We’ve made it to Pixar review 20! Can you believe it? I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am enjoying watching/writing about them. I have particularly enjoyed the animated shorts as they can be unjustly ignored when people look at the Pixar legacy. Today we are talking about a very special comedic short called Lifted. It is one of the longer shorts and it gets some of the biggest laughs (and looks great too).
Lifted is a simple story about aliens- one alien to be exact. His name is Stu and he is in training to man the control board. He is being watched over by ‘Mr B’ who has a clipboard and seems to be giving him some kind of test. It reminds me of someone getting a test from the DMV.
I love the expression on Stu’s face as he knows he is failing in his test. Poor thing! The test is to get a human into the ship using the light beam. This was a clever twist on the classic sci-fi scenario because not only does he struggle to get zapped up but we actually want him to be abducted. Normally an alien taking a human would be scary but in this case we want Stu to succeed and get the guy from his bed!
I love how incredibly massive the control board is. How many features does this beam have?
All the shorts are very simple but Lifted is one of my favorites. It’s bright, colorful and very funny. Plus, I like Stu and his efforts to pass his test. When he cries it’s a very sweet moment. Let’s be honest- we’ve all been there trying desperately to pass a test or make an audition. We’ve all wanted to something so bad and yet all we do is screw it up.
I also really like the way Mr B and Stu move and look. It is bright but also translucent and very fluid. I read they came up with a new program called jiggle to create this look. “The animator can control how far out to resonate body movement, such as only within a limb, or stay away from specific parts of the body such as the face”. In the strong tradition of Pixar shorts creating new technology Lifted is no exception!
Lifted was first film directed by Gary Rydstrom who did the sound mixing and editing for most of the Pixar movies going all the way back to Luxo Jr. Naturally the sound design in Lifted is great with little details like the alarm and human reactions at the ending.
Have you seen Lifted? What do you think of it?
Overall Grade- A+