November 25, 1997 – The Pixar Short Film Geri’s Game was Released
On November 25, 1997, the Pixar short film Geri’s Game was released. The short was released a year before its film pairing with a bug’s life, as it was sent forward for Academy Award consideration. It was also submitted independently from Pixar’s association with Disney. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 70th Academy Awards. It was written and directed by Jan Pinkava, with Bob Peterson as the voice of Geri.
The short begins at a park on a fall day, where Geri is setting up his chess game. He puts on his glasses and moves a white pawn, then waits, while it is revealed to the audience that he is not playing against anyone, and the park is empty. He then takes off his glasses and slowly makes his way over to the other side of the table and makes a vicious move with a black pawn. He carefully gets up again and moves back to the other side, putting on his glasses and playing against himself. This continues, with Geri playing a game against himself with two personalities: the aggressive player on black, and the gentler, less-confident player on white. The aggressive Geri is taking out the gentler Geri’s pieces one by one, leaving gentler Geri rather protective of his Queen. Aggressive Geri teases gentler Geri, as he has nowhere to go. Suddenly, gentler Geri has a heart attack, and falls to the ground. As aggressive Geri checks himself, he realizes that he is fine, and checks on the other Geri. While aggressive Geri isn’t looking, gentler Geri switches the board, so it looks as though he’s been playing black the whole time. Aggressive Geri checks on gentler Geri as he gets back in his seat, then resumes his boastful laughter. Gentler Geri then makes his winning move, shocking aggressive Geri, as he hasn’t realized the ruse. Angered about the loss, aggressive Geri gives up the game, and reluctantly hands over the prize: a set of false teeth. Geri sits back and laughs, alone in the park.