Presto – The Pixar Short Of The Week

Pixar Short Films Collection, Pixar Short of the Week, Presto, Short Film, Shorts

Posted by Nia • November 23, 2018

This week’s Pixar Short that was hand picked by Twitter followers in our latest poll is the underrated “Presto”! The short premiered in front of WALL-E back in 2008.

The film tells a simple story of famed and ever-so-dapper magician named Presto Digiotagione and his gorgeous white rabbit Alec Azam. The short starts in Preto’s dressing room as we’re introduced to Alec, who is unfortunately locked in his cage. His stomach begins to roar like a tiger; it’s clear he’s famished and eyeing the carrot that’s obviously out of reach. After several failed attempts to scoot his cage in the direction of the carrot and finally get his snack, Presto enters the dressing room and foils Alec’s plans of satisfying his hunger.

When Presto realizes it’s almost time for him to be on stage, he quickly starts preparing for his magic show. He makes sure all the locks are shut on his door and eyes his dressing room suspiciously before unlocking his dresser revealing his, drum-roll please, magic hats. His act is based off two hats that are linked to each other, one that is shaped like Sorcerer Mickey’s hat from Fantasia and the other like your standard black magicians’s hat. Whoever, or whatever, is wearing the sorcerer hat, Presto can reach his hand through his magician’s hat to pull the object or animal through, thus completing his bit. It’s clear when the show starts, Alec is fed up and just wants his snack. This causes Presto’s act to not go as planned as he desperately tries to get Alec to put the sorcerer’s hat on so he can pull Alec through his magician’s hat. Instead, what proceeds is a slew of comical bits where instead of Alec coming through the magician’s hat it’s an egg to Presto’s face, Presto’s hand stuck in a mouse trap, a ladder flying through and hitting Presto where it hurts, and even Presto himself as he survives a death defying stunt at the end resulting in Alec’s refusal to listen to him. Albeit his show looking like a disaster for Presto he ends up delivering one of the most exhilarating magic acts of his career. In the end, despite things going awry, Alec gets his carrot and Presto gets even more acclaim.

This short is one of my all-time favorites. What draws me to it each time is the fact that it pays homage to all the great shorts that came before it; from Looney Tunes to the classic Tom and Jerry episodes, the inspiration is obvious in the gags that pull the story from beginning to end. You could even say that Alec, with his motivations and character design, is a modern day Bugs Bunny. “Presto” thrives in gags that bring the plot forward and help carry the story; it’s clear that the set-up is going to be Alec wanting his carrot and doing anything to get it, even if it means embarrassing Presto and ruining his career. Each gag is escalated the more that Alec doesn’t get what he wants and in return there is never a dull moment.

Some fun tidbits about “Presto”:

  • I love the fact that Presto himself was modeled after my favorite actor William Powell. His physicality and charm (even at Presto’s worse moments) throughout the short is based off the actor. You could even see a little bit of Nick Charles from The Thin Man in Presto’s mannerisms throughout the short.

  • Pete Docter and his team actually re-used the theater that’s seen in Presto for the newsreel in the opening of Up. The stage that Charles Muntz reveals the skeleton on is the same one seen in the short.

  • If you look on the second balcony all the way on the left you will be able to see two iconic characters from the Muppets watching Presto’s magic show: Satler and Waldorf. I wonder what they thought of the performance…

  • “Presto” was nominated for Best Animated Short Subject at the 36th Annie Awards and was also nominated for Best Animated Short Film. Despite Presto not winning any awards, it was still well received and is even more beloved today.

If you haven’t seen “Presto” before or you would like a well deserved re-watch, you can check out the short below:

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Weird: Presto Magically Duplicates Himself?


Posted by Martin • November 18, 2009

Remember The Little Cars, What’s Up? or Ratatoing, those bizarre Pixar knock-offs which got major attention for being so unintentionally hilarious?

Well here’s a change of pace. Instead of totally ripping an idea straight out of a Pixar trailer and butchering it to death, someone was out to literally mimic one of the studio’s final products. At least that’s what was recently attempted with Pixar’s 2008 theatrical short Presto.

But don’t get concerned too quickly! We don’t really know who produced this "remake" or for what purpose. All we know is that it was made in China and features the same soundtrack (complete with effects) as Presto. It could’ve just been a student assignment (which would be admirable in this case) and nothing in the vein of embarrassing "Pixaren’t" films, as Lee Unkrich put it.

I just find it very peculiar that this short is almost identical to Pixar’s Presto in regards to staging, design, and animation. It’s a big change from the familiar DVD releases we "magically" get right before certain blockbuster animated films are released. All in all, it lacks that signature Pixar touch and would almost certainly never be mistaken for the Lamp’s work. You can watch it now on YouTube.

What are your thoughts on this strange Presto clone?

(via SlashFilm)

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Snazzy: Alec Azam Plush from Presto Available for Purchase Now!

Merchandise, Presto

Posted by Martin • March 3, 2009

Alec Azam, the mischievous magical rabbit from Pixar’s recent short film Presto, is now out for purchase!

This plush was made exclusively for the Pixar Studio Store but you can purchase it through for $29.99 USD! Alec has been made available to the general public in celebration of Presto’s Academy Award nomination and of course, for the upcoming Easter holiday. Get the toy now before it dissapears into a magical hat and back to the Pixar exclusive store.

To purchase, type keyword "Presto" into the search bar at Disney Shopping.

Would you like to see more Pixar Studio Store exclusives available for a limited time? Speak out in the comments section.

(Thanks, Jason)

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The 81st Annual Academy Awards and Pixar [UPDATED LIVE]

Academy Awards, Andrew Stanton, Awards, Jim Morris, Pixar, Presto, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • February 22, 2009

Welcome, Pixar fans everywhere! Today is February 22nd, 2009, and you know what that means: it’s the long awaited Academy Awards, the biggest movie event of the year.

Let’s recap, Pixar was nominated 7 times this year, 6 for WALL•E and 1 for Presto! Here’s a list of the Pixar specific nominations.

The awards season culminates on this one event, and now it’s the moment of truth. Good luck Andrew Stanton and company!

Note: When Pixar wins an award, is mentioned or featured, it will be posted below in real time.


Awards Count: 1

Winner: Here are the Pixar winners from tonight’s awards.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: WALL•E (Andrew Stanton)


Passed: Only nominated.
Best Original Screenplay: WALL•E  (Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter)
Best Animated Short Film: Presto (Doug Sweetland)
Best Sound Editing: WALL•E (Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood)
Best Sound Mixing: WALL•E (Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score): WALL•E (Thomas Newman)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song): WALL•E (Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman)

Chatter: What’s happening on the red carpet and at the awards? All times are EST.
7:40Peter Gabriel, nominated for Best Song (Down to Earth) just showed up on the red carpet and talked to E!. This begs the question, since he isn’t performing, who is?
7:50– A quick shot of John Lasseter and co. on TV Guide, awaiting an interview…
8:00– Official red carpet coverage is now on LIVE on ABC.
8:25Michael Giacchino, composer of The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, and of the 2009 Oscars, was featured in clips from an interview with designers and planners of the show.
8:30– Ceremony starts hosted by Hugh Jackman.
8:55– An excerpt of Andrew StantonJim Reardon and Pete Docter‘s screenplay for WALL•E was shown for original Screenplay, it was the lighter shot. Milk won.
9:00– An awesome montage featuring our favorite little robot chronicled the top animated movies today featuring Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, Horton Hears A Who, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Space Chimps and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
– In some funny news, Jack Black (presenter of Best Animated) told us how he makes money. He voices a role in a DreamWorks movie and bets all that money at the Oscars for a Pixar movie, the audience including Jeffrey Katzenberg laughed!
9:10WINNER! Although WALL•E threw away the Oscar over a video tape in the video, it was that film that took home the award. Andrew Stanton got up and accepted thanking Jim Morris, Lindsey Collins, John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs among others.
9:25- A montage of romance in movies of 2008 featured WALL•E prominently with 4 clips chronicling WALL•E and EVE‘s love story! "Evah", "Waaaaall-e"
9:40– Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull was featured in the Sci-Tech Awards recap. Jessica Biel called it like it is, Catmull is the god of CGI! The camera focused in on him hearing the praise two times. He really deserves the nod considering he pioneered CGI, and where we would we be if he hadn’t?
10:30WALL•E clips are shown during the Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing nomination roll call. The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire win respectively. I don’t get it, WALL•E was supported by sound, but oh well…
10:40Define Dancing played on top of the montage for legendary actor Jerry Lewis.
10:50– Composer and Pixar regular, Michael Giacchino directed tracks from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Defiance, Milk, Slumdog Millinaire and WALL•E. Specifically WALL•E’s Define Dancing. A.R. Rahman won for Slumdog.
11:00John Legend takes the stage with the Soweto Gospel Choir in place of Peter Gabriel to sing Down to Earth among A.R. Rahman in a medley of Slumdog Millionaire and WALL•E songs. Jai Ho from Slumdog won. On a better note, John Legend did a pretty great job on Down to Earth.
That’s it for the Pixar awards. The Best Picture award winner is Slumdog Millionaire!
But there’s more Pixar at the Oscars…
11:55– They played a short clip of Up during the credits (where Pixar was mentioned numerous times) in a montage of upcoming 2009 films.
12:00– In the final disclaimer, they played a track from Ratatouille, End Creditouilles by Michael Giacchino.
The end– Pixar was VERY well represented this year!

My thoughts: Congratulations to all the winners, especially Andrew Stanton on his second Academy Award and this extremely successful awards season!! Also, I wish to congratulate all of the Pixar nominees: for WALL•E Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter, Ben Burtt, Tom Myers, Mathew Wood, Michael Semanick, composer Thomas Newman, singer/songwriter Peter Gabriel, for Presto Doug Sweetland, and of course everyone who made these films possible! Congratulate the winners and let us know how you feel in the comments section below.


Don’t forget: It was announced that during the Oscars telecast a trailer for Pixar’s next movie Up will run, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Details here.
Sounds like Disney decided to play a trailer for the Touchstone film The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock. It’s quite disappointing that they changed their mind about an Up trailer, unless it was misreported, at least they played a short clip from the movie during the end credits of the awards show.

Where to watch on TV: The 81st Annual Academy Awards will play today (2/22/09) on ABC, live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, starting at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST.
For international viewers, please check your local listings.

Keep it here for chatter about red carpet appearances as well as my opinion on Pixar and other awards!
Readers, feel free to comment on anything interesting going on during the telecast or to predict and congratulate the winners!

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Presto Back In Theatres; Doug Sweetland Talks Newly Oscar Nominated Short

Academy Awards, Presto

Posted by Martin • February 6, 2009

Briefly: The latest Pixar short to be nominated for an Academy Award*, Presto, will be making rounds in the Magnolia and Shorts International’s 2009 Oscars Nominated Shorts festival.

Director Doug Sweetland took the time to sit down with to talk about the production. The interview takes you through pre-production all the way to release with highlights from Annecy and early forms of the short.

Read the full interview here.

Good luck to Doug Sweetland and everyone at Pixar on their Oscar nominations!

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Seven Nominations for Pixar at the Oscars

Academy Awards, Awards, Presto, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • January 22, 2009

And the nominees are…
Today, Oscars nominations were announced with WALL•E recieving a total of 6 nominations plus one for Presto! The categories are as follows:

Best animated feature film of the year
* “Bolt” (Walt Disney), Chris Williams and Byron Howard
* “Kung Fu Panda” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
* “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel

Achievement in sound editing
* "WALL-E" (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood

Achievement in sound mixing
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney),Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt

Original screenplay
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

And Presto:
Best animated short film
* “La Maison en Petits Cubes” A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato
* “Lavatory – Lovestory” A Melnitsa Animation Studio and CTB Film Company Production, Konstantin Bronzit
* “Oktapodi” (Talantis Films) A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production, Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand
* “Presto” (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Doug Sweetland
* “This Way Up”, A Nexus Production, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

I think WALL•E’s a shoe-in for Animated feature and has big promise in the sound and music categories, I also really hope it wins Best screenplay! In the shorts department, Presto is a big contendor although Oktapodi was great too.

I am extremely proud of WALL•E’s 6 nominations (the most ever for an animated film aside from Beauty and the Beast’s 6), even though it got snubbed from Best Picture, you have to be greatful that the Academy is recognizing this risky, bold and highly entertaining masterpiece!

Congratulations, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Ben Burtt, Thomas Newman, Doug Sweetland and everyone at Pixar!

View the full list of nominees here. The winners for 81st Annual Academy Awards will be announced February 22nd, 2009 live from the Kodak Theatre on ABC.

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Nine Noms for Pixar at 36th Annual Annie Awards

Annie Awards, Awards, Pixar, Presto

Posted by Martin • December 1, 2008

This year Pixar has some tough competition at the 36th Annual Annie Awards with an unprecedented 17 nominations for Kung Fu Panda, 8 for WALL•E, and 5 for Bolt. Note some of the Kung Fu Panda nominations are repeats in the same category. The top prize will be given to one of the following five animated features (each very deserving): Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, $9.99, WALL•E or Waltz with Bashir.

Here are the noms for WALL•E:
Best Animated Feature (Pixar Animation Studios)
Best Animated Video Game (THQ)
Animated Effects (Enrique Vila)
Character Animation in a Feature Production
 (Victor Navone)
Directing in an Animated Feature Production (Andrew Stanton)
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production (Ralph Eggleston)
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production (Ronnie Del Carmen)
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production (Ben Burtt)

Presto also got a nom:
Best Animated Short Subject (Pixar Animation Studios)

That brings the awards total to 9 nominations for Pixar. Remember, just because WALL•E didn’t get as many nominations doesn’t mean our favorite little robot won’t come out on top…
Check out the full list of nominees at the official Annie Awards website. The winners will be announced January 30th, 2009. Congratulations to everyone at Pixar and good luck!

P.S. This year John Lasseter took home the Winsor McKay award along with Mike Judge and Nick Park "for career contributions to the art of animation."

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Presto Round-up

Presto, Round-Ups

Posted by Martin • September 20, 2008

Presto news just in:

Following in a long line of Pixar Little Golden Books is Presto! The book is based on the Pixar short of the same name with illustrations by Teddy Newton, character designer on the 5 minute knee slapper. You can order it on for $2.99, and judging from past Pixar-related LG Books it’s definitely worth every penny.

(via Cartoon Brew)

Presto producer Richard Hollander talks to Variety about the story process at Pixar… or how he still doen’t get the craziness that goes on in the story department! The article includes a few quotes from last month’s SIGGRAPH, it also showcases how Pixar has been making hits since 1995’s Toy Story.

(via Variety)

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WALL•E Region 2, November 24th

BURNE, DVD, Merchandise, Presto, WALL-E

Posted by Martin • August 22, 2008

DVD Monthly UK reveals the special features included in the Region 2 release of WALL•E as well as the release date, November 24th!

This release will include:

  • Presto’ Theatrical Short 
  • BURN•EDVD Exclusive Short
  • Up’ Teaser Trailer 
  • Audio Commentary With Director Andrew Stanton 

    Special features include: Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds from the Sound Up. A featurette with Ben Burtt speaking about hsi sound design and classic Disney sound design.It’ll also include two deleted scenes: Garbage Airlock and Dumped.

  • For more details on all of the features including the US only WALL•E Tour of the Universe (featuring Auto) read here.

    Note: This is pertaining to the one disc Region 2 release of the WALL•E DVD.

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    WALL•E Home Video Jam-Packed, Details *UPDATE*

    Blu-Ray, BURNE, DVD, Presto, WALL-E

    Posted by Martin • August 20, 2008 announced today that WALL•E would be receiving 4 home video releases. The first being a one disc DVD including a directors commentary, Presto & BURN•E, and Up trailer, deleted scenes, a sound design featurette, and ‘WALL•E‘s Tour of the Universe’ all for $29.99.

    Additionally there will be a three disc DVD release with all of the above plus additional deleted scenes, making of featurettes, BnL shorts, The Pixar Story documentary, ‘WALL•E‘s Treasures and Trinkets’, the ‘Lots of Bots’ storybook, and a DisneyFile digital copy all selling for $39.99.

    There will also be two Blu-ray releases with the above besides Disney File, plus Cine-Explore, BURN•E picture-in-picture, Axiom Arcade, Geek Track and the BD Live feature going for $35.99. The most complete release is the 3 disc WALL•E Blu-ray, which includes all of the above plus a DisneyFile digital copy.

    *Now that there is no more competition from HD DVD, upcoming Disney DVD’s should have more features, but remember, this may not last too long because Pixar is willing to move into the future. These promising Blu-Ray and DVD releases are expected to be in stores November 18th, and the official press release should be out this Friday, August 22nd confirming these details.

    Thanks, Jibiti from the Pixar Planet Forums for pointing this out!

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