Pixar Review 32: The Blue Umbrella

blue umbrella3Well guys I did it!  With this review of The Blue Umbrella I will have seen and reviewed all the original Pixar shorts (that is until Sanjay’s Super Team comes out in November).  I hope you have enjoyed these reviews as shorts are too often ignored or forgotten by the average filmgoers.   I will post a ranking later this week of all the Pixar shorts but start thinking about what your favorites are and share in the comments below.

Anyway, back to the Blue Umbrella.  This is one of the Pixar shorts I would put in the ‘technology advancing’ category.   Like Luxo Jr or some of the early shorts the story is pretty simple but it is the animation which makes it stand out.  I think it is pretty safe to say it is the most realistic looking animation I’ve ever seen.blue umbrella4This photorealism  was a result of a new rendering system called Global Illumination and I think it could be very exciting for the future of CG animation.  I particularly wonder if they’ve used the technology in the new Jungle Book movie which I’ve heard from more than one source the trailer had the most realistic CG animals they’ve ever seen.

THE BLUE UMBRELLAThe Blue Umbrella is a simple story of a red and blue umbrella who fall in love and get separated on a rainy day in a big city.    That’s all there is to it.

The music by Jon Brion with Sarah Jaffe vocals adds a lot to the story because like most Pixar shorts there is no dialogue.

In many ways it is a lot like the hat short in Make Mine Music.  In my review of that I said “The whole thing is strange.  I can feel for ducks, mice, parrots but hats…”.  The same thing goes for umbrellas.  I guess I just don’t have that great of an imagination to get into umbrellas falling in love (or hats).

blue umbrella2But I do think the music in The Blue Umbrella is much better than the Andrews Sisters (they are fun but kind of corny).

That said, the animation is what is really special in this short.  It’s really quite stunning.  Here is a little clip of it to give you a feel:

What do you think of The Blue Umbrella?  What is your favorite Pixar short?

Overall Grade- B

14 thoughts on “Pixar Review 32: The Blue Umbrella

    1. Different tastes in music I guess. It’s fun for nostalgia sake to hear Andrews Sisters but not my cup of tea.

    1. I can say I’ve also never felt so emotional over an umbrella in my life ;). It’s a sweet short

  1. This just feels too simple. I get the impression whoever came up with this felt that at this point Pixar could wring any amount of emotion and praise from their shorts just by throwing light sentimentality at us.

    But as my father said when the credits rolled on it in the theater: “A LOT of people worked on this…”

    1. Ha. That’s a good attitude to have at end of movie. I’d say it’s cool to look at but in the end kind of forgettable. But the technology is kind of exciting and it’s cute enough. Definitely not one of my favorites

  2. I enjoyed this short and I’ll say was likely the perfect one to play before Monster’s University. Anyway, great review again!

    1. Yeah it’s very cute. Just out of curiosity why do you think it was a good match for MU?

      1. I just do! I just thought it was cool that they picked this one, you know? Anyway!

  3. Agreed! And speaking of which, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on MU. To be continued, eh?

    1. I’m not sure when I will get to it because my sister is coming into town tomorrow and isn’t super into movies but will try. I really like it! Especially how Mike learns a unique lesson about his dream maybe not being the right path for him. That’s unique in kids film

  4. Well first of all you’ve inspired me to do my own Pixar canon reviews (which I’ll be working on this summer)!

    About this short, I saw it yesterday for the first time and I must say I loved it. As you mentioned the animation was just gorgeous and everything was so detailed. I also loved the music, which really adds to the atmosphere of the short.

    What struck me most, though, was the little touches on the different things throughout the city, like the metal grating, the stop light, etc. They all smiled or frowned corresponding with what was going on in the short, which I thought was just brilliant. The animators used the bolts on the stoplight for eyes, which was really unique.

    Overall, definitely more an artistic short, and it is definitely paper-thin on story, but I enjoyed it. It was simple and sweet and the soundtrack was lovely.

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