Brave was a solid film, but one of the major things going against it wasn’t its own weakness. It was the fact that it had to follow, Pixar’s latest short film, La Luna. Pixar’s short films have almost been as successful as their feature films having won 3 Academy Awards. La Luna was eligible for last year’s Oscars, and although it did not win, it was nominated. La Luna may in fact be Pixar’s strongest film yet. The film is able to capture more in its seven minute run time than most feature films are able to capture in their entire duration.
La Luna follows the story of a young boy whose family is charged with cleaning the Moon. While this may seem simple, in the hands of Enrico Casarosa (who directed and wrote the film) it is anything but. Casarosa is able to form an engaging story and take it in many interesting directions. He also develops an in depth portrayal of family that has a touching conclusion. In many ways it even takes on a similar theme to Brave: finding your own destiny, and this film simply does it better. Yet the film doesn’t settle with hitting only these notes in the story. The ending of the film reveals that it had been a creation tale from the very beginning. It’s a nice twist and only makes you marvel even more at how much Casarosa was able to include.
While the story and script (although the dialogue is very minimalistic) are a major strength, the film really succeeds on Casarosa’s visual style. This film is simply beautiful and shows its beauty in unique ways. The animation is as close to perfect as you can get, and I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that that is one of the better-looking films (short or feature length) in Pixar’s history.
It also helps that this film has a top-notch sound crew (which help to establish the setting as much as the visual style does) and a dynamite score from Michael Giacchino. It’s a shame short films don’t get as much credit as feature length ones do because Giacchino’s score for the film will probably be lost in this year’s discussion. That is unfair because this score is up there as some of Giacchino’s best work in his acclaimed career.
Brave is worth a viewing in theaters only because it is the only place where you can see La Luna at this moment. This short film demands to be seen.