Academy Award Winner - Best Animated Short Film 1997
Geri's game is a simple animated short film by Pixar and yet proves to be as entertaining as 5 minutes of any of their feature length productions. It has been released with 'A Bug's Life' on the VHS and DVD however it can be watched at Pixar's website.
Umm... I guess there should be a SPOILER warning just about here because I am going to spoil the plot! If you want to watch it you can visit Pixar's website (The address is at the bottom of the writeup)
The short opens with Geri, an elderly gentleman, setting up a chessboard in the park on a perfect autumn's day. It becomes apparent that he has no opponent other than himself and makes his opening move. Then, slowly, he removes his glasses shuffles over to the seat opposite and makes his 'opponent's' move. He then shuffles back to his original seat, puts his glasses back on, and makes his own second move. From this point onwards this changing of roles becomes quicker and quicker until the 'opponent' manages to take one of Geri's pieces. From here on in the film portrays them as two different characters and Geri's 'opponent' continues to rampage through Geri's pieces mercilessly laughing at every small victory he makes against the old man. Finally Geri is left with just his king and nowhere to move, the pressure starts to get to him and Geri (over dramatically) collapses. Geri's 'opponent' is understandably worried about this (firstly for his own health) and looks under the table to see if Geri is ok. Whilst returning to his seat Geri subtly rotates the board through 180 degrees and Geri wins the game, much to the confusion of his 'opponent'. Grudgingly the 'opponent' hands over Geri's prize (his false teeth) and the film ends with Geri laughing to himself. Once again alone in the park.
My Own Views
Geri's game is a charming and excellently animated short film. It manages to tell the entire story with no dialogue from either character apart from laughter and various humming noises from the 'opponent'. Geri's Game is very simple yet effective and I am captivated by it every time that I see it (maybe because I can see myself becoming Geri in many years time! Sitting in the park playing some silly game). For some reason it reminds me of Fight Club in a primitive sort of way. These two characters, quite different from one another, spawning from the same person playing a game which is won by Geri's cunning and not the pieces on the board... or maybe I'm reading into a short animation too much!
I cannot be sure but I think Geri is the same character model as the man who repairs Woody in Toy Story 2.
You can watch Geri's game in its entirety at the Pixar Website http://www.pixar.com/shorts/index.html
Follow the link to Geri's game.
'A Bug's Life' DVD