IMDb > Geri's Game (1997)

Geri's Game (1997) More at IMDbPro »

Geri's Game -- Geri plays a daylong game of chess in the park against himself.


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Jan Pinkava (written by)
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Release Date:
25 November 1997 (USA) See more »
Geri sets up a chess game to play his greatest opponent - himself. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 8 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A well-played game of chess... See more (29 total) »



Bob Peterson ... Geri (voice)

Directed by
Jan Pinkava 
Writing credits
Jan Pinkava (written by)

Produced by
Ed Catmull .... executive producer
Karen Dufilho-Rosen .... producer (as Karen Dufilho)
John Lasseter .... executive producer
Original Music by
Gus Viseur 
Film Editing by
Jim Kallett 
Production Management
Holly Lloyd .... production manager
Julie M. McDonald .... post-production supervisor
Art Department
Jerome Ranft .... sculptor
David Skelly .... production artist
Sound Department
Sandina Bailo-Lape .... foley editor
Dennis Leonard .... dialogue editor
Tom Myers .... sound designer
Visual Effects by
Jason Bickerstaff .... modeler
Tony DeRose .... surface modeler
Damir Frkovic .... modeling artist
Larry Gritz .... renderman software
Steven Kani .... render wrangler
Michael Lorenzen .... additional modeler
Mark Sanford .... additional modeler
Tien Truong .... renderman software
David Valdez .... digital painter
Mark T. VandeWettering .... renderman software
Camera and Electrical Department
Jason Bickerstaff .... lighting technician
Jean-Claude Kalache .... lighting technician
Ana Lacaze .... lighting technician
Ken Lao .... lighting technician
Animation Department
Stephen Barnes .... animator
Michael Berenstein .... animator
Ben Catmull .... animator
Sandy Christensen .... animator
Scott Clark .... animator
Chris DiGiovanni .... animation assistant
Pete Docter .... animator
Kitt Hirasaki .... animation software
Bankole Lasekan .... animator
Angus MacLane .... animator
Michelle Meeker .... animator
Karyn Metlen .... animator
Valerie Mih .... animator
Michael Parks .... animator
Darwyn Peachey .... animation software
Jan Pinkava .... animator
Jeff Pratt .... animator
Karen Prell .... animator
Arun Rao .... animation software
Steve Segal .... animator
Doug Sheppeck .... animator
Ross Stevenson .... animator
Troy Sutton .... animation coordinator
Dirk Van Gelder .... animation software
James W. Williams .... animation software
Adam Wood .... animator
Editorial Department
Christian Hill .... assistant editor
Music Department
Alex Stahl .... music editor
Other crew
Paul Aichele .... facial articulation
Tom Freeman .... storyreel editor
Rachel Hannah .... recruiter
David R. Haumann .... lead technical director
Leo Hourvitz .... supervising technical director
Michael Kass .... cloth dynamics
Hunter Kelly .... film output
Quentin King .... hair and hacks
Steven Liu .... storyreel editor
Matthew Martin .... film output
Daniel McCoy .... shading artist
Louis Rivera .... film output
Joe Wenkoff .... storyreel editor
Darla K. Anderson .... very special thanks (as Darla Anderson)
Jenny Head Appleton .... very special thanks (as Jenny Head)
Steve Jobs .... very special thanks
Lawrence H. Levy .... very special thanks (as Lawrence Levy)
Sarah McArthur .... very special thanks
Joe Ranft .... very special thanks
Kevin Reher .... very special thanks
Andrew Stanton .... very special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
4 min

Did You Know?

This short film took roughly one and a half years to make.See more »
Factual errors: (at around 2 mins) Black takes the White Queen, leaving just the White King on the board. The chess box is then shown overflowing with pieces, even though the only ones that have been taken are from White. Although this is less than half of the total pieces, there is no room for any others.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Toy Story 2 (1999)See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
A well-played game of chess..., 26 May 2004
Author: soymilk from East Anglia, UK

The overwhelming success of such Pixar features as 'Monsters Inc' and 'Finding Nemo' may mean that's where all the attention's currently going, but their four-minute short 'Geri's Game' is definitely an enjoyable and highly original little film that deserves to dwell up there with the company's finest output. On the whole I've been repeatedly impressed with Pixar's animated shorts (perhaps even more so than many of their feature films!), and 'Geri's Game', in which an elderly man enjoys a game of chess with himself, may just be the best I've seen - even amongst such a tight array of gems as 'Knick Knack', 'For the Birds', and the ingeniously simple 'Luxo Jr', there's something about this one that really stands out above the rest. It's breezy and colourful, and the animation is simply excellent - I know that until relatively recently, people have always considered human character designs to have been the weak link in Pixar's digital portfolio (check 'Tin Toy' for example, and contrast the ultra-shiny, believable Tinny with his somewhat chunky human baby nemesis). Well, there's nothing in the least bit awkward or artificial about our title character Geri - he's a very polished creation indeed, with facial expressions all smoothly on target (can't go wrong when you're using Jonathon Harris as your model).

This is of course the very same Geri who showed up soon after as the cleaner in 'Toy Story 2' (I'm not sure if he was actually referred to by name, but he was there, and he even flaunts his trademark chess pieces at one point). I was always intrigued by this mysterious character, and when I discovered that he had a short film of his own I was anxious to see it (too bad it's been regulated to the 'Bug's Life' DVD, which is actually my LEAST favourite Pixar feature - there's irony for you). I finally managed to capture this little diamond on Pixar's own official website and, needless to say, it didn't disappoint.

The quality animation aside, and with the European plaza-style music setting it off to a nifty pulse, it's the slick editing that really makes this concept come alive. Seriously, it's amazing. I'm sure this has been pointed out enough times already, but no matter how obvious Pixar make it that really this is little more than just a bored and lonely old man making the most of his chess set and his seclusion, the way in which it cuts seamlessly between the players on each side of the table will quickly have you believing otherwise. Two very distinctive characters really do appear to emerge from one (think something along the lines of Gollum's personal tête-à-têtes in 'Lord of the Rings', only a lot less sinister in this case).

Unlike other Pixar shorts, including 'Knick Knack' and 'For the Birds', 'Geri's Game' may not be a laugh-riot exactly, but then laugh-out-loud hilarity has never been the essential ingredient for class entertainment. What makes this film so engaging is its intelligent story, gentle humour and truly charming sense of character. The cool visuals are a delightful bonus.

Grade: A+ - Clearly, playing a game of chess on your own can be more enthralling than you'd think.

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Stalemate? weird_beard
Make this one into a movie DougShonka
Does Geri look like David Kelly (I) ? koyan
Pixar's best short! StevieNicole
Where can you get the Song? JeanPaulJ
Stephan Zweig - Chess Story yets
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