Five years ago, when he was 7, I took the kid to see Inside Out the night it opened. It was phenomenal, and it remains my favorite Pixar movie to date, although it may have been traumatic for my kid who had to see his father uncontrollably shed big sh*tty tears. The movie, though, was a stunning emotional achievement, and capable of wrecking any “human with human-based emotions.”
But it wasn’t all perfection. Because in order to experience the greatness that was Inside Out, we had to suffer through six minutes of “Lava,” the Pixar short film that preceded the feature. It was horrible, a creepy obnoxious short with a song so terrible that — playing it the morning after the screening — my wife asked, “Oh God, what is that awful song? Please turn it off!”
In fact, my son turned to me during that short — not realizing that it wasn’t the movie — and said, “Dad, I don’t like this. I don’t think I’m going to like the movie very much.” In his assessment afterward, he suggested that Pixar “should cancel it. It is terrible. It is not good. They should pull it straight-away.” He was 7.
In short, it’s about a creepy looking male volcano who sings a terrible ukulele-based ditty about finding “someone to lava,” which sounds more like a threat than anything romantic. However, he sings it for, like, centuries, as he spews lava and shrinks in size until he’s finally underwater. What he doesn’t realize, however, is that his atrocious song has been inspiring a super creepy female volcano to rise to the surface, only once she makes it above sea level, the male volcano is underneath. So she sings the song, inspiring him to rise above sea level so that the two creepy volcanos can live happily ever after.
Here’s the short. WARNING: MAY CAUSE INTERNAL BLEEDING AND/OR SEIZURES. DO NOT OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY WHILE LISTENING.
I didn’t say anything after the movie for a few weeks, because I thought I was alone in my hatred, because we all think that everything Pixar does magical perfection that comes from rainbows and unicorns. I didn’t want to stick my neck out, but a glance on Twitter at the time and since has validated my feelings.
That Pixar lava thing was the dumbest thing to ever grace my eyes I can't even laugh. 🌋— Jordan Elizabeth (@JordzElizabeth) July 1, 2015
The newest Pixar short, Lava, seems more like a tech demo than an actual short. The kids in the theatre didn't seem to like it at all— J.N. Monk (@JN_Monk) July 1, 2015
@Aerocles Yah I cried during Lava because it was pretty much the worst thing from Pixar ;)— Devindra Hardawar (@Devindra) June 28, 2015
The lady volcano in Pixar's 'Lava' sets an unrealistic standard for female volcano topography.— Neven Mrgan (@mrgan) June 22, 2015
As much as I loved #InsideOut is precisely as much as I hated LAVA, the worthless, offensive short that preceded it. Easily worst Pixar ever— Jason Mittell (@jmittell) June 22, 2015
Discuss: “Lava” is Pixar’s worst short by a LONG shot.— Myrna❄️ (@SailorSoapbox) June 22, 2015
The short that went with it, Lava? Hand's down Pixar's worst short. Total garbage.— Pop Arena (@pop_arena) June 21, 2015
Full agreement with @thehighsign's bemusement that Pixar could make something as bad as Lava, paired with something as great as Inside Out.— Nick Reed (@nickinmasham) January 6, 2016
Here is a fact: that Pixar "Lava" song is the absolute worst song of 2015 and possibly the entire decade— Matthew Perpetua (@perpetua) November 12, 2015
As good as INSIDE OUT was it still couldn't wipe that godawful song from LAVA out of my head. Worst Pixar short ever? pic.twitter.com/jyHiCme2Nb— Bright Wall/Dark Room (@BWDR) June 27, 2015
darkhorse worst film of 2015: Pixar's LAVA— The Ballad of Richard Juul (@CarmanTse) December 11, 2015
Header Image Source: Pixar