Not up to Pixar standard, but close to the PLANET 51 level
I assume everyone who saw the current feature cartoon release PLANET 51 saw this six-minute short first. Unlike the often Oscar-winning Pixar shorts, LIVE MUSIC's plot (such as it is) is pretty predictable. The same can be said, of course, for PLANET 51, and at least LIVE MUSIC is over 85 minutes sooner than the accompanying feature. On the plus side, LIVE MUSIC features two instrumental versions of "Smoke on the Water," one of my 10,001 pop faves. On the less positive front, LIVE MUSIC's main attempt at humor is to label the electric guitar protagonist's crush, a violin, as "Yo Yo Vanessa," who resides on a music store front room shelf right next to her parents, "Yo Yo Mama" (a cello) and "Yo Yo Daddy" (a bass). While echoing ROMEO & JULIET's culture clash between the Capulets and Montagues (since the guitar is breaking out of the backroom rocker's ghetto to pursue Vanessa), at least the floor of the music shop does not get cluttered with bodies, as did the environs of Verona (or New York City's West Side, to cite another musical contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's original). But director Yair Landau's animators provide a polished range of mostly-string instruments perhaps designed to get little ones thinking about where music comes from before reaching an iPod, which some might view as a small public service.
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