Last week, in class, we screened Toy Story 2 and talked about the growth of Pixar Animation Studios.  We discussed how Pixar has continued to create interesting story lines and make things come alive.  In addition to Toy Story 2, we have previously enjoyed their short Luxor Jr. which portrayed the relationship between parent and child through the use of desk lamps.  As stated before, Pixar makes everything come to life and have an active personality that entrances their viewers.  They always leave us wanting more and I mean that in a good way!  It is because of this that the animation studio has grown like wild fire.  This week I want to draw attention to another one of their shorts by the name of Tin Toy.  The short ties in beautifully with Toy Story 2 because it is about toys.  Also, the short encompasses what we talked about in class.  We were asked what a toy’s worst fear was and many responded with “being broken,” but nobody mentioned getting slobbered on by a baby!  Tin Toy successfully portrays the natural curiosity and simplistic nature possessed by babies.

Seven years before the release of their first full-length feature film Pixar released their fourth animated short entitled Tin Toy.  The short takes place in what appears to be a family’s living room and stars a tin toy named Tinny and a baby named Billy.  Tinny, as you can see in the clip, is a one-man band toy who originally hopes to be played with.  His excitement, however, soon turns into fear after seeing Billy destructively playing with toys.  Billy, like most babies, is curious and puts everything in his mouth.  This particular portion of the short really portrays the curiosity of babies.  In real life you have to keep a constant eye on babies once they learn to crawl because they are explorers and love to put anything they can get their hands on in their mouth.  Pixar captured this innocent inquisitiveness very well.

The next portion of the clip captures how children can find joy from even the simplest of things.  After watching another toy become taste-tested Tinny decides to retreat.  As he ventures off in the opposite direction he makes noise that draws Billy’s attention.  The baby waddles after Tinny and eventually falls when Tinny makes it to safety under the couch.  Under the couch Tinny is joined with several terrified toys that have previously ran from the child.  Billy bursts into tears and Tinny feels obligated to help him and comes out of hiding.  Tinny successfully cheers up the baby but quickly becomes ignored when Billy acknowledges an empty box and a bag (which has the original square logo of Pixar on it).  Billy starts to play with it and shows how easily a child can be entertained.  This holds true to real life because often children like to create their own world and empty containers become morphed into spaceships, castles, and boats.

I thought it was interesting to reflect back on a short that tied in so nicely with what we talked about in class.  Also, reflecting on the short allows everyone to see how far Pixar has come since 1988.  It was interesting to see one of Pixar’s first attempts at animating people.  They have continued to develop greatly in this particular aspect of their drawing.  While, the baby’s personality is captured, its appearance is less aesthetically pleasing in comparison to the toys.  In a way, this adds to Tin Toy because it enhances a sense of fear amongst the playthings.  With that said if you compare Tin Toy to Toy Story you can clearly see the strides Pixar has made when animating people.  The differences between the short and the full-length film are astounding.  The colors are brighter, personalities are stronger, and there is a lot more going on.  During a period of seven years, between the release of Tin Toy and the original Toy Story, Pixar has made an astonishing amount of progress.  The animators at Pixar have successfully been captivating audiences longer than I have been alive which I’m sure is a trend that will continue.

I commented on Bonnie & Danyael’s blogs.

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