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With revolutionary animation, unforgettable music and characters you love, these dazzling short films have changed the face of animation and entertainment and are sure to delight people of all ages for years to come.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (10 Shorts)
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (2 Shorts)
English DTS-HD MD 7.1
English DTS-HD HR 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
English Audio Description
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 76 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 11/13/2018

• Audio Commentaries for 13 Shorts
• Introductions for 13 Shorts
• “Making Bao” Featurette
• “Caricature” Featurette
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


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Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 3 [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 9, 2022)

While they made their fortune on their full-length films, the folks at Pixar regularly churn out short cartoons as well. Back in 2007, the first 23 years of these got put out via Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 1.

Five years later, we got 12 more shorts originally released from 2007 to 2012 via Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2.

And here comes Volume 3! Released in 2018, this one brings 13 cartoons, all put out from 2013 to 2018.

Bao (7:41): Shown prior to Incredibles II, a lonely, aging woman creates a child out of a dumpling. Yeah, that’s a weird concept, and one that flops pretty badly, as Bao seems way more creepy than charming.

Lou (6:43): Shown prior to Cars 3, it shows how the contents of a school’s lost and found come to life and teach a bully a lesson. Lou breaks no new ground but it offers charm and sentiment.

Piper (6:05): Shown prior to Finding Dory, this one shows us a baby bird who struggles with a need to develop independence.

Piper probably should be cloying and terrible, but instead, it offers an adorable treat. It’s one of the better Pixar shorts.

Sanjay’s Super Team (7:07): Shown prior to The Good Dinosaur, it features a superhero-obsessed boy who eventually channels his fascination into an expression of his Indian culture. It offers some cute moments but seems a little heavy-handed and forced.

Riley’s First Date? (4:40): A companion to Inside Out, it re-introduces us to Jordan, the boy Riley bumps into at the rink toward the movie’s end. We see how various parties react to Riley’s possible first date. It brings back all the original actors and offers an amusing and fun coda.

Lava (7:12): Shown prior to Inside Out, this one tells the tale of a lonely volcano. Frankly, it plays like a parody of a Pixar short.

Other cartoons have allowed inanimate objects to come to life in satisfying stories, but Lava just seems stupid. It’s arguably the studio’s weakest short and is too cutesy for its own good.

The Radiator Springs 500 ½ (6:12): Previously a “Disney Movies Anywhere” exclusive, Lightning McQueen races against some obnoxious outsiders. It provides pretty good comedy.

Party Central (5:33): Shown prior to Muppets Most Wanted, Sully, Mike and crew threw a fraternity party. Like Monsters University, it comes with some entertainment value but it never quite ignites.

The Blue Umbrella (6:46): Shown prior to Monsters University, we see a blue umbrella who develops romantic sparks with a red umbrella. We watch as other anthropomorphic entities try to get them together.

Umbrella has some charm, and it delivers stunning animation. However, the story doesn’t go much of anywhere other than as a way to lead us toward its inevitable conclusion.

It also feels a little too much like Paperman, the short attached to Wreck-It Ralph the prior year. Umbrella isn’t bad but it’s nothing memorable.

The Legend of Mor'du (6:51): From the Brave Blu-ray, this segment shows us some backstory that features in that film. Narrated by the movie’s witch character, we get the details about how a young prince turned into an evil bear. We learn a bit of this in the film itself, but Legend fleshes out the specifics – and comes with an unexpected comic ending.

Partysaurus Rex (6:34): Found on the Monsters Inc. 3D Blu-ray package, Rex tries to prove that he can be a fun guy. The Toy Story universe usually entertains, and this one proves clever and enjoyable.

Marine Life Interviews (2:04): From the Finding Dory Blu-ray, though it sounds scholarly, this short piece instead goes for comedy. Movie characters discuss their impressions of Dory. Nothing hilarious results, but the segment amuses.

Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool (2:48): From the Cars 3 Blu-ray, it shows a TV commercial for the titular “skoool” and offers mild entertainment – though they couldn’t get Owen Wilson to come back for the 15 seconds of recording time to reprise his role as Lightning, so we get a soundalike.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 3 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc – mostly. Lava, The Blue Umbrella, and The Legend of Mor’du opt for 2.40:1, but they’re the sole exceptions.

This meant consistently strong visuals. Sharpness was always solid, as the shorts looked accurate and concise. Virtually no instances of softness marred these tight cartoons.

Jagged edges and shimmering failed to appear, and no signs of edge haloes materialized. Of course, the computer-generated shorts lacked any source flaws.

Given the wide range of topics featured here, colors varied quite a lot. These ranged from natural to heavily stylized. Within the parameters at work, the hues looked great, though, as they always showed accurate tones.

Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows seemed smooth and well-rendered. I expected quality visuals here and I got them.

I felt happy with the shorts’ DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio, as the soundfields varied but usually added to the shorts in a satisfying manner. More action-oriented pieces like Sanjay’s Super Team or Radiator Springs 500 ½ used the spectrum in the most active manner, but all of them featured wide, engaging material. The tracks flesh out the room and create a nice feeling of location and atmosphere.

Audio quality always worked fine. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Effects became accurate and vivid, with tight low-end. Music appeared bright and full, while effects appeared accurate and dynamic. The mixes suited the cartoons well.

Each short comes with its own audio commentary. Here’s who shows up:

Bao: Writer/director Domee Shi, producer Becky Neiman-Cobb and production designer Rona Liu.

Lou: Writer/director Dave Mullin, producer Dana Murray and editor Tony Greenberg.

Piper: Writer/director Alan Barillaro and editor Sarah Reimers.

Sanjay’s Super Team: Writer/director Sanjay Patel and producer Nicole Grindle.

Riley’s First Date?: Writer/director Josh Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen.

Lava: Writer/director Jim Murphy and producer Andrea Warren.

The Radiator Springs 500 ½: Co-director Scott Morse and editor Torbin Bullock.

Party Central: Writer/director Kelsey Mann.

The Blue Umbrella: Writer/director Saschka Unseld, lighting supervisor Brian Boyd and supervising technical director Chris Burrows.

The Legend of Mor’du: Writer/director Brian Larsen and writer Steve Purcell.

Partysaurus Rex: Writer/director Mark Walsh.

Marine Life Interviews: Director Ross Haldane Stevenson and producer Bob Roath.

Miss Fritter’s Racing Skool: Writer/director Jim Murphy and producer Marc Sondheimer.

With little time available per short, the commentaries need to move quickly, and they do. The various participants usually cover the basics and give us tight, concise examinations of their work.

Of course, the quality of the commentaries varies. Nonetheless, most work nicely and offer good insights within the constraints of the shorts’ running times.

We also find Introductions for all 13 shorts. Each involves the respective cartoon’s director, though Piper also features composer Adrian Belew.

These last between 27 seconds (Radiator Springs) and one minute, 24 seconds (Rex). Unsurprisingly, they vary in quality, as some boast useful info and others say little more than “we worked hard – enjoy it”. Still, they’re all short enough to merit a look.

Making Bao brings a six-minute, two-second program with writer/director Domee Shi. She brings us some basics about the short and offers a decent synopsis of a few topics.

Another featurette, Caricature: A Horrible Way of Saying “I Love You” spans three minutes, 53 seconds and provides remarks from Shi, Cooley, assistant editor Ben Morris and director Ronnie Del Carmen.

They discuss the Pixar culture of caricaturing. It turns into a lively look at this topic.

The Blu-ray opens with an ad for Ralph Breaks the Internet.

A second disc provides a DVD Copy of Collection 3. This includes the intros and commentaries but lacks the two featurettes.

Both prior compilations offered a mix of good and meh, so expect that to continue with Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 3. Despite the inconsistency, we find plenty of enjoyable cartoons in this nice package. The Blu-ray boasts terrific picture quality as well as solid audio and some valuable bonus materials. This winds up as another fine set.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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