So 2014 was pretty much a bust for me doing reviews, but hey it’s a new year with new possibilities so in celebration of that I’m taking a look at this techno short from the folks at Pixar.
As I've said before I love that studios are going back to doing short subjects along with feature productions. Not only is it a nice nod to the classic animations of the golden years of the medium, but they also allow for exploration of characters and situations that wouldn’t be able to carry a feature length film. In the case of Rex in this short he is a comic relief character within the Toy Story cast, and as seen with something like Cars 2 having the comic relief trying to fill 80+ minutes of screen time is really hard. A six minute short though that works just fine. On the commentary there is talk about the idea of wanting to be accepted and Rex trying too hard to do so and only pushing his friends away in the process. Then with the bath toys of course Rex wants them to like him so he goes overboard with it. True to his nature he did mean well he wanted them to have fun and he could help them do so.
I love the idea of the bath toys adding yet another dimension to the universe with this style of toy we haven’t seen before. The kind that can’t move around as freely as the others, but still like to have fun just like the gang we know do. Also I love seeing the gang get knocked over by the wave of suds and bath water this short has great use of timing and a combination of silence and that upbeat soundtrack. The throwback to Toy Story 3 with Rex being the sea monster in Bonnie’s imagination with the other toys was great; as well as the ending where the pool toys want Rex to give them a rockin’ party too.
Now this being a Pixar production the animation is touch notch of course. Especially considering all the elements at play here that suck to render out in animation. It confirms in the commentary that bubbles are hard to do and the number of them was kept track of, water is hard, lighting for many different colours and sources is hard. Everything that could be a challenge in animation is here. Yet it all comes together from neat details in the background like Bonnie’s clay pressed hand prints on the wall to the great rave scene as the tub overflows and we get these quick cuts of characters and lights and motion. The fun colours here work for a younger audience, but the angles and speed of the lights timed with the techno music gives the short this great dance floor, or hyped up concert feeling that the older fans will connect to, and are obviously the primary target of the franchise that’s why Toy Story 3 is what it is. I appreciate that so much too having grown up with the Toy Story trilogy. Yes you want to keep it open to allow new audience members to join in, but those of us who have been here from the beginning haven’t been forgotten and that is just awesome.
So I would definitely recommend checking this short out. It’s great looking from textures to all the bubbles and the water elements. The music is fun. This idea of taking Rex this nervous nelley character out of his element and him wanting to be liked and having everything just go totally over the top in the process is great to see. Just like the bath toys have a great time at the party I have a great time watching the party.