The Best magic movies of all time

We often publish best of lists on this site, but this one is different — this one is more special to me. Ever since I was a little child, I’ve always been fascinated with magic and illusions. After seeing David Copperfield‘s television specials as a kid I was gifted a magic set produced by Fisher Price (which was awesome by the way) and became obsessed with the art form. While I wouldn’t consider myself a serious magician, I do perform a few magic tricks every once in a while for family and friends.

And what initially pulled me into film geekdom is not what you might expect: the old movie magic specials that used to play on television. Those TV shows would show how Hollywood created illusions using, for the most part, practical effects, make-up and miniatures. Not that I didn’t watch movies like every other child, but it was the art of making the impossible possible that is responsible for sucking me deep into the world of cinema.

So come with me as I count down my favorite movies involving magicians in the best magic movies of all time.

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Jayson Weidel has created an art gallery blog called Planet-Pulp, which is an online pop culture gallery with a new theme every 30 days. Over the last month they have had a PIXAR 25th Anniversary Celebration Show. After the jump you can find my favorite selections from the show. Too bad prints aren’t available for some of these gems.
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VOTD: ‘25 Years of Pixar’

We’ve featured a handful of director montages here on /Film recently, and while this “25 Years of Pixar” compilation isn’t quite that, it’s actually pretty similar. In terms of look, tone, and quality, I’d say Pixar is as consistent as many directors.

For the video, NkMcDonalds pulled scenes from works spanning over decades — from ’80s shorts to this year’s Cars 2. If you like Pixar as much as I do, it’ll definitely make you smile and it might even make you tear up a little tiny bit. Watch it after the jump.

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I’m not sure where I first saw this crazy piece of animation, but it was likely when Pixar’s Lee Unkrich mentioned it on Twitter. “The most strangely surreal thing I’ve seen in a while. Like being transported to an alternate reality,” he said. There has been a lot of Pixarn’t over the past few years, including ‘remakes’ of Ratatouille and Cars from Brazilian outfit Vídeo Brinquedo, both of which are linked below.

But this Chinese version of the short Presto is possibly the most exact replication of Pixar’s work yet. That being the case, it’s still light-years from the real thing. It’s like there’s a version of the uncanny valley that relates specifically to cheap versions of good animation. The closer something gets to replicating the real thing without actually doing so, the weirder it looks. Read More »

Sneak Preview: Pixar’s Presto

Pixar has released a 30 second preview of Doug Sweetland’s computer animated short film Presto, which you will see in front of WALL-E. I’ve seen it and will tell you that it’s probably the best Pixar short since 2000’s For the Birds. Very reminiscent of the old Warner Bros cartoons.

Official Plot Synopsis: Dignity. Poise. Mystery. We expect nothing less from the great, turn-of-the-century magician, Presto. But, when Presto forgets to feed his rabbit one too many times, well, there’s really no telling what to expect! This latest comical short film from Pixar Animation Studios follows the escalating high jinx of the amazing Presto, his rabbit Alec, and what happens onstage when a star magician’s ego provokes some clever revenge from his neglected costar.

WALL-E hits theaters on June 27th 2008.

via: CharacterDesign

First Look: Pixar’s Presto

Pixar's Presto

Presto, the directorial debut of Pixar’s Annie Award-winning supervising animator Doug Sweetland is set to premiere in front of WALL-E.

The five minute short computer animated film follows Presto DiGiotagione, a turn-of-the-century magician, who is famous for an astounding hat trick. Presto’s apprentice rabbit, Alec, however, is dissatisfied as he shares none of Presto’s wild success. While Presto is out eating lavish dinner, Alec is left behind, locked in a birdcage with a carrot torturously out of reach. Sweetland also provides the voices of both Presto and Alec.

Sounds like a promising premise. I was actually a little disappointed with Lifted, the short attached to Ratatouille, because I felt it lacked depth and quality of past Pixar shorts. Don’t get me wrong, it was better than anything Disney or Blue Sky has produced in years. I think I just hold Pixar up to a much higher standard, and the story, character and set design weren’t up to par with Geri’s Game or Birds.

WALL-E hits theaters on June 27th 2008.

source: PixarBlog