses to leave the nest, but soon notices a group of hermit crabs digging into the sand to find deeper food and keep from being buffeted by the tide. By copying their behavior, she starts to see the beauty of the underwater world and becomes skilled at discovering food for the flock.
Bao is one of the most recent shorts in the collection. This one was before the Incredibles 2.
In Toronto, Canada, a Canadian Chinese woman, whose husband is busy at work, makes a Baozi that comes alive. She raises the dumpling as a child, feeding it meals. Eventually the child wishes to play soccer with the other kids, despite his mother’s protection. As her son ages into a teenager and a young adult, he increasingly wants independence, while his mother wishes for more attention from him, feeling ignored. When the dumpling introduces his new fiancée and announces his intentions to move out of his mother’s house, his mother protests. The mother tries to stop the dumpling from leaving, but he pulls free. In a fit of anger the mother eats the dumpling, after which she cries over what she has done. Later, the mother lies in bed, and her real son enters the room, revealing that the whole sequence was allegorical. The son, resembling the dumpling, is told by his father to apologize to his mother, as she ignores him. He enters the room, offering the same treat the mother gave the dumpling, and as they share it, they both shed tears. Afterwards, the whole family, including the son’s fiancée, makes dumplings, as they sit at the table watching television.
Lou is a touching story that all children and parents can relate to. Originally shown just before Cars 3.
The lost-and-found box in a kindergarten playground is home to Lou, a creature made from the assorted unclaimed items (whose name is made up of the three missing letters on the box). Every day after recess, Lou picks up the toys that the children leave behind; the next day, he sets them out on the playground for their owners to find.
A bully named J.J. starts stealing toys from the other children and putting them in his backpack. Lou is angered, and starts to take toys back from J.J.’s backpack, but J.J. catches him in the act and a chase ensues, with Lou constantly changing his shape to avoid being caught.
During the chase, Lou notices the name tag on J.J.’s underwear matches a toy left in the box, a teddy bear that had been taken from J.J. by an older bully. Lou offers the bear to J.J., but only in return for J.J. returning all of the items from the lost-and-found box to their owners. J.J. initially returns the toys begrudgingly, but is surprised when a girl gratefully hugs him, and begins to enjoy returning the remaining items. Returning to the box, J.J. finds that Lou is no longer present, as all of his parts have been claimed. J.J. sees his teddy bear is the last toy left and happily reclaims it, and then joins two other boys for a game of catch.
Sanjay’s Super Team
This one is a little older than the rest, it was shown with The Good Dinosaur. And to be honest I sort of forgot about it. That was over 3 years a go and there have been so many films since then.
A young boy, Sanjay, is watching his favorite superhero show, Super Team, while his father is trying to meditate at a small Hindu shrine in the same room at home.
Each is annoyed by the other’s activity until Sanjay’s father turns off the television, confiscates his son’s Super Team action figure, and makes him participate in prayer. Sanjay retrieves the toy while his father is distracted, but accidentally sets its cape on fire from the shrine’s oil lamp. While putting out the cape, he extinguishes the lamp as well and is transported to a temple with three stone statues.
Suddenly, Ravana appears and begins to steal the statues’ weapons, shattering them in the process. Sanjay breaks the light up mechanism in his toy and uses it to light the giant lamp in the middle of the room, bringing the statues to life as the gods Vishnu, Durga, and Hanuman. The gods begin to fend off Ravana’s attacks and ring their bells to drive him back, but he retaliates.
Sanjay recognizes the giant lamp as an upside down bell and breaks his toy on it to ring it aloud, calming Ravana so that he departs the temple. Sanjay receives a new toy from Vishnu as well as his blessing, then finds himself back in the real world, the cape on his action figure unburnt. His father allows him to continue watching Super Team, and Sanjay surprises him with a drawing that shows the gods watching over the cartoon heroes.
The story ends with real life pictures of Sanjay Patel and his father, during his childhood and in the present day.
Riley’s First Date?
Riley’s First Date? was not seen in theaters if I remember correctly but it was included in the home release of Inside Out.
Riley, now 12, is relaxing with her parents at home when a school friend, a boy named Jordan (seen briefly at the end of the film), shows up to take her skating. Riley’s parents suspect their daughter is going out on a date, and their emotions react. Riley’s mother attempts to get the information out of her, by attempting to sound cool and using slang terms, much to Riley’s (and her emotions’) chagrin. Riley’s father tries to intimidate, and interrogate Jordan.
When Jordan mentions he plays in a band, Riley’s father recalls his own memories of being in a band, and the two begin to bond over their shared love of AC/DC. Riley and her mother come downstairs, to see her father and Jordan playing air guitar to AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, causing embarrassment to Riley.
Riley quickly rushes Jordan out the door as her parents watch, concluding that Jordan is a “good kid” and feeling nostalgic about their own love. The short ends with Riley’s parents sharing a kiss, causing Riley’s Dad’s emotional centre to erupt in excitement, and celebrate once again to AC/DC’s “Back in Black”.
Lava was the short film that was released with Inside Out in the theaters. I remember instantly loving it.
On a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean, a lonely volcano watches the wildlife creatures frolic with their mates and hopes to find one of his own. He sings a song to the ocean each day for thousands of years, gradually venting his lava and sinking into the water, but does not realize that an undersea volcano has heard him every day and has fallen in love with him.
She emerges on the day that the volcano becomes extinct, but her face is turned away and she cannot see him. He sinks fully into the ocean, heartbroken, but revives when he hears her singing his song to him. His fires re-ignited, he erupts back to the surface, this time right next to her, and the two form a single island where they are happy together.
The Radiator Springs 500 1/2
The Radiator Springs 500 1/2 did not appear before a major Disney Pixar film. It was first shown on Disney’s app Disney Movies Anywhere on May 20, 2014, then later on Disney Channel on August 1, 2014.
A leisurely drive turns precarious as Baja racers descend on the town and challenge Lightning McQueen to an off-road race.
Party central is based on Monsters University and was released with Muppets Most Wanted in theaters.
Mike and Sully are back at Monsters University just for the weekend. And let’s just say they have a little adventure and we all get to tag along and see how it turns out.
The Blue Umbrella
The Blue Umbrella was originally released with Monster’s University. And yes, it is about a blue umbrella.
It is just another evening commute until the rain starts to fall, and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas — one blue, one not — fall eternally in love.
The Legend of Mar’du
The Legend of Mar’du was released with the Blu-Ray of Brave. So it’s been a while since it’s been released.
This is a spin-off of Brave with the witch being the connection. The witch uses her magical powers to tell the legend of a power-obsessed prince who sought a magic spell that would allow him to take control of the kingdom from his brothers, only to destroy the kingdom and his fate as well.
Partysaurus Rex was originally shown before Finding Nemo. And it’s just like you’re suspecting – the Rex from Toy Story has turned into Partysaurus Rex!
Rex finds himself left behind in the bathroom, he puts his limbs to use by getting a bath going for a bunch of new toy friends.
There are also bonus mini-movies – Marine Life and Miss Fritter’s Racing Skool.
Pixar Short Films Collection 3 is available online for purchase or at your local retailer.