In addition to the theatrically released short “Presto” Pixar and Disney have decided to include an additional short on the WALL-E DVD and Blu-Ray releases. They did this with Tow Mater and the Ghostlight on Cars to great effect. Here WALL•E is partnered with BURN•E.
What BURN•E does differently than most other Pixar shorts is it inserts itself into the story of the main movie, in this case WALL•E. So it really helps if you’ve seen WALL•E first. In fact, it’s practically a requirement. You see part of the short from perspective of the main characters in WALL•E as the story takes place, but mostly you follow BURN•E as he faces his sysiphean task in the background of the larger conflict.
“Humor usually comes about when result doesn’t match the expectation,” says Director Angus MacLane. “If everything in an characters’ life goes well it’s hard to relate to and probably not as funny.”
It’s a cute idea and MacLane really pulls it off well. As an Animator, Angus MacLane has contributed significantly to Pixar Animation Studios’ short and feature length films since his arrival at the studio in 1997. In addition to WALL•E and BURN•E, MacLane has worked on various award-winning Pixar films, such as Geri’s Game, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, For The Birds, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo. For his work on The Incredibles, he was awarded the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation. MacLane also supervised the animation on the Academy Award-nominated animated short film, One Man Band.
If you watch closely “there are a few small nods here and there to various sci-fi properties.” said MacLane. “I won’t go through all of them, but I will mention that there is a graphic on the elevator inside the Axiom that reads “ELV 426″ indicating that this is elevator number four hundred and twenty-six. This is of course (pushing my glasses up on my nose) a reference to LV-426 the planet that is the setting of the movie Alien and Aliens.”
One of the details I like is how BURN•E hums “Ode To Joy” to himself as he’s making the first repair. They’re able to bring that back full circle at the end of the short very effectively.
Stay tuned for a full review of the DVD in the next couple days.