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Trivia / Pixar Shorts

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  • Adored by the Network: On ABC Family.
  • The Cameo: In "Lava" Uku sees two sea turtles nuzzling on his beach. The male appears to be Crush.
  • Development Hell: In 2015, a fifth Cars Toons: Tales from Radiator Springs short, "To Protect and Serve" was announced to be released in May, with books and merchandise produced featuring footage of it. So far, it has not aired, and is most likely cancelled.
  • Doing It for the Art
    • Steve Jobs lost money on every one of the initial Pixar shorts, but fully supported making them in spite of it because he knew that the prestige and acclaim the shorts got were the real reason Pixar was on the map. Its been estimated that he blew a whopping $50,000,000 on the studio between 1986 and 1991.
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    • Even after Pixar started making features, they recognized the benefits that these small "experimental" films had for their bigger projects and continued making them.
    • According to Dave Mullin, the director of Lou, John Lasseter green-lit his pitch by saying "This looks like a pain in the ass to animate. Let's do it!"
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Spark Shorts, which, while continuing to progress computer animation technology, also wildly deviate from Pixar's usual visual style and techniques, including Motion Capture and even hand drawn animation.
  • Executive Meddling: Subverted. It's assumed that the decrease of the women's bust size in Knick-Knack is Disney executive censorship as usual, but John Lasseter and the studio actually made the decision to do so themselves.
    • Parodied in Your Friend the Rat, which ends with a prolonged legalistic crawl warning people that Pixar does not encourage people to have contact with rats. Remy and Emile object to the inclusion of this producer-imposed warning (which is Comically Missing the Point of their presentation) and even push the crawling words aside as best they can.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The original 1989 version of Knick Knack. Every official release of the short barring an out-of-print VHS is the altered 2003 version.
  • Permanent Placeholder: In Knick Knack, the "Blah Blah Blah" song during the credits was actually a result of vocalist Bobby McFerrin improvising. McFerrin, a vocalist famous for his A Cappella work, was hired by Pixar to compose and perform the soundtrack for the film. The work print he was given to compose over featured "blah blah blah" as a placeholder for the credits, and he ran with it. The folks at Pixar liked it so much that it made the final cut.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Bobby McFerrin, fresh off his success from "Don't Worry, Be Happy," did the music for Knick Knack.
  • Reality Subtext: Even before he was fired for sexual misconduct, John Lasseter faced harsh criticism for how unaccommodating he was of female employees at Pixar. What was the first short to come out after his firing? Purl, a short about a feminine employee trying to be accepted by an all-male, hyper masculine company.
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  • The Other Darrin: Condorman is voiced in Small Fry by Bob Bergen, as it was highly unlikely they would be able to get Michael Crawford to reprise his role for such a quick appearance.
  • Throw It In!: The reveal of a "Sunny Atlantis" in Knick Knack was improvised on the spot by one of the animators during a script reading.
  • Writer Revolt: The team were burned out after the monumental efforts made to get Tin Toy to work and had just seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit, leading to the creation of the slapstick-heavy Knick Knack. As John Lasseter put it, "We just wanted to make a cartoon!"
  • Write What You Know:
    • Knick Knack came from John Lasseter and his wife's tradition of buying a snow globe every time they went on vacation.
    • Small Fry came from director Angus MacLane's experiences working at a fast food restaurant's ball pit as a teen.
    • Sanjay's Super Team is based on director Sanjay Patel's childhood and his relationship with his father.
    • Purl is based on Kristen Lester's experiences of trying to fit in with the hyper-masculine and all-male staff when she first started at Pixar.


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