Day And Night Short Film Analysis Essay

Two side of the coin, day and night, appear as characters and look on at one another in awe and jealousy. That sounds like the simple of this latest Pixar short, appearing before Toy Story 3, but it's got a lot more sophistication, humor, and nuttiness going on than most other Pixar shorts. It also does something I've never seen from the production company: they have 2D, traditional hand-drawn animation! Sort of. Well, what happens is we see a landscape of day, and night, and they're in the traditional Pixar computer-animation. But then two figures, who are kind of blobs with eyes and noses and mouths, appear as the day and night fill up their bodies? This is less confusing than it sounds: like other Pixar shorts it takes an idea and runs with it, feeling complete as a story. But this time, as a difference, there's some smarter, edgier humor even than usual (and I've seen plenty from these shorts). Best is when the 'Night' figure looks on at 'Day' as a bunch of girls in bikinis (and one just sunning herself) are by a pool, but then when he/it looks on him/itself, the pool is closed. Also great is how a radio station and broadcast is used, sounding like it's out of the Twilight Zone. It's an ingenious little movie.

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Not to be confused with Knight and Day.

Day & Night is a Pixar animated short film, directed by Teddy Newton and produced by Kevin Reher.[1] It was packaged to be shown in theaters before Toy Story 3,[2] and has been released to purchase on iTunes in the United States.[3] Unlike most other Pixar shorts, the animation style combines 2D and 3D elements,[4] and Up production designer Don Shank says it is "unlike anything Pixar has produced before".[5]


Day & Night follows two characters, Day and Night. Inside Day is a day scene with a sun in the center, and inside Night is a night scene with a moon in the center. Whatever goes on inside of Day or Night expresses normal events that typically occur within a day or night, respectively, and these events often correspond with actions or emotions or actions that Day or Night express. For example, when Day is happy he will have a rainbow inside him, and when Night is happy he will have fireworks inside him.

Day and Night meet and at first are uneasy about each other. They are dismissive of each other because each perceives the other as being different, and their prejudices result in a physical altercation between the two. However, as the characters discovers the many fascinating events that occur in each other, they learn to appreciate them, and learn to like one another. At the end of the film, the Sun descends in Day and rises in Night, so that when the Sun is at the same height above the horizon in each, both characters appear to be identical. As the Sun continues its course, Day becomes Night, and Night becomes Day.


The short uses a novel effect of combining 2D and 3D animation. The outlines of both characters are hand drawn and animated in 2-D, while the scenes inside their silhouettes are rendered in 3D;[6] the use of a masking technique allows the 2D characters to be windows into a 3D world inside them.[2] The Day & Night is Pixar's second short film to be partially animated in 2D, after Your Friend the Rat.

The voice used in this short is from Dr. Wayne Dyer and was taken from a lecture he gave in the 1970s. The director of the movie incorporated the ideas taken from Dyer's lecture to show that the unknown can be mysterious and beautiful, and need not be something to fear, which is echoed by a similar speech by Albert Einstein,[7] who said, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious".[8] Pixar honored Dyer by providing him with a private screening of the film.[9]

Fear of the unknown. They are afraid of new ideas. They are loaded with prejudices, not based upon anything in reality, but based on … if something is new, I reject it immediately because it’s frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar. You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe are the most mysterious.

The score was created by Oscar winning composer Michael Giacchino, who also created the score for The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up and Inside Out.[10]


Critical reception[edit]

The short has been critically acclaimed. The Wall Street Journal described Day & Night as a "sensationally original short", and said it "looks like nothing you've ever seen, and plays like a dream of glories to come".[11] Antagony & Ecstasy gave the film 10/10, writing "Newton's ability to finesse a remarkably difficult conceptual hook into a supremely easy cartoon is proof enough that he has storytelling skills much the equal of anybody working at Pixar. Yet this is also, possibly, the least of the film's achievements: it is technically, formally, and thematically a work of great accomplishment, and merely being able to tell a weird story coherently is just cake at that point".[12]

The Projection Booth rated the film 4.5 out of 5, writing "Still superior [to the feature film Toy Story 3] is the preceding short Day & Night (directed by Teddy Newton), a morally and politically charged look at our perception of reality (and each other) and easily the best of Pixar's shorts to date".[13] Cinema Crazed said the short is "ultimately very evocative of the classic Warner and MGM animated experiments that appealed to all audiences and didn’t talk down to its respective theater going crowd".[14] described it as an "artful snatch of 3-D whimsy".[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Main article: List of awards and nominations for Day & Night

Day & Night was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.[16] It won the award for Best Short Film at the 38th Annie Awards.[17]

The Visual Effects Society also gave Day & Night an award for the Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short.[18]


External links[edit]

  1. ^Sciretta, Peter (March 11, 2010). "First Look: Pixar's Day & Night". /Film. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ ab"Exclusive: First Look at Pixar Short Day & Night!". March 12, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  3. ^Goldberg, Matt (June 22, 2010). "New Pixar Short Film Day & Night Now Available on iTunes". Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  4. ^Beck, Jerry; Amidi, Amid (March 12, 2010). "Day & Night by Teddy Newton". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on May 18, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  5. ^Shank, Don (March 12, 2010). "Day & Night". shank pile. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  6. ^"Day & Night Production Information". Big Cartoon DataBase. April 13, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  7. ^"Day & Night: The Quote". Pixar Talk. June 26, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  8. ^Erbland, Kate (July 8, 2010). "Fun facts about Pixar's new short, DAY & NIGHT". Gordon And The Whale. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  9. ^Dyer, Wayne W. (May 10, 2010). "Birthday Blessings". Heal Your Life. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  10. ^Scott, Mike (June 18, 2010). "Day & Night, Pixar's new animated short, is long on artistry". Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
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  16. ^"Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
  17. ^38th Annual Annie Nominations – Winners noted in gold colorArchived December 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^9th Annual VES Awards

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