"Art challenges technology, and technology inspires the art. That's it in a nutshell the way we work at Pixar." John Lasseter

For anyone who's ever enjoyed a Pixar film, or even a cartoon for that matter, might I suggest adding the newly-released Pixar Short Films Collection Volume I to your DVD library. Aside from receiving 13 Pixar short films, there's an excellent behind-the-scenes feature that takes you through those early days at Pixar; how they went about making those first short films -- the long hours, the sleepless nights, the skimpy paychecks -- to how their entire lives changed when Disney called and requested they take a gamble on their first feature film. That film, of course, turned out to be Toy Story. And the rest is history.

And that's exactly what you get with this DVD: A Pixar history lesson. It's best if you, like I did, start out with the bonus documentary on Pixar, featuring folks like John Lasseter and his Pixar crew who take you through what it was like back in the mid-80s to be introducing a new kind of computer animation to the world. The kind of animation that talked, spoke and engaged the audience. Originally, Pixar was a high-end computer hardware company that sold their Pixar Image Computer to government agencies and the medical community. Lasseter was the only animator on staff, and the entire crew would spend days, weeks, months creating these tiny short films they would preview at trade conventions to pimp their product. Problem was, the Pixar Image Computer didn't sell. These shorts made no money (even though they won Oscars), and some considered it a waste of time. Eventually, the Pixar animation department struck a deal to create some commercials for outside parties. Following the commercials, they wanted to make something small; a half hour made-for-TV movie. However, Disney called ... and they said screw the TV movie -- if you could make something 30 minutes long, you could do 90 minutes. Thus, a $26 million, three-picture deal was struck and Toy Story was born.

categories Features, DVDs, Cinematical