When Lamp Life was announced back in April 2019, during an Investor Day Presentation, we were thrilled. Not only to have more original Pixar content but to see a glimpse into the world of Bo Peep. Lamp Life showcases what happened to Bo all those years before she found her way to the Second Chance Antique Store.
Recently we had the opportunity to view an early screening of Lamp Life and talk with director Valerie LaPointe and producer Marc Sondheimer. As we spoke, you could feel the excitement and energy that Valerie has for this project, noting that Bo’s story was the only one she wanted to tell — and we are so glad she took the reins because the creativity behind Lamp Life is unparalleled.
(NOTE — our full audio interview with Valerie and Marc will be released as part of Episode 071 of the Pixar Post Podcast and will come out early next week — below is our review of the short, calling out our favorite moments and even lists a few of the many, many Easter Eggs…what other ones can you find?)
The nearly 7-minute long short picks up moments after Toy Story 4 ends, as Woody explains how his adventures lead him ‘here’ to Bo Peep. As Giggle McDimples joyfully takes in all the information, she proclaims, “That’s nothing,” and insists that Bo share her story. Which leaves Woody to ask, ‘Do you ever miss the lamp?’
The storyline of Lamp Life is so wonderfully written and edited to perfection that we were left wanting more — which is exactly what you want in a film. Be sure to pay special attention to the pace of the film — it was timed to perfection by cutting quickly from one hilarious gag to the next without feeling rushed at all.
Enhancing the story-line was the filmmakers push to showcase the passage of time, not only with Bo moving from location to location but in the form of the changing of seasons outside a bedroom window.
The lighting department did a fantastic job creating a four-season atmosphere outside, and we were mesmerized by the beauty (even though it flashed by in a moment). In our discussion, Marc even noted that the lighting team joked that there were more lighting rigs in this short film than in all of Toy Story.
The passage of time was also reflected during Bo’s travels as she bounced from one outlandish location to the next. When we spoke with director Valerie LaPointe, she shared with us how she would talk with the story department, and they would collectively come up with silly scenes during fun brainstorming sessions. Our favorite scenes have to be the office holiday gift exchange, a college party, and when she was aboard a ship (we loved how this included the fog horn audio which was used in Partysaurus Rex)!
The gags in the short feel very much like classic Pixar gags and if a second version of Funny! (the Pixar book that included years of gags from the story room floor) is released, these would be perfect additions to the collection.
If you thought you may have spotted an easter egg in Lamp Life, you’re probably right. Lamp Life has countless easter eggs in the film — this was made for Pixar geeks like us! LaPointe joked with the team, noting she was ‘shopping’ while adding additional props from other films to Lamp Life — so look closely.
While we don’t want to point all of the easter eggs out, below is a list of a few of our favorites.
- 1:06 — Baby’s pajamas feature a baby Arlo and Claw Tooth Mountain pattern from The Good Dinosaur.
- 1:12 — The book next to Bo’s lamp features Rainbow Unicorn from Inside Out.
- 2:15 — The Luxo ball can be seen on the nightstand.
- 3:09 — Red unicycle from the 1987 Pixar short, Red’s Dream.
- 3:21 — You can see the Chinese food take-out boxes featured in numerous Pixar films.
- 3:21 — You can see a Poultry Palace take-out box from the Toy Story Toon, Small Fry.
- 3:24 — You can see the Tiki heads from Finding Nemo.
- 4:02 — You can barely spot Knick Knack at the top left of Bo’s Lamp in the antique store.
- 5:23 — You can see a Lucky 7 pennant hanging in the antique shop, a nod to the Lucky 7 Lounge. The hidden Speakeasy inside Pixar Animation Studios.
Be sure to share your thoughts on Lamp Life and what easter eggs you found with other Pixar fans in the Pixar Post Forum Lamp Life thread.
Pixar Post — Julie & T.J.