Luxo Jr. ★★★½

Part of the Pixar Theatrical Shorts Project


In a matter of two years the leap in quality from André and Wally B. to one of Pixar's most iconic pieces of animation is staggering. The motion and style of their first attempt in 1984 was akin to something you would find on a Windows '98 children's game; a little jagged but still fun and done its job.

Luxo Jr upped the ante even further with a far smoother looking style that gave a semi-realistic look and a direct reference point by using household items. That made if feel closer to reality as this was something you have in your home somewhere, it's mimicking the world around you as you watch. Movement and comic timing are the two vital ingredients that transform this from just an impressive animation into something with an emotional attachment.

Which is one of the strengths that has enabled Pixar to build such a loyal following through carefully constructed stories. Like a rat that can cook, or a forgetful fish, it takes a special talent to turn an everyday lamp into a engaging object that reflects our bemusement and discovery of new things.

What makes Luxo Jr. that little bit cooler is the use of a Chick Corea (well his band Return to Forever) song The Game Maker. A slightly obscure jazz-fusion group who would go off the rails given half the chance. Strange, deranged jazz needs to stage a comeback. Who else is in?

Steven liked this review