Presto (2008)

8/10 by 310 users

Dignity. Poise. Mystery. We expect nothing less from the great turn-of-the-century magician, Presto. But when Presto neglects to feed his rabbit one too many times, the magician finds he isn't the only one with a few tricks up his sleeve!

Release Date:June 18, 2008
MPAA Rating:G
Genres:Animation, Family
Production Company:Pixar Animation Studios
Production Countries:United States of America
Director:Doug Sweetland
Writers:, , ,
Plot Keywords:stage, banjo, magic, bunny, rabbi, rope, pixar animated short, rescue, anger, magician
  • And for my next trick...
    September 21, 2008
    For the theatrical release of 'WALL•E (2008),' Pixar Studios continues that lovely time-honoured tradition of preceding the main feature with an amusing animated short. Not only that, but they've developed one of their best, second only to the mini-masterpiece that is 'Geri's Game (1997).' A hilarious throw-back to the classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons – such that we can almost envision Bugs in a starring role – 'Presto (2008)' concerns itself with the art of magic. When an uptight stage magician, Presto DiGiotagione, neglects to feed his hungry rabbit, Alec Azam, the malnourished pet mischievously decides to exact revenge on his owner, with the help of two magic hats and no shortage of dangerous backstage implements. Each time Presto attempts to pull the rabbit from his top hat, his hand emerges clutching all sorts of painful contraptions, from mouse traps to live electrical wires to an entire ladder. His performance already in tatters, the red-faced magician tries even harder to convince the rabbit to cooperate, his every action only making matters worse.
    'Presto' was directed by Doug Sweetland, a long-serving animator at Pixar, in his directorial debut. Entirely wordless, as most of Pixar's shorts are, the film relies on terrific visuals and sound effects to provide the humour, though this effort is notably less reliant on sound effects than the previous 'Lifted (2006)' {which, appropriately, was directed by sound effects whiz Gary Rydstrom}. Working with a simple scenario, 'Presto' begins with relatively minor sight gags, gradually upping the ante until all hell breaks loose on-stage, and the hapless magician finds himself strung high above the ground. Obviously, the audience finds all this utterly magnificent, and Presto – however battered and bruised – is only too happy to accept this gracious applause. Some may find all this to be rather mean-spirited, but certainly no more so than Bugs Bunny when he got Elmer Fudd in his sights, and children will definitely find the rabbit's hilarious antics to be uproariously entertaining. This is a delicious cinematic appetiser from the best in the business.