Most people think of Disney’s Pixar for its well-known feature films. And for good reason!
Pixar has established itself as a powerhouse in the animated film world. It has even produced eight Oscar winners in the past 15 years.
But one of the best things about seeing a Pixar film in theatres is seeing the original Pixar short film beforehand. These shorts are fantastic in their own right, and they tell remarkable stories.
So here, in no particular order, is the ultimate list of the best Pixar shorts made to date.
1. Lava (2014)
This short, which played before Inside Out, is perhaps one of the more controversial inclusions on this list. While some viewers loved the musical story of two volcanoes falling in love, others found it simply strange.
In the end, the film makes the cut because of the beautiful graphics and lyrical genius. Love it or hate it, Lava is certainly an iconic Pixar short film.
2. The Blue Umbrella (2013)
This short also departed somewhat from Pixar’s usual style, as it focused on realism, rather than cartoon-like animation. This makes the film the perfect vehicle for the bare-bones romantic story told in a rainy urban setting. These features make The Blue Umbrella on par with an indie piece like a Peter Spann film.
3. Day and Night (2010)
This short is another example of Pixar’s ability to tell both simple, earthly stories and complex metaphysical ones. In this story, the concept of day and night fight for dominance. They reach a beautiful resolution that tells a profound truth about our world.
Not to mention, the animators also experimented with some interesting strategies in this film. One of the best features was the unique juxtaposition of 2D and 3D animation in the same film.
4. Piper (2016)
One of Pixar’s more recent short films, Piper delivered unbelievably details and realistic graphics. Not only that, but the story itself also shared a meaningful exploration of the issues of morality, parenting, and overcoming setbacks.
5. For the Birds (2000)
For the Birds is one of Pixar’s earlier shorts, but it still holds up to this day. The humorous story is simple, but also engaging and memorable. It’s also amazing to be able to look back and see how breathtaking the animation was even at this point in Pixar’s development.
6. Bao (2018)
Pixar’s most recent short continues the company’s trend of tackling deep subject matter through metaphor and engaging story-telling. Through the story of a steamed bun that comes to life, the film manages to explore the joys and griefs that come with parenting. Bao is also the first of Pixar’s short films to be written and directed by a woman.
Enjoying the Best Pixar Short Films
While everything Pixar creates is fantastic, these 10 Pixar short films are unquestionably the best they’ve made to date.