DAY & NIGHT (2010) (****)
This endlessly clever short is one of the best produced by Pixar. Teddy Newton’s film features two 2D characters with a CG world alive in their bodies. One represents day and the other night. When Night sees the beautiful women sunbathing by the pool inside Day, a howl of jealousy bellows from him. He tries to take what day has, but every attempt shows that things that go on in the light are not the same in the dark.
For the most part, the short takes its setup and runs with it. The gags fly by at a clip. Just to get a taste, the short starts with a rooster crowing and Day waking. After a series of perfectly paced gags about his morning routine, the sequence ends with a stream appearing in a relieving place on Day’s body. What starts as an adversarial relationship between Day and Night turns toward the end as Night realizes that Day doesn’t have everything. The short ends up being a classic great short in the way it gets into its premise quick, keeps the pace fast and ends with a note of poignancy. At six minutes, it is driven by action, but the action reveals the personalities of the characters and even allows for growth.
On a technical note, the use of stereoscopic 3-D to create physical depth within the worlds inside the characters’ bodies is ingenious. For once, 3-D was actually used for a story purpose.