A Pixar feature wouldn’t be the same without a short attached to it. These shorts are innovative and beautiful stories from Pixar artists but are not a part of the animation studio’s brain trust. Often times these shorts are proving ground for new technologies that pave the way for upcoming features. These theatrical shorts are fun to watch nonetheless as they have the same charm and allure as any full-length Pixar flick, but just in fun size.
But it is a little bit different for Dante’s Lunch, a short used as an animation test for Coco which comes to us from Coco and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich. More on this story and watch the short below.
The news comes to us from Yahoo! who was the first to reveal the new short and chat with Unkrich about it. Again, while the short was created very early on in the animation process, it was done so with the intent to get a better sense of Dante. If you watched the Up bonus feature about man’s best friend, you’ll understand that the animation studio spares no expense in researching every little detail. Even if that detail is a dog’s movement and emotion. So it should be interesting to see if they went through the same process of researching dogs. But I digress, here’s what Unkrich told the site about releasing the short:
â€œWe just were really happy with how it came out and thought we would share it with the world as a little appetizer until the movie comes out.”
There is something that’s just fun about this short. It captures a culture that had yet to be explored by Pixar. From the music to the architecture, the short feels like a love letter to Mexico. To keep it true to the culture, the film uses a the Xolo (short for Xoloitzcuintli), which just so happens to be the national dog. Apparently the dog is a fixture in Aztec legend. Said Unkrich:
“It was said that in order to make the journey through the afterlife, you needed to have one of these Xolo dogs with you.”
At the heart of this short is Dante, Miguel’s dog, chasing after an elusive bone that does not want to be chewed on. So we get to see all sort of hilarious hijinks that involves Dante getting this bone to snack on. But the film appears to be so much more than that.
For those that don’t know, Coco follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion. Don’t forget to check out the heartwarming trailer.