I opened the boot of my car, and there it was, my umbrella. It’s an item that just lays around, waiting to get used, life-less. Well, not according to Pixar! The umbrella is brought to life in Pixar’s photo-realistic ShortFIlm, The Blue Umbrella. With amazing digital animation, and a sweet story, has Pixar done it again!? FilmMunch says, yes!
Saschka Unseld, an animator at Pixar is responsible for the idea behind The Blue Umbrella, a love tale, that involves rain, the city, and two adorable umbrellas. Needless to say, its a brilliant short. The animation is really like something I have never seen before. It’s extremely photo-realistic, to the point that I got to wandering if it was an actual live-action short mixed with digital animation. So, I was wrong. The Blue Umbrella is an example of what can be achieved with CGI these days, its amazing. When you compare Toy Story with this ShortFilm, it really amplifies how evolved digital animation has become. I would love to see more of this detail in all digital animation, considering that it’s possible, we just need the artists!
The lighting is amazing, causing every shadow and reflection to add so much reality to this surrounding and set. There is a catchy tune that plays during this ShortFilm, i’m actually humming it as I write this! Like most of Pixar’s ShortFilms, there is no dialogue, and the story is told visually, again, a breakdown of what cinema has become, right down to the very basics, similar to Wall·E.
I do feel as if The Blue Umbrella was also snubbed, of at least an Oscar Nomination, as was Lava. Could the fact that it was theatrically released along with Monsters University have something to do with it? Monsters University was not Pixar’s brightest moment, although the film is hilarious and holds it’s merit, in it’s own unique way, could Monsters University’s apparent lack-lustre performance shed a cloud over The Blue Umbrella, and perhaps not allowing it the attention it deserves? Say if it had been paired with Finding Nemo, perhaps a different outcome? Where is a time machine when you need one!?
Again, FilmMunch celebrates ShortFilms because they represent the little guy/girl trying to express their art form, and it’s were most great film makers have started off. Regardless of how successful the feature following the short, they all deserve to be critically examined separately.
The technologies that have been developed by Pixar are highlighted so elegantly in The Blue Umbrella, and warrant due credit. The Blue Umbrella will make you smile, and make you smile every time you open your umbrella henceforth!
TRIVIA COOKIE: Apparently the famous Pizza Planet Truck can be found in this ShortFilm. I have looked and look, but haven’t been able to find it, perhaps you have? Since this short is so perfectly edited, there are frames so minute in duration, that it’s easy to miss!