A teenage alien tries to abduct a sleeping human, but with so many switches to do so, it's nearly impossible.

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Storyline

It's night; crickets chirp outside an isolated farmhouse. A bright light from a spacecraft shines through a bedroom window and lifts a sleeping man. However, the light and the small alien controlling it from the ship are unable to pull the man through the window: first it's the glass that impedes them. The alien frets; its supervisor - large, laconic, and green - watches. As the human keeps sleeping, the alien's tries every lever. Just as it looks as if the alien abduction will succeed, something goes wrong. The supervisor steps in. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Failure is an option.


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G | See all certifications »

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29 June 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abducido  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The voice of Mr B comes courtesy of Gary Rydstrom's dog. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening Pixar credit, the shining face of Luxo Jr. dissolves into a full moon in the night sky of the establishing shot. See more »

Connections

References Tin Toy (1988) See more »

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Close Encounters of the Inept Kind
15 September 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I've always thought it fantastic that Pixar precedes their excellent feature-length films with an equally-excellent animated short, since it serves beautifully to settle the audience down and ready them for the coming feature. With 'Ratatouille' currently in cinemas, the short film this time around was 'Lifted,' a brief but amusing tale of an attempted alien abduction that doesn't quite go to plan. It was directed by Gary Rydstrom, a first-time director but incredible seven-time Oscar winner, thanks to his excellent work in the sound department on such films as 'Jurassic Park' and 'Titanic.' Like Pixar's finest short films, the simple plot is propelled forward without the need for any dialogue, relying mostly on effectively-chosen sound effects. Accordingly, Rydstrom was an ideal candidate to direct.

In a quiet country farmhouse, a human sleeps peacefully, blissfully unaware that an immense UFO has stationed itself outside his house. Inside the spaceship, a young alien, named Stu, is trying desperately to remember which unlabeled toggle switches to press, presented with a vast selection across a large control panel. Stu's instructor, Mr. B., watches over him menacingly, his expression offering not a hint to the correct procedure and answering every mistake by scribbling briefly onto his notepad. Meanwhile, as Stu fumbles tentatively with the controls, the unfortunate human finds himself lifted from his bed by the spacecraft's tractor-beam and tossed violently against the wall and ceiling, never waking from his slumber.

I thought it was rather ambitious that the filmmakers decided to show the beings inside the UFO, since it is rare that we actually get to see a cinematic alien fiddling with buttons and levers behind a control desk. Not only this, but the two extraterrestrials – in just five minutes – become relatively well-developed characters: we immediately sympathise with poor hapless Stu, and Mr. B. discovers a streak of compassion that we hadn't originally expected of him. The comedic timing is just about perfect, and we hold our breath as Stu moves to press another button, before laughing at the unexpected consequence of this upon the unlucky human – his movements largely represented by a holographic blip above the control panel. The sound effects are cleverly-chosen, and the addition of the Wilhelm scream at the very end was a nice touch.


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