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All 20 Original Pixar Shorts, Ranking – Part One

Luis Ramirez

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Part one of two – Our Pixar Shorts ranked

Pixar lamp
Pixar

This is our Pixar shorts ranking. We’ve grown up loving their cinematic releases, but the original shorts often played before their features, can get overlooked. Many of these shorts have the passion and heart behind them that evokes memories from old Disney and Looney Tunes shorts shown before a film.

We’ve compiled a definitive ranking of all 20 of their original shorts, from worst to best. While shorts can featuring some of Pixar’s beloved characters like Mater and the Ghost Light and Mikes New Car can be hilarious, they’re not quite original enough for this list so we’ve excluded any featuring characters with their own feature-length films.

20. The Adventures of André & Wally B.

1984, shown with Toy Story
Unfortunately, not all of Pixar’s short films have aged the same, and their very first released short film might just be their worst. This is the first entry in our Pixar shorts ranking. While not awful in any sense, it really isn’t much of anything at all. A man, André, finds a bee and runs away. Unlike every other Pixar short well see on this list, this one lacks any kind of inventive concept or interesting storytelling. It might be neat as a novelty of where the animation studio began, but its age lands it at the bottom of the list.

19. Knick Knack

1989, shown with Finding Nemo
This one started the trend that a lot of Pixar short films end up falling into, and it seems the least original or inventive: Two otherwise inanimate Objects falling in love or trying to be together. While cute at first, it doesn’t feel as original as many of the other concepts get, and this one is probably the most simple of them all. The catchy music was written by Bobby McFerrin definitely makes it enjoyable to watch, but there’s not much more here.

18. Tin Toy

1988, a cameo in Toy Story 4
Another of the Disney subsidiary’s first animated short films, Tin Toy is the proto-Toy Story, as it was produced a good while before and the concept shows through. A toy being alive and trying to get the attention of its owner is charming enough, especially considering its age, but the real star of the show is that early-3d animation baby. Maybe the ugliest baby in animated movie history, it definitely steals the show and at least makes the short memorable.

17. Piper

2016, shown with Finding Dory
Playing before Finding Dory, it feels clear that Pixar wanted to make use of the ocean creature theme they already had going for this one. While definitely very cute, Piper doesn’t quite offer anything too memorable or notable compared to a lot of the other shorts in this ranking. An alright story and cute characters definitely make it feel easier to watch than some of the earlier shorts, but there’s just not much here you can’t see in a nature documentary.

16. The Blue Umbrella

2013, shown with Monsters University
This one is kind of difficult to position in our Pixar shorts ranking. On the one hand, it really is one of the most visually impressive Pixar shorts. The animation style feels almost photo-realistic, and the way the objects in the city move feels incredibly believable and charming for inanimate stoplights and vents. On the other though, this is one of the most boring animated shorts story-wise. The theme of two inanimate objects falling in love is at its most eye-rolling here, to the point where it feels like a commercial for an umbrella brand rather than a short film.

15. Luxo Jr.

1986, shown with Toy Story 2
This was the first time we really started to see original and charming concepts played within animation for Pixar. Not only are all the sound effects and characters in this short instantly recognizable, even to those who’ve never seen it before, but it introduces these odd concepts in a way that feels organic and really makes you feel like that baby lamp is just a cute little thing. It definitely feels like The Start of Pixar’s filmography over Andre & Wally B.

14. Reds Dream

1987
One of the first shorts to really embrace creative and silly concepts in an incredibly earnest manner, Reds Dream is just a joy to watch and a really cute point on the timeline of these films. While again, as in Tin Toy, Pixar hadn’t quite mastered making humans look non-creepy, seeing the Unicycle have hopes and dreams of being a performer all on its own just warms your heart.

13. Boundin

2003, shown with The Incredibles
Definitely one of the most different films out of the entire catalogue, Boundin feels somewhat out of place. If this was a Dreamworks or Illumination short film, it wouldn’t feel that way at all, but as a Pixar short, it definitely seems quite odd in its tone and setting. Still fun and cute, especially with its fun cryptid cameos, but that’s all it is.

12. For the Birds

2000, shown with Monsters, Inc.
This was the first time the animation in these shorts came up to par with the animation in Pixar’s features, and it shows in how the birds are all animated with their feathers fluffed up. Like many other middle of the road Pixar shorts, there’s not much to offer story-telling wise, just a cute simple story of birds with prejudice and their eventual comeuppance.

11. Lava

2014, shown with Inside Out
Another short of two inanimate objects falling in love, this one might just be the best of that shared idea, as the individual Volcanoes life cycles and geology come into play to bring these two together. While the lava pun might be a little cheesy, as is the story, it at least feels like a different point of view for these kinds of love stories, taking us away from the usual setting of cities and rooms into somewhere new and more visually interesting.


Read the final part of our list HERE.


Do you have a different opinion on Pixar shorts ranking so far? Do you agree or disagree with our list or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


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The 9 Greatest Spoof Movies Ever

Aaron Phillips

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This is Spinal Tap image
Embassy Pictures

There have been so many great spoof movies over the past four decades. So, sit back and buckle up as we countdown the nine greatest spoof movies of all time. And “don’t call me Shirley”.

9. Team America: World Police

Ok, so it’s all-puppet action as opposed to real-life actors, but it’s still up there. Written by the guys behind South Park, it parodies an American counter-terrorism force as they take on global terrorists. As you would expect, there are some cracking scenes throughout the movie. Kim Jong-il singing about being “so roney, so roney” is a highlight that isn’t easily forgotten. You also have to feel sorry for poor old Matt Damon. Although he’s had a glittering film career it’s still hard not to say “Matt Damon” in that monotone way every time you see him on screen. According to writers Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Damon’s puppet looked so vacant that they decided to make his character only able to say his name. Poor Matt. Add in some fantastic one-liners, over-the-top violence and sex scenes with puppets, you have a great film that will make you laugh, and cringe.

8. Blazing Saddles

Mel Brooks is the king of spoof and parody. He’s directed and written many a great spoof over the years, but Blazing Saddles was only his third movie in the director’s chair. This 1974 offering takes the proverbial from all the great western movies from the 40s and 50s. The film throws joke after joke at you, along with anachronisms aplenty. Lead actors Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little also deliver comedic gold performances that help make this film great. Brooks also does a clever job of dealing with racism throughout the movie; something that hadn’t really been done before. One of those moments is where Wilder and Little confront two Klan characters, before stealing their white gowns. Clever, and poignant. It’s also interesting to note that execs wanted to pull the plug before release, but soon realised they got it wrong. It was a financial success and has firmly sealed its place in history as an iconic piece of filmmaking. Not only that, but it’s also still rated very highly on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb today. Just goes to show that a classic stands the test of time.

7. Spaceballs

Yep, our old friend Mel Brooks features again in the director’s chair. This time he delves into the world of sci-fi; more specifically, Star Wars. Although it only made a small profit at the time, it’s gone on to become a cult classic and holds a fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The key to its success is it’s genuinely funny. The jokes are good enough to make you belly laugh. And the characters are so close to those on Star Wars, it’s amazing George Lucas gave his blessing for it to be made at all. He even went a step further and sent Mel Brooks a note to say he almost fell apart laughing through it. Praise indeed. Brooks’ other golden touch was casting Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet. I think you’ll struggle to find a funnier bad guy. There are also rumours of a sequel, predicted in the film itself as ‘The search for more Money’, although nothing has been greenlit at the moment. We live in hope.

6. Scary Movie

Ok, so there have been five films in the Scary Movie franchise but the first one from 2000 makes our list of spoof movies. Written by Shawn and Marlon Wayans and directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans, it’s definitely a family affair. Although later films parody a wide range of films, this one heavily relies on Scream, and I Know What You Did Last Summer. This works in the film’s favour as you don’t spend the entire movie wondering what film they’re parodying for each joke. You know that Ghostface from Scream is going to feature a lot. And he does. The scene where he gets stoned with a bunch of guys and prank calls people is still funny today. The later films just feel like a collection of forced jokes as they ran out of horror movies to parody. Although it received mixed reviews, it made a monumental profit at the box office.

5. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad

No spoof movies list would be complete without at least one that features the brilliant Leslie Nielson. The Naked Gun, released in 1988, was based on the short-lived TV series from 1982. Created by the legend of deadpan comedy David Zucker, it follows Lt Frank Drebin on his escapades. The original Police Squad series was a spoof of 60s police dramas; particularly M Squad, and The Naked Gun follows the same theme. Plus, it ends with one of the best death scenes in film history with Nielson waving his arms and calmly addressing the crowd with “nothing to see here”. With superb writing and acting, The Naked Gun was released to critical acclaim. It also made a healthy profit at the box office and is often listed as one the greatest comedy films ever made.

4. Hot Shots!

Released in 1991 and directed by Jim Abrahams, Hot Shots! keeps things simple by purely being a spoof of Top Gun. And a very good one it is too. Not only is the writing funny and sharp, but it also has a fantastic cast. Playing the lead roles are Charlie Sheen and Cary Elwes as the two feuding pilots. Both actors are masters of comedic timing and they deliver their lines with razorlike sharpness. The plot revolves around a mission to Iraq, with the added love triangle involving Sheen and Elwes’ characters and a female therapist. This sub-plot lends itself to some genuinely hilarious scenes between the two actors. Credit also has to go to the fantastic Lloyd Bridges. He plays a commander who seems to have had every part of his body replaced due to it being blown off in various battles. His lines in the movie are comedy gold. A great film that hits all its spoof targets with absolute aplomb.

3. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Written and performed by legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python, Life of Brian had a controversial start. Being a satire of Jesus’ life was always going to cause some angst among some religious communities. In fact, some countries including Ireland and Norway banned it from being shown on release. In some cases that ban the latest decades. Life of Brian is often quoted as one of the greatest comedy films ever made. The writing is as good as you would expect from the Monty Python crew, and the jokes keep coming all the way through. Who can forget the immortal line, “he’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”. It made a modest box office profit at release but has gone on to earn iconic status. Rotten Tomatoes have it as a 95% certified fresh rating and it’s still raved about today.

2. This is Spinal Tap

This is the film that kicked off a new genre of filmmaking – the mockumentary. Parodying band biopics from the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, it follows fictional band Spinal Tap on their debut American tour. If you’ve ever played in a band – as I do – so much of what’s in this film is true. I can personally attest to getting lost in venues and playing shows where no one turns up. Director Rob Reiner was sending up the pretensions of rock and roll bands and he nailed it. What’s also interesting is the majority of the dialogue throughout the film is improvised. Credit to the actors for pulling off some truly iconic lines. Whether it’s the Stonehenge scene or the legendary amp up to eleven scene, this film has embedded itself in our culture forever. It was only a modest success when it was first released, but its impact has left a lasting impression.

1. Airplane!

Well, we’ve flown; shot and rode our way to number one on our list of spoof movies. Once again, we arrive at a film directed by the dream team of the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams. Loosely based on air disaster movies of the 50s and 60s, it follows a plane whose crew are taken out with a sickness bug. Cue disgraced former pilot Ted Striker to save the day. Released in 1980, this was the film that set Leslie Nielson on the path of spoof comedy. He only has a fairly minor role as the doctor, but he delivers some of the best lines in the movie. ‘I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley’, is iconic. Lloyd Bridges also features as the man on the ground at air traffic control and turns in a chaotic but brilliant performance. Upon release, it made a whopping $168 million dollars at the box office and received critical acclaim. It’s also certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, along with ranking as one of the best on IMDb. It’s one of those films that make you cry with laughter thanks to clever writing and some fantastic performances. A timeless classic.


That’s our list of the nine greatest spoof movies. Did we miss any? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.


Read about movie remakes that should never have happened HERE.

Read IMDb information about Airplane! HERE.

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