970. The Blue Umbrella – Saschka Unseld

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SUMMARY: A blue umbrella amongst a sea of black umbrellas is enjoying a rainy night in the city when he falls for a red umbrella.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is one of Pixar’s most beautiful shorts and it was a major surprise when it missed out on an Oscar nomination. Paired with ‘Monsters University’, which it thoroughly upstaged, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ showcased new animation techniques in photorealistic lighting, shading and compositing. While there is a thin central storyline involving two umbrellas falling for each other during a rainstorm, this is largely a hook on which to hang the breathtaking visuals which depict a city overtaken by a torrential rainstorm. So immersive that you practically feel wet but cosy enough in mood to counteract that, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ brings a city secretly to life. For the most part there are human characters on screen but they are hidden beneath their umbrellas, oblivious to the many eyes that watch them from seemingly inanimate objects. Part of the film’s charm is how the story takes place just above the human element, a whole world literally going on over our heads.

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