I promised a bonus episode, and today, I’m delivering!
The last two days have involved the pre-movie material from the 1996 VHS print of Toy Story, and the 1999 VHS print of A Bug’s Life, both early Disney/Pixar collaborations. On the copy of A Bug’s Life, a new tradition was forged – a short film prior to the “feature presentation.” This was (and still is) common practice for theatrical releases today. This was the first short film to be featured prior to a Disney/Pixar movie, made in an effort to reinvigorate their short film series, which they had stopped to focus on their first feature length film, Toy Story.
“Geri’s Game” is the adorable, dialogue-free story of Geri, who plays an ultra-competitive game of chess against, of all people, himself.
Aside from some sounds from Geri, there is no dialogue, which was a common theme with these Pixar shorts. Released on November 24, 1997, eight years after Pixar’s first short, Knick Knack (which came before 2003’s Finding Nemo – and my personal favorite of the shorts I’ve seen), “Geri’s Game” won an Academy Award in 1998 for Best Animated Short Film. It was later tacked onto the beginning of the theatrical release of A Bug’s Life, exactly one year after its initial premiere.
To be honest, I had long-forgotten about the world’s most amazing chess game, played by the world’s most adorable animated old man. I purposely omitted it from yesterday’s article, as this really stands out on its own and deserves its own recognition. Hence, this bonus article.
The film is still attached to current prints of A Bug’s Life, and it has become common practice to attach short films to the beginning of both Disney and Disney/Pixar’s films.
Someone had to set the standard, and that someone was Geri.
I hope you enjoy this short film as much as I did.
Have a great weekend!