*NOMINATED FOR BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM*
Along with the theatrical release of Ratatouille, Lifted was the ShortFilm that played before it. Although this ShortFilm lacks the emotional depth of Lava, it still manages to make me laugh each time I watch it! Welcome, as we continue to celebrate some of Pixar’s work, in conjunction with the anticipated release of Inside Out.
Gary Rydstrom is a Sound Mixer extraordinaire. He has won 7 Academy Award, interestingly enough he was garnished with two of these most coveted golden statues, with his Sound abilities for Jurassic Park, also for Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Titanic and Saving Private Ryan. Needless to say he is good at what he does, and with his upcoming project, we can expect to hear some amazing Sound Effects for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, later this year.
Gary Rydstrom has worked closely with Pixar, since the beginning, and it’s fitting that he get the opportunity to Direct a ShortFilm of his own. Lifted is about a couple of aliens, Mr. B and Stu. Mr. B is named after all those teachers that always mark there students with a ‘B’, regardless of how good the work is. I think we all had one of those teachers at one point or another. Stu is taking an alien abduction test, because he is an alien, so it’s a thing he needs to know how to do, right? This is a cute and funny story, and worth checking out, it’s sure to make you laugh. Have you ever seen one of those massive Sound Mixing boards, with like, a million and one switches? The ‘switch board’ that Stu is using to abduct was inspired by such Sound Mixing boards, courtesy of Sound Genius Gary Rydstrom.
Gary’s Sound Effects for Lifted are fantastic, and the sound effects are what make this non-dialogue piece so engaging, in addition the animation is elegant. Interesting tid-bit, the aliens form, is based on hair styling gel!
This ShortFilm is relatable because we have all had to go through the process of learning something. It also highlights in a comedic tone the frustration that we all grow through, perhaps, especially through our teen years. Plus we’ve all had to do something, or perform a process, in front of a supervisor or instructor, and we all know how particularly painful that can be. Whenever someone is watching me do something, I can feel my face go tomato red, and sweat beads start to drip down my forehead, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll make some sort of silly mistake! So there is a lot we can relate to in the character of Stu, and what he’s going through with Mr. B.
Lifted’s punch moment is touching and memorable. It’s a celebration of the mentor-student relationship, plus who doesn’t want to see the inside of an alien space craft!?
TRIVIA COOKIES: Lifted was nominated for Best Animated Short Film, but did not win.
A toy from one of Pixar’s first ShortFilms, Tin Toy, can be seen under the bed of the unfortunate soul that is being abducted by the aliens, a cool easter egg from Pixar: