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Luxo Jr.More than one observer has said that Pixar seems to be working the kind of revolutionary magic Disney once did. And while most of us are familiar with Pixar blockbusters like "The Incredibles" and "Toy Story," many innovations first appeared in the studio's shorter works. Here's a glimpse at some of them.
In the first Pixar short, 1986's "Luxo Jr.," a baby lamp finds a ball to play with, and it's all fun and games until the ball bursts. When Pixarite John Lasseter, formerly of Disney, was learning how to make digital models, he chose the nearest, easiest subject: an architect's lamp on his desk. "Luxo Jr." was nominated for an Oscar.
Nighttime scenes used to be unusual in digitally animated films until Pixar set off to explore the territory in the 1987 short "Red's Dream." In it, a unicycle named Red faces life as the lone sale item in the clearance corner of Eben's Bikes.
The 1988 short "Tin Toy" marked the first time a character with lifelike bendable arms and knees, surfaces and facial components was animated digitally. The film won an Academy Award for best animated short.