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Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 EX (48kHz/24-bit), English DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Descriptive Video Service, French & Spanish Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White/Yellow
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: G
  • Run Time: 75 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Films
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Films

[Rating:4/5]

Animated short films have always been a tradition at Pixar, going all the way back to the groundbreaking Luxo, Jr. (1986) the company’s second, directed by John Lasster. Over the years, there have been numerous shorts released by Pixar, both theatrically alongside their animated features and as home video releases as extras. This collection is the second such release from the studio that breaks these short but sweet tidbits out on their own in one set. Many of the films on here have been nominated for Academy Awards, and once you watch them you’ll know why. When you see the magnificence of a short like La Luna that evokes an instant sense of childlike wonder, it’s easy to see how Pixar has attained the status in the animation world that they have.

Shorts List:

  • Your Friend the Rat w/ optional commentary by director Jim Capobianco and production designer Nate Wragg (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX) – Ratatouille’s Remy and his brother Emile give a world history of the rat, with the purpose of convincing us that rats really aren’t our enemy.
  • Presto w/ optional commentary by director Doug Sweetland (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX) – Great turn-of-the-century magician Presto has some problems with his act when he neglects to feed his rabbit.
  • Burn•E w/ optional commentary by director Angus MacLane (2.35:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX) –Based on characters from Wall•E, the repair-bot Burn•E runs into problems making a simple outside repair and finds himself locked outside the ship.
  • Partly Cloudy w/ commentary by director Peter Sohn (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX) – As the storks receive their baby deliveries from the clouds, one stork in particular has a rough go of it with the little bundles he is tasked to deliver.
  • Dug’s Special Mission (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX) – Dug, the talking dog from Up is sent on a fool’s errand by Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, until he finally finds his real place in the world.
  • George & A.J. w/ optional commentary by director Josh Cooley (1.85:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby Digital 5.1) – Poor George and A.J. have their hands full with the senior citizens of the town who have all been planning their own daring escapes from the retirement community after George’s daring escape. This is another short based on Up.
  • Day & Night w/ optional commentary by director Teddy Newton & layout artist Sandra Karpman (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1) — Day and Night, two feuding fellows with different traits, find that their differences aren’t so bad, and perhaps they can have strong friendship after all.
  • Hawaiian Vacation w/ optional commentary by director Gary Rydstrom, story supervisor Jason Katz & supervising animator Angus MacLane (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1) – Woody and the rest of the toys try to recreate a Hawaiian vacation for Barbie and Ken without ever leaving home.
  • Air Mater w/ optional commentary by director Rob Gibbs, producer Kim Adams & production designer Bob Pauley. (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 EX ) – When Mater decides he wants to learn how to fly, he finds himself accidentally recruited by a group of formation flyers, the Falcom Hawks.
  • Small Fry w/ optional commentary by director Angus MacLane (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby TrueHD 7.1) – Woody and the toys must devise a plan to rescue Buzz after he is left behind at a fast food restaurant and finds himself stuck in a therapy group for discarded happy meal toys.
  • Time Travel Mater w/ optional commentary by director Rob Gibbs, editor Torbin Xan Bullock & production designer Anthony Christov (1.78:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 EX) – An accident sends Mater traveling back in time to 1910 where he meets the founder of Radiator Springs.
  • La Luna w/ optional commentary by director Enrico Casarosa & producer Kevin Reher (2.35:1; 1080p/24; English Dolby TrueHD 7.1) – This marvelous short finds a young boy discovering his family’s business in the most magical of ways.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

No complaints here at all. Each 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement of the featured Pixar shorts is flawless, with clean animation, free from artifacts, full of fine detail, strong contrast, and vivid colors.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Audio quality varies as the mixes and variation of audio codecs vary across each short. Generally, each short has a really good balance of sound with a typically engulfing and aggressive use of the channels. With that said, the various mixes that utilize only lossy Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital EX don’t have the same amount of clarity, especially in the higher end and in the conveyance of the sound effects. Thankfully, there are a good portion of the shorts that step up to lossless 6.1/7.1 (Dolby TrueHD EX) 7.1 (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) and high-bitrate lossy (DTS-HD High Resolution) codecs that sound just as fantastic as the Pixar feature film materials we all know and love.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Kudos to Pixar for giving us a look at the early works of some of their great animators with these student films.

The supplements:

  • Directors’ Student Films:
    • Nitemare with optional introduction by director John Lasseter
    • Lady and the Lamp with optional introduction by director John Lasseter
    • Somewhere in the Attic with optional introduction by director Andrew Stanton
    • A Story with optional introduction by director Andrew Stanton
    • Winter with optional introduction by director Pete Docter
    • Palm Springs with optional introduction by director Pete Docter
    • Next Door with optional introduction by director Pete Docter
  • Peter Pan: Diamond Edition Trailer
  • Monsters University Trailer
  • Planes Trailer
  • DVD

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

This is a fantastic family-ready collection that everyone can enjoy. While some of the shorts are certainly better than others, everything is enjoyable. Kids will find themselves going back to this over and over. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Small Fry:

Burn•E:

Dug’s Special Mission:

George and A.J.:

Hawaiian Vacation:

La Luna:

Day & Night:

Partly Cloudy:

Presto:

Air Mater:

[amazon-product]B0091NWBC2[/amazon-product]

Purchase Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Films
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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