Geri's Game is an animated short film made by Pixar in 1997. It was written and directed by Jan Pinkava. It was the first Pixar short created after Toy Story, the previous short being Knick Knack. The film premiered on November 24, 1997 at Laemmle's Monica Theater in Santa Monica, California. It then was released in US theaters on November 25, 1998 with A Bug's Life. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1998.
An elderly man named Geri plays a game of chess in the park against himself. He starts off playing as white, but then hoists himself up, and lumbers over to play as the black opponent. He quickly dominates the game as the black side, although he is his own opponent. As the game progresses, it looks like there are two people playing. But when the game is nearly over, White Geri (with glasses) fakes a heart attack to outsmart Black Geri (without glasses), and falls to the ground. This alarms Black Geri, and in turn, he tests his own pulse. While he is doing this, White Geri looks up, and flips the board around, inverting the players to their teams. He checkmates Black Geri, and makes him hand over a set of dentures as the prize. As the short ends with him giving a toothy grin, the camera backs out, revealing that there is only one Geri.
- 1997 Academy Award® Winner for Best Animated Short Film
- When Geri first puts the box of chess pieces down, you can see the old Pixar logo on the top-left on a torn label.
- Geri's chess box reads "Point Richmond PIXAR SHORTS." This is because Pixar's old headquarters were originally located in Point Richmond.
- Geri appeared in Toy Story 2 as The Cleaner who fixed Woody. When The Cleaner opens his drawers in Toy Story 2, some chess pieces can be seen, in reference to the short.
- After pretending to have a heart attack, Geri knocks down the chess box. When the camera zooms out at the end of the film, if you look to the ground, the chess box is not there. This was discussed in Jan Pinkava's audio commentary of this short. When he was asked about this question, he simply replied, "We just forgot to put it in."
- As the game/short goes on, the lighting changes. This is to make it seem like the game has been going on for the whole day.
- In one scene, both of Geri's personas can be seen. In the shorts commentary, Jan Pinkava states that it was an intentional joke.
- Pixar shareholders received a VHS copy of Geri's Game with their 1997 annual report.
- Question: Where Can You Get a Glimpse of the Future of Animation?; Answer: At an Exclusive Screening - From the Makers of 'Toy Story' - Tonight!, The Free Library, November 24, 1997.