Pixar’s Partly Cloudy talkback

What do you think?

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  • Charles

    The Stork was awesome, great performance.

  • Mac

    This is wonderful, I love it! I’ve read quite a few negative comments about this one, but I honestly can’t understand why – this has instantly become one of my favourite Pixar shorts, easily exceeding my expectations.

  • tgentry

    I thought it was actually really strong. To me Boundin’ had too much heart and not enough funny. One Man Band’s story felt too much like a student film. I was worried about the Pixar shorts until Presto came along. That one revitalized the Pixar short with great humor and now Partly Cloudy got it just right with the mix of humor and heart Pixar is known for. I hope they keep it up. I would actually like to see more shorts from them instead of just one a year. It would be cool to see them in front of more Disney movies.

  • Tristan

    This short, Lifted, and For the Birds are my favorite Pixar shorts so far.

    A really weird idea with great execution!

  • luxo Sr.

    Easily their best short to date.

    I agree with the idea that PIXAR should do more shorts. Perhaps even introduce re-occurring characters ala the Warner Bros & Disney classic shorts.

  • Tim Hodge

    Brilliant! Excellent pacing and full of surprises. In that they were explaining the mythology as they went along, they really kept me guessing what would happen next, and every turn was entertaining.
    Loved it!

  • http://www.tchernablog.com Nosfera II

    The Pixar shorts remind me of the Silly Symphonies…clever and endearing minatures that serve as a workshop for Pixar’s staff to hone their skills. I think this is the first short I’ve seen that reinforces (or foreshadows, if you prefer) one of the themes of the feature it’s attached to…that the sky is the path to adventure.

  • Jim

    I know it’s beyond cliche to be a grouchy haterpants, especially on the internet, but I’m usually quite positive. However, I thought Partly Cloudy was extremely weak. The initial idea was clever and the clouds and lighting were gorgeous, but the story and character development was extremely lacking.

    How many short films must we see with the theme of “irony”? As a friend of mine described, all these shorts have the same story structure: a character tries again and again but no matter what, his problem gets worse (usually for the sake of gags). And then, when he finally thinks he’s got it, he’s electrocuted by an eel or a little girl gets all the money or the alien fails his driving test.

    The theme of all these films seems to be: only fools try hard at anything. I wish Pixar had a desire to do something more with their short films than throw a bunch of gags at the audience. They waste beautiful animation and visuals (and way too much money) on a few throwaway jokes. If they want gags, why don’t they just do it Robot Chicken style? It’s cheaper and funnier and you don’t have to pretend that you have a story.

  • Paul N

    The short looked gorgeous – especially the clouds – but the story was weak. It’s ironic that someone said “One Man Band” felt like a student film, because that was the feeling I got from “Partly Cloudy”: a nifty idea for a student film, but not in the league of previous shorts like “Presto” or “For The Birds.”

  • Graham

    I think everyone who worked on it deserves congratulations. It was a really impressive short and looked beautiful. However, I think Presto will always be my favorite ;)

  • Phil

    Fantastic ! ! !
    Good stuff all around.

  • Mitch

    It looks great for 3D. But I didn’t like it, felt way too cute.. The story didn’t surprise me as well. But it’s good to see more shorts.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I enjoyed “Partly Cloudy” in the theater. It seems wrong to complain since hardly anyone else is even making theatrical shorts (that make it to the theaters), but I’d like to see shorts that had more story to them as the golden age shorts did. I suppose the budget doesn’t allow for longer running time and I imagine the story department is fully occupied keeping all the plates in the air for the features, but it would be fun to see some shorts that develop a premise more.

  • Dave

    Completely wonderful!!! I think Pete Sohn and his crew deserve a huge pat on the back. SUPER funny and heart warming.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I like the idea and I like the music.

  • cb

    It was jarring because there is almost nothing else like it that I’ve seen before, I mean in terms of content. Storks delivering babies is one thing, but babies coming from clouds.. I don’t watch a lot of tv but i don’t know that i’ve seen that before. So it was really weird and because of that I had no idea what to expect. It ended up being so good because of the story. But after seeing it the 2nd time I realized that because I hadn’t seen anything like that before, that is what really grabbed me the first time even though at the same time it threw me for a loop and made me wonder if it was good while I was watching it. Dont’ know if that makes any sense.

  • Tom Heres

    It’s just a winning idea, and so well executed. The designs of the little animals and babies are cute, although a little “American Greetings”, but the alligator made me laugh out loud even before he moved.

  • Carlos

    The alligator was awesome looking. A little too awesome looking.
    Perhaps a hint at the next feature….?

  • http://www.paigepooler.com Paige

    I thought it was fantastic. Gorgeous design and color, sweet sentiment and simple story…(why is that bad?) Plus, I guffawed aloud at the well timed gags. The audience seemed very happy too. I loved it. Bravo, Pixar!

  • http://venadoinstantaneo.blogspot.com diego

    good AND funny

  • Talita Fukumoto

    I think the animation is to much gorgeous for a story that just sucks.

  • walty

    Was that Tony Fucile’s voice??

  • http://sushixav.blogspot.com/ XAV

    I found some very funny parts with the weird animals but this short is way to vapid and soppy for me. To much pink and too many sweetlittlecutepuppies for little girls…
    I remember a time when Pixar wasn’t afraid to take risks and when making money wasn’t the main goal. Now it’s a huge studio, the shareholders want money, so they are making Cars 2 to sell more toy cars and i’m pretty sure we will find those cutelittlepuppies in Disney Stores pretty quickly… I’m sad.

  • stavner

    This was good, but since it was made with a computer and was in 3D, it’s worthless. ;)

    Plus, it was too short.

  • http://tomboycomics.blogspot.com Emily

    I really enjoyed this little film (more than Up). I thought the idea was clever and somewhat original, but also a nice subtle throwback to similar-themed films like Fleischer’s (Famous Studios) The Stork Market, which I absolutely loved as a kid.

    Spoilers ahead…

    The pantomiming performances from whoever animated the stork and the outcast cloud were excellent, and I loved both their little Popeye-like utterances. The shark moment was a nice climax point for the stork to have to begin solving his problem–even I was scared!

    It’s a pretty short film, and it’s conscious of that fact, showing no attempts at telling an epic story. All-in-all I was delighted by it, and found that I cared more for the stork and the cloud than for Carl and Russell (if you can believe it). It’s a little tale of unconditional friendship, and the effort you need to put forth to get along with a good friend who thinks differently from you.

    My favorite Pixar short film is still Boundin’–I love how it tells its story through a song, and also the art direction and voice acting.

  • Gregg

    It was good, except the gator should have ripped his head, or at least his skin off his skull…
    I would also have switched the gator with the porcupine.

  • http://www.dfdean.com David D

    My problem with this — and yes, the animation and design and execution are excellent — is that the light-colored clouds get to make cute little puppies and kitties and human babies, and the single dark cloud is the one that produces “troublesome” infants. Why are these events less “blessed” than the others?

  • Dan O

    don’t let pixar’s mastery of character, tone, style, and pacing fool you. the story (such as it is) is weak. it seems as though their features are written for children and adults, while their shorts are written for five year-olds. and i don’t mean the subject matter — “partly cloudy” is the same old parade of set-up, repetition, weak resolve, and non-ending. it’s brilliantly done, but in the end i appreciate what they did more than what they said.

  • http://www.threedsnack.blogspot.com nate

    I loved it. The same heart that was in Up found its way into this short. One thing… I don’t like how the cloud got overly mad, then overly upset. I felt this was just a, “this is why it rains” kinda thing. I would have liked to see something a lot more subtle.

  • Rose

    I saw this with UP. I loved it then and I love it now.

    Wonderful little piece. Well executed, humorous, moving, fun. A great companion piece to UP. A great little film.

    Sure, it was sappy….but what’s so funny bout peace love and understanding…or silly love songs? This type of story telling is valid, and missed by me.

    It’s just enough, not too much, of what can be called pulling at the heart strings.

    …and even if it pulled a bit more, that’s ok. The form is valid and well missed.

    I wish there were more of these being made. I love this short.

  • V. Blame

    A simple story, well-told. I think the broadness of the characterizations kept me from connecting very deeply with the characters. The subtle, honest facial expressions are what sold “Tin Toy,” “For The Birds,” and “Geri’s Game” for me, and “Partly Cloudly” lacks those fine emotional details. Still, it brought a grin to my face.

    Now David D, I can see how you could wonder about the racial connotation of the white v. dark clouds, but I think the association of dark clouds with troubled times has more to do with weather and agriculture than with race.

  • Mitch Kennedy

    That croc is the COOLEST design. :D

  • http://none Zack Mays

    Cute !!!

  • http://www.fantazmigoriuh.wordpress.com Charles K.

    By the looks of things I’ll be in the minority here.

    Techinically it was fantastic, the advances that CGI has made in recent years has made the genre blossom into a true artform that has helped broaden the wider appeal of animation. The rendering on the clouds is about as realistic as you can get, and the animators pulled off the character movements in an extremely well-polished manner.

    For me though, the story was a huge let down. It was way too bland and boring, especially when you consider where it’s coming from. In the past Pixar has used the shorts programme as a way of grooming up-and-directors, and until now, I feel that the advances in technology that came with each short may have contributed to the overall quality. Well, now, the advances are starting to level off, and the story has had to take on a greater role.

    Partly Cloudy’s storyline seems overtly simplistic and despite the attempts at drawing the emotions out of the characters, it never really happens. While I might feel sorry for the stork, I feel nothing for the cloud as the protagonist. I had smilar feelings for the rabbit in Presto, yeah I feel bad that he can’t get the carrot, but he’s just as devious as the magician, so I don’t feel he’s worthy of any empathy.

    In previous shorts, the simple plot played second fiddle to the charcaters, in Partly Cloudy it’s the reverse, and the short is poorer for it.

  • Demetre

    I found Partly Cloudly was a little disappointing. I don’t mind stories with cute lovable characters but the theme “don’t hurt other’s feelings because it makes them sad” is a little weak.
    It felt like the climax was nothing more that a soft pillow where at the end, no one changes, the dark cloud learns that if he throws a hissy fit he’ll always get his way. The storks are rehashed stock disneyesque characters who’s only role is provide bland humor to a useless theme.

  • Hulk

    I agree with Jim in that most Pixar shorts seem to follow the same formula: one character trying the same thing again and again and again until he succeeds in a funny way. That said “Partly Cloudy” was really well done. The animation was great, the character designs were phenomenal and the story had a lot of heart but it still adhered to the ” try again and again and again” Pixar short formula.

    So far there has only been one Pixar short that attempted to break out of that- and that was “Presto”. I’d like to see more shorts like “Presto” from Pixar.

  • J

    For some reason, as much as I enjoy the features that Pixar produces, their short films never seem to grab me at all, apart from maybe Presto and Your friend the Rat.
    Honestly, I felt pretty indifferent about Partly Cloudy, although I realise it’s probably aimed more for the kids.

  • Kirb

    Pacing, animation, visuals were wonderful.

    A simple story, interesting concept.

    I honestly think people are reading a little too much into what was meant to be a small entertaining short.

  • Frank

    The resolution ruined the whole short for me…the cloud made him football pads?…common…they KNEW that was a grab at nothing for a resolution.
    Which is also why they threw in the contrived scene of the cloud putting a football helmet on the puppy at the beginning. It had nothing to do with anything. They just threw it in there to somehow justify a poorly thought out ending.

  • http://angelalo.blogspot.com/ Angela L.

    Excellent. It’s as fresh and appealing as the first time I saw it. The visuals are just beautiful. Great color palette and lovable characters. Another Pixar masterpiece.
    While I can understand some of the criticism, a story doesn’t have to be complicated or excessively zealous to be great. True, “Partly cloudy” has a simple concept but it’s clear and brilliantly executed.

  • http://www.dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    Theologically: Disturbing
    Cinematically: Flawless.

    Thank you :)

  • http://www.swordandsarcasm.com/ Chuck Fiala

    This was a cute film, but I prefer cartoons with a little more guts, at least a little more conflict. I found myself not rooting for any character here. If you want to compare it with the Silly Symphonies, I think this falls towards the “Water Babies” end of that spectrum. I’m not sure that’s the right place to be heading.

  • Billy Batz

    I like how all the babies in that town were concieved on the same night!

  • http://www.dfdean.com David D

    Just for the record, I did not look at the “light/dark” clouds as a racial metaphor. At all. I was careful not even to say “white/black.” It’s the ONLY DARK CLOUD. ALL the other clouds make cute, safe babies. It’s the STORM cloud that produces crocodiles and rams and porcupines. And I just felt that darkening that single cloud made a visual value judgment on the types of babies it produced.

  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com Emmett Goodman

    Technically, its great. But overall, I have to say this is the most disturbing Pixar short I have ever seen. The whole plot is based on an idea fluffier than those clouds. I saw it with a friend, and we couldn’t figure out what the point of it was. I don’t mean any disrespect to Peter Sohn, but this one just isn’t my cup of tea.

  • Scott

    A few thoughts:

    A disappointment. A great setup… no payoff. Seriously, there was no development. We needed to travel with the stork a little… see his mishaps as he tried to deliver these troublesome species and that gags that followed. We needed to see him really lose it near the end, watching the tension build and build until he couldn’t take it anymore.

    Maybe his cloud was a mischievous pal, really trying to test his limits? Maybe the stork should have gotten back at him (playfully) near the end? Not everything Pixar does has to be so sweet; you can have characters that are little snots.

    On top of it, it was rather short, wasn’t it? Silly Symphonies clocked in at around seven minutes. Maybe they need to shoot for that sort of template to have time for some development.

    One area that exceeded my expectations was Michael Giacchino’s score. It was wonderful and its tone and quality actually prepared me for a little film that never came.

    Once again, a wonderful idea and set-up that could have been something to rival the Disney shorts of the 1930′s had it been in more capable hands.

    Oh well – “Up” was wonderful anyway.

  • Tim Hodge

    I wonder if all the comments would be the same if this were a blind taste test… if the name “Pixar” was removed from the opening.
    That luxo logo tends to poison the water hole anymore.

    (Oh, and Billy Batz, every creature pictures has a different gestation period, so the miracle is that they were all conceived at different times to be delivered simultaneously. Plus, Alligators hatch from eggs. Yes, I’m over-thinking it.)

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I know what’s missing from these modern day shorts… THE OPENING. WB and Disney and even MGM had opening titles and music that grabbed your attention and served notice that YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE A CARTOON! YAYYYYY….

    Modern day shorts can’t do that. A big opener would overshadow the tastefully small single idea that the short is about.

    Golden age shorts didn’t have to worry the opening music was too big because they knew they had 7 minutes of crazy coming right up.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Presto felt like someone had finally captured what was great about the old Warner shorts and then packaged it in a gorgeously made 3D animation. Cloudy felt like a step backward to me. Not bad, just not raising the bar.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    And now that I just watched it again, I want to add that they really do fantastic work, and of course, most of us would give our left arm to work on a project like that, flaws or not.

    It’s really easy to criticize but you’ve gotta respect the fact that they’re doing something no other major is doing right now, and it’s definitely going to pay off.

  • Aaron

    The lack of dialogue seemed odd to me. It felt as if there was a “no talking” rule that the director was trying to get around and it made the pantomime felt very forced. Then I thought back and realized that almost all of Pixar’s shorts(“Jack-Jack Attack” and” Mike’s New Car” excepted) are the same way, which works for some and doesn’t for others. For this one, it didn’t. I know, “My Friend the Rat” and “Boundin’” both had V.O. but that doesn’t count in my book.

  • http://ianjay.net Ian Jay

    I agree with Aaron. I couldn’t get the picture out of my head of the cloud’s voice actor standing in a recording booth with a producer on the other side of the glass saying, “Moan loudly. Now growl a little. Now moan softer. Now hum, but sound disappointed at the end. Moan again.”

    Don’t get me wrong, showing instead of telling is always a good rule to follow by, but making this a dialogue-less feature seemed less out of cutting out unnecessary bits and more about Pixar saying “check out how artsy and highbrow we are”.

  • Gerard de Souza

    I saw it with the glasses. Gorgeous. I didn’t like the ending. I didn’t like the poor stork continue getting tortured as he is so likeable.

    Did I say UP was fantastic? Well it was. An example in good storytelling..nothing was throwaway.

  • J. Encea

    “Theologically: Disturbing”

    I have a feeling I’m going to regret asking, but WTF?

  • Jody Morgan

    Cute short, beautifully animated, but on the whole just pretty good; not up to Pixar’s usual standards. (Or, if you want to implement Tim Hodge’s idea above, you can end that sentence at “pretty good”.)

    I did enjoy the short, but I just can’t agree with the more enthusiastic reviews here. Part of it, no doubt, is due to the subjective nature of comedy; while I thought most of the gags were pretty funny, I didn’t think they approached the level of those in “Presto” or “Knickknack”. I also agree with Aaron that the lack of dialogue felt forced, and personally I didn’t care for the Littlest Pet Shop design of the cuddly baby animals, but those are minor quibbles.

    The main problem, though, is related to the point David D made: Why is this one cloud, darker and lower than the others, making all the problem deliveries? Is it less competent, having a bad day, being punished? Some will no doubt say that I’m overthinking things, but I can’t help it: in a film so focused on the relationship between this cloud and its stork, questions about how things got to be the way they are drag me out of the film.

    Even so, I did chuckle at most of the gags, I admired the animation and the music, and I smiled at the faithfulness of the stork; being a pretty good cartoon may make it among the weakest of Pixar’s shorts, but it’s still a pretty good cartoon.

  • Kyle Maloney

    I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t. it was good, don’t get me wrong, but it pales in comparison to even our last pixar short, Presto. I was hoping we’d see more of that kind of thing, but I guess not.

    I will say I loved the stork part of the short, and even laughed a few times at some of the gags, but I was still disappointed. I enjoyed seeing it once (in 3d too) but I wont be buying it on itunes or anything like I did with Presto.

    And if anyone cares, I’d say my bottom 3 Pixar shorts (in order of worst) would be Boundin, one man band, and Partly cloudy.

  • JC

    im surprised nobody’s mentioned this yet.. or perhaps i didnt catch it while reading through the comments..

    *POTENTIAL SPOILERS*

    but for me, i think this resonated with the way our economy is going right now, and the lack of job availability..

    that no matter what comes at you in your job (the stork working for that cloud) you need to be prepared for it and keep at it (the stork getting equipment on him at the end) because any job is a good job right now!

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com Zekey

    an odd thing to say here but, I really LOVED the creative eyeball designs in this
    Pixar have a way of doing eyes on characters that they’ve been doin since Bugs life
    but I didnt see those sort of eyes here. I particularly loved the baby crocodile’s insane stripey irises

  • kikien

    Sweet short, too short as it is so cute.

  • http://www.rodtramonte.com RodTramonte

    Maybe if the short was about a sperm trying to reach the ovary and getting lost in the way, it would be more interesting ;-)

  • http://www.keithlango.com keith lango

    It was alright. Pretty to look at. Neat-o rendering of the cloud characters (behind nearly every Pixar short is some tech R&D goal). Gags were amusing, but not guffaw funny. Story was about what one can expect from a short. A decent middle of the road short film. Not sure it’s Oscar territory good, but if it wins worse things have happened in the world.

  • http://disneymadeinbrazil.blogspot.com/ Fernando Ventura

    I prefer the formulaic Jack Hanna’s Donald Duck late 50′s cartoons than this! Wait a minute! I even prefer the Paul Smith Wood Woodpecker’s cartoons than this!

  • Mitch Kennedy

    I saw it twice — made me laugh twice — made the entire theatre laugh twice. Say all you want about it — bottom line is that it got positive reactions out of the audience.

  • Mac

    I didn’t interpret it as a darker cloud making less blessed babies. I found it immediately clear that the fluffy clouds make gentle babies, whereas a storm cloud creates the offspring that are more rough and tumble (with no type being more valid than the other). I admit that I wasn’t too keen on the fat-headed cute puppy and kitten designs, but didn’t have a problem with anything else about this excellent short (although in retrospect I suppose the football helmet part was a little engineered). I suppose this short may have seemed a bit cutesy after Presto, but it’s another cartoon from a different director. Also count me in as someone else who would like to see even more shorts from Pixar.

  • Bill

    A lot of people here might make pretty good storm clouds! I found the story to be clear and concise. The audience and I laughed. Very well done.

  • St. McDuck

    Not Pixar’s best, but amusing.
    Good character design too.

  • Mr. Imortant

    It was really well done. But it was crap, because I would have done things differently, and I’m a genius. You’re welcome.

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    The link didn’t work for me: is “RuTube” the Chinese “Youtube? It would explain why the short is already on the web…In any case, I think this short was among my favorites. Boundin, For the Birds, Partly Cloudy, Presto, Gerry’s Game, Jack Jack Attack, One Man Band…That’s about the order I would put them in. Partly Cloudy had a charm to it that seemed more nostalgic than the others. I thought the clouds were quite funny. It will be useful when I have to explain the Birds and the Bees and precipitation to my kids.

  • http://dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    @ J. Encea:

    Yeah, I know I know… we shouldn’t miss the point that THIS is a cartoon. But I was mildly shocked that the people of Pixar went further with the “storck cliché” than in any other short I remember seeing.

    I just can’t help thinking that this short prompted a few awkward moments for some poor parents who still rely on the stork story to avoid telling their kiddies about the birds and the bees ;-)

  • http://doujinshiland.blogspot.com Adam

    I was disappointed that Pixar, of all studios, had to go and retread the same tired old stork cartoon that we’ve been seeing for ages. Stork cartoons were cliche and done to death more than fifty years ago.

    That said, it was a very NICE and well done stork cartoon. I didn’t feel like I had to leave the theater or yell in frustration. It didn’t really linger, but hey, it’s just a cartoon in the end, am I right?

    One thing I noticed – that town has a lot of cats and dogs coming. They really should think about spaying or neutering their pets. A ton of those sweet cloud babies are shelter-bound.

  • http://tomboycomics.blogspot.com emily

    We all have varying sensibilities for sure–I didn’t find Presto to be very funny (though everyone else seemed to)…Partly Cloudy at least made me chuckle.

  • Tom Heres

    There seems to be a preponderance of armchair Lassetters in this thread ;)

  • Chris Sobieniak

    What robcat2075 had stated is the same problems I have about today’s cinema versus the way it had been in the past. You don’t see the opening credit sequence much anymore, or the music that leads you to the film itself as there seems to be this attitude over getting the people into the film right away (no doubt the ads and trailers beforehand already stalled enough time as it is). Course then it bugs me to see extended end credit sequences that resemble what the openings should’ve been because they felt that was the only place left they could credit the main guys before going into the usual scroll for the rest (while every has left the theater for good).

  • Daniel Shock

    I really enjoyed it. Its not my favorite… Boundin’ is still my favorite – but… you know complaining about it seems silly… no one else makes shorts this great consistently… I’ll happily buy volume 2 of the shorts and will not be skipping this one.

  • Chris J.

    Nothing wrong with a little one-two filmmaking. Setup-punchline is perhaps the oldest and best way of telling a short story. Presto is still far-and-away my favorite short by Pixar, but this was cute and enjoyable.

  • Jip

    It felt like one of those Donald Duck comics, where in the beginning of the story the nephews would say: don’t forget to bring the instant soup!
    Only to use that instant soup at the end of the story to solve whatever problem they were facing.
    I thought it was very annoying when I was a child. And I still feel that way:D

  • Tsimone Tse Tse

    “I prefer the formulaic Jack Hanna’s Donald Duck late 50’s cartoons than this! Wait a minute! I even prefer the Paul Smith Wood Woodpecker’s cartoons than this”

    I prefer to have ANY cartoon short before a movie. Did you know there are children in this world who have NO animated shorts before Dreamworks films? So just sit there quietly and quit playing with your shorts.

    (hmmm – that didn’t come out right)

  • Kev

    This short, like most shorts at any 3D animation studio, are a testing ground for new technology. Be it effects or rigging, etc. This one was all about cloud development. Lifted was all about rigging. These aren’t solely about art. In most cases, the next technical hurdle is what informs the story for the short. They also keep artists employed between shows.

    Me personally, my two faves are Knick Knack and Boundin’.

  • Peter

    I think it’s unfortunate that some commenters think that the story and characters are weak. Or that people think that the resolution was throw-away or that the gags were the set-up for the payoff.

    These are the thoughts I got from watching the short:

    Pixar was re-telling essentially a “fairy tale” – that babies are dropped off by storks. And as with most fairy tales, they are targeted towards children, but contain truths and deep lessons that even adults can appreciate: don’t judge others based on appearances (Ugly Duckling), be honest and genuine (Boy who cried wolf), etc.
    In this short, the dark cloud was the kid who never fit in, the person that people may not like because of appearances, the special intricacies and faults that others may not necessarily like. Maybe the person who does the unappreciated: the garbageman, the dishwashers, or the social workers. Maybe the person filling the world with beauty, and goes by without a notice or a request for recognition. It’s a character I hope we all relate to. Bill said it right: “A lot of people here might make pretty good storm clouds!”

    This lonely cloud finds a lonely friend, the stork. No one else in the sky wants anything to do this cloud, and maybe they never even gave it a second thought. But this stork comes back again and again.
    Then things get hard. Things get painful. It’s not easy an easy job for the stork, and he probably has all the right in the world to leave this cloud – simply out of a sense of self-preservation. He has a right to be envious and jealous. And no one was assigning storks or assigning clouds, so that’s why the cloud got angry and upset: he thought the last friend who would put up with him had chosen something easier over him. We all understood the stork when he flew away, and we all thought, “Yeah, I understand the exasperation in his face…”

    But we learn that the stork never intended to leave. I would argue that he never even entertained the thought of it. He took a quick break for the sole purpose of getting ready for the next one. He went and armored up so that he could be an even better friend and partner for this cloud. His only sense of self-preservation was to get protection for himself SO THAT the cloud could continue creating adorable sharks and eels and porcupines and sharing them with the world.
    This stork embraced the uniqueness of the cloud and marveled at the special beauty of his creations. That’s why every time he came back, he had outstretched arms. That’s why he Ooohh’ed at the eel. He loved this cloud, was completely devoted to him, and constantly waded into dangerous waters to support his friend’s craft – to help his friend make the world more beautiful in his own little way.
    And when the going got tough? He suited up, got himself ready, and was at it again.

    That’s the story. That’s the plot. That’s the payoff.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have friends in my life who embrace the darker and painful parts of me. And when it’s burdensome for them, they take a break only so that they can come back and support me even better in the future. They’re in it for me to thrive and live a life of meaning.
    To me, that’s beautiful.

    I think that message transcends the use of dialogue. I think that’s something you can’t teach kids outright, as didactic as this short can seem to be. I think it’s a story and a message that is best understood when you allow it to inspire you. I think children understand that faithfulness, and I think we adults would do well in remembering it too. We probably weren’t taught as kids, “Be sacrificial in loving your friends.” I think somewhere along the line, as we were growing up, we were inspired by someone’s example – and it stuck with us.

    Pixar is internationally loved and distributed, so please don’t think it’s “high-brow” of Pixar to stop using dialogue. They do it so their stories can more easily transcend cultures and ages. They use their gags to entertain, and they use these jokes and gags as stepping stones to their story. (Right? The crocodile and the porcupine were funny gags to illustrate the plight of the poor stork and how hard it was for him to continue choosing to support the cloud. And things like the helmet were probably established early on to tell us that the clouds are able to create more than just animals. @Frank)

    The reason I love Pixar so much is not that they’re technically better than other 3D animators or that they’re funnier. The reason I love Pixar is that Story is central to all of their films, and in their pursuit of the best story, they achieve the best looking and funniest films anyway.

  • oomu

    the cloud love his creation, even if they are troublesome because they are worthy of love

    you think, for two seconds, the storks doesn’t know that and want to run away for cute puppy

    but no, in the end, the stork was just after some protection to continue to care for the troublesome little loved creations

    and it’s why it’s a nice story. The stork never give up.