Saturday, 19 September 2009

Doug Sweetland "Presto" (Pixar 2008)

No-one does CG better than Pixar and Presto is one of the studio's best shorts of recent years. Knockers of the large corporations should remember that the studio has brought the animated short back to commercial cinema. Made by Doug Sweetland, the movie is reminiscent of Tex Avery's 1952 "Magical Maestro" reviewed here a while back - and I shall resist making comparisons. The new film has that music hall feel as the conjuror, Presto DiGiotagione, prepares his rabbit for the show but makes the dreadful mistake of separating rabbit from carrot. There follows a duel of wits as the pair battle it out in full view of the audience. Tricks galore as disembodied hand emerges from hat to catch rabbit but instead grabs the lighting control to go literally live on stage. Removing his stinging fingers from the mousetrap lodged in his hat, the magician drops an egg into the hat only for it to emerge offstage by the rabbit to be spat out again into Presto's eye. It's fried egg shape rather than scrambled. Quickfire routines then with genuine wit and surprises. Funnily enough, the conjuror, for all his suffering at the hands of the rabbit, upstages the creature from the moment he enters his changing room, caged rabbit separated from carrot, and practices his routine with supercilious aplomb, a man just made for knocking down a peg or three, and losing his pants into the bargain. Bouts of vindictive cruelty from rabbit and man make for great entertainment. The crispness too of the animation, irrefutably Pixar, is ultra quality as is the visual humour as our man is tortured for the delight of a marvellously realised theatre and audience who lap it all up. The link is to an HQ version of the film that is full value for free. (I did attempt to guide viewers to a DVD of the film but failed to find one though I now understand it is a bonus with the WALL-E DVD.)

1 comment:

Bela said...

I love it!!!!!