Where Else in a Movie's Universe Would You Like to Go?
A few days following news that Pixar’s cute yet rather simple animated film Partly Cloudy (you saw it in theaters in front of Up) has been shortlisted for the Animated Short Oscar, people are instead talking about another minor effort from the studio: George and AJ, which details some specific events that transpired domestically after Carl and Russell flew off to South America in Up.
You’ve likely seen the short, since Stacey linked to it earlier, but you may have been discouraged from commenting about it since that post has spawned more pressing discussions. So, I’d like to prompt a conversation inspired by George and AJ and answering the following question: what minor characters in your favorite movies would you like to follow via a similarly spun-off tale?
It’s not a new idea, of course. Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead expands on characters from Hamlet. And special features on the DVDs for Shaun of the Dead and Pixar’s The Incredibles and Wall-E offer us looks into what was going on with supporting characters outside the main narrative of those films.
Just thinking of other films made this year, I’d like to see a spin-off of Funny People that shows us what Raaaaaaaandy (Aziz Ansari) was doing for the two and a half hours the film torturously and humorlessly follows Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen’s characters (fortunately, we at least have the three Raaaaaaaandy viral videos).
I’d also like to see what was going on with some of the Inglourious Basterds when they were off screen. What were Raine, Donowitz, and the other guys doing during the bar scene, for instance? And I’d love to know more about Samm Levine’s role in the group and what happened to him. How about you?
Here is a sample of film blog responses to the short, including requests for more spin-off stories:
Dan Hopper at Best Week Ever:
How many of you saw the movie Up and couldn’t pay attention to all the crazy balloon action because you were too busy wondering what the retirement home orderlies were doing after they came to pick up Carl Fredrickson and he flew away? None of you, because you were too busy still crying?
- Vince Mancini at FilmDrunk:
It seems Carl’s balloon stunt inspired other old folks around town to cook up similarly wild schemes to keep George and A.J. from taking them away, making them increasingly desperate and confused. Though if you ask me, George and A.J. have only themselves and their lack of foresight to blame. Everyone knows the key to kidnapping old people is to come prepared. They didn’t even bring a butterfly net.
The whole thing is very much reminiscent of the classic 1987 comedy Disorderlies, starring the Fat Boys.
- Brendon Connelly at /Film:
Like Burn-E or Jack Jack Attack before it, this is a side story to the main narrative of the associated feature film, in this case featuring Shady Oaks caretakers George and AJ dealing with the aftermatch of Carl’s big escape. […] I would speculate that this was one of two pitched shorts for the Up disc, with Dug’s Special Mission getting the nod for full production and George and AJ left as a presentation piece. It was definitely too good to just toss aside, though, so I’m glad we’re now all getting to see it.
- Neil Miller at Film School Rejects:
If you ask me, this would have made an awesome short for the Blu-ray/DVD release if it were fully rendered like the film. Don’t get me wrong, I was way into “Dug’s Special Mission,” but this is more fun.
- Mark at I Watch Stuff:
You’ll have all of your questions answered about what happened with Shady Oaks employees George and Al as Up went on his fantastical balloon adventure. Still no answer as to why Scott Caan hasn’t sued Pixar for blatantly stealing his likeness, though…
- Elisabeth Rappe at Cinematical:
Now, if we can just get a spin-off that tells what Russell’s mother thought about her son’s prolonged absence. Somehow, I don’t think any cell phone he may have had on him could get good reception at Paradise Falls ….