The Adventures of André & Wally B. (or just André & Wally B.) is a 1984 short CGI film produced by the Lucasfilm Graphics Group (which would eventually form into Pixar after George Lucas sold the division to Steve Jobs), directed and written by Alvy Ray Smith, and animated by John Lasseter.
The plot is wafer thin. One morning in a forest, a little man named André is waking up. Soon, Wally appears and starts taunting him. André points the other way and, with Wally temporarily distracted, runs off. Wally quickly catches on and chases André, and eventually stings him. Wally flies off victorious, but André throws his hat at him offscreen.
Being such an early CGI film, there were many challenges in getting it made. It was rendered using a 13,000,000$ Cray X-MP/48 supercomputer provided by Cray Research and ten VAX-11/750 superminicomputers from Project Athena, the fastest and most advanced computers in the world at the time—which wasn't saying a lot. The modeling program used at the time could only produce simple geometric primitive shapes (cones, cubes, spheres, cylinders, patches, lines, etc.) in spite of John Lasseter wanting a flexible pear shape for André's body, and Wally B.'s feet, as is found in most cartoon characters—Ed Catmull eventually managed to create a teardrop shape that was achieved by using two spheres cut in half and made in different sizes and the computer filled in the section in the middle, and Ed put in the controls to make it distort and bend in different ways. And on top of that, there was no way to output the animation directly onto film, so Craig Good had to photograph an actual computer monitor calibrated with the film playing it frame by frame to get it onto a print. And due to the big deadline, the crew forgot to get the cartoon finished in time for its premiere at SIGGRAPH in 1984, showing it with parts still in wireframe form—regardless, it was met with superb reception there, and the film was ultimately completed anyway for the Toronto International Animation Festival.
The film is notable for being the first attempt in CGI to use Squash & Stretch animation techniques and create non-geometric shapes that could do that in CG, and also for its then-complex 3D backgrounds with a particle system for the leaves, and the cartoon was lit like a Maxfield Parrish painting. It included on the 1993 CGI short film anthology Imaginaria, and, owing to the staff behind it, it is also nominally considered to be the first of the Pixar Shorts.
- All-CGI Cartoon: One of the earliest, if not the first, attempts to make a CGI film with a cartoon-like aesthetic.
- Ambiguously Human: André. It's hard to tell what he is.
- Ambiguous Robot: Many sources claim that André is an android. Though it's not certain if they're official or not.
- Artistic License Biology: Per Rule of Funny, Wally B.'s stinger is merely crumpled up after stinging André, as opposed to detaching his stinger like a real life bee would.
- Aside Glance: When André tricks Wally into looking the other way, he smugly looks at the viewers before taking off.
- Bee Afraid: André reacts with fear at the sight of Wally B. Then again, you'd be scared too if a giant bee with a stinger as long as your nose flew up to you.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Wally B. has a ridiculously large stinger, which he ends up using on André.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Wally B. is far larger than any real life bee, and is almost as big as André's head.
- Cartoon Creature: André's species is completely indeterminate.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: While its crew would go on to form Pixar, this first film was actually done as a project for Lucasfilm. Also, for a company that has "Story is King." as its mantra, it's somewhat odd that their very first film has no plot to speak of. (Granted, at the time, just having something resembling characters and a plot at all was considered impressive for a CGI film.)
- Floating Limbs: Wally B.'s legs float independently of his body.
- Four-Fingered Hands: André has these, as part of his design being a Mickey Mouse homage.
- Gag Nose: André's nose is very big. Wally B. takes notice of it and messes with it like it's a doorstopper.
- Irony: André has a bee on his t-shirt, even though his tormentor ends up being a bee.
- Jiggle Physics: Oddly enough, in André's nose of all places, and his hat wiggles like jello too.
- Look Behind You: André uses this tactic to distract Wally B. so he can make a break for it.
- Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: There is no dialogue, and the story is told entirely through pantomime and music.
- Motion Blur: This short was notably the very first one to use it in CGI.
- Non-Indicative Name: André and Wally B. don't really go on any adventures in the two minutes the film runs.
- No Plot? No Problem!: There is no plot. The film starts with André waking up, and then trying and failing to get away from Wally B. Still one of the most important films in the history of animation and CGI.
- Oh, Crap!: André jolts up and shakes with fear at the sight of Wally B..
- Off Like a Shot: Wally B. takes off after André like this once he realises he's been tricked.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Almost all of the film's soundtrack is made of two Public Domain music cues; the opening cue and second half of the film are from Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville, and the Spring section of Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons is used for the credits.
- Punny Name: Wally B., who is a bee.
- Rubberhose Limbs: André is designed like this, or at least as close as you could get within the limitations of CGI in 1984.
- Scenery Porn: The opening gives us a breathtaking establishing shot of the forest André is sleeping in. Per Word of God, there are 46,254 trees in it, and every single one of them is designed differently from each other!
- Short Film: The film is only two minutes long.
- André's appearance is based on the Plane Crazy design of Mickey Mouse. His laugh sounds like Donald Duck's, and he also bellows a scream that sounds like Goofy at the end.
- André's name is a tribute to the 1981 film My Dinner with Andre.
- The lighting styles and colors were inspired by the works of painter and illustrator Maxfield Parrish.
- Sphere Eyes: Both André and Wally B. have these.
- Stock Scream: André lets out a hi-pitched Goofy Holler when Wally stings him.
- The Twelve Principles of Animation: Notably, this was the very first CGI film to employ the classic Squash and Stretch techniques employed in older cartoons.
- The Voiceless: Neither of the characters are given dialogue. André only gives a snicker when tricking Wally and a holler at the end.
- Weaponized Headgear: Downplayed. André throws his hat at Wally B. in retaliation for stinging him in the end, which sends the bee reeling away.
- White Gloves: André wears a pair of these.