In anticipation of this week’s podcast on ThatMomentIn.com and to continue the celebration of Pixar’s new hit, Inside Out, we are taking a trip down memory lane. Pixar’s most recent short film, Lava, has also received a lot of attention for it’s emotional depth and catchy tune, but today we are taking a closer look at The Adventures of André and Wally B, which is technically Pixar’s first short film, ever.
First of all, a bit of history. Pixar was originally a small division of Lucasfilm, called The Graphics Group. John Lasseter, at the time was an up and coming animator. He is mostly credited for this short, and it was this ShortFilm that basically put John Lasseter on the map! Now, as we know, he is the head of all animation at Disney. Pixar became Pixar on the 3rd of Feb 1986. So technically The Adventures of André and Wally B isn’t a Pixar branded short, but it does have the same DNA, and represents the very beginning of Pixar. This amazing short, for it’s time, was the catalyst that enabled digital animation to become a form of story-telling that people would eventually take seriously. Wall-E, Brave, Ratatouille and Up, are some great examples of how influential this art form has really become.
This ShortFilm is actually very short, and not a lot really happens. So in terms of story and emotional depth, there isn’t a lot here. Although I am sure that John Lasseter could talk for hours about this short, as it was his first major project. Having said that, there is an interesting tid-bit that may shed some light as to the meaning behind this quirky short, the title is a tribute to the 1981 film, My Dinner with Andre. Interestingly enough, the co-star in that film, Wallace Shawn, would later voice the timid but friendly dinosaur, Rex, in Pixar’s Toy Story series.
John Lasseter presented the world a digitally animated environment and 3D flexible renderings of animated characters in 1984. Let’s think about that for a moment. That was the year The Terminator was released, basically a very long time ago! When you watch this digitally animated short, it’s hard to imagine it was created all the way back then. Although rough around the edges, there is artistic beauty in this short film. The Adventures of André and Wally B is truly and innovative ShortFilm.
Do you have a favourite Pixar ShortFilm?
TRIVIA COOKIE: Andre and Wally B have made appearances in over Pixar films. Pixar loves scattering easter eggs in all their projects, a nod to avid fans, I am sure. Here you can see Wall B on Bonnie’s back pack in Toy Story 3: