Partysaurus Rex

Given how short Rex’s arms are, it’s ironic that he’s the Toy Story world’s resident hand-wringer.

But in Pixar’s new animated short Partysaurus Rex (playing before Finding Nemo 3-D on Sept. 14), we discover that bath time is when the nervous-nellie plastic dinosaur finally lets himself get down and dirty.

“He’s sick of being the angel of goodness and sensibleness and caution and fear,” says voice actor Wallace Shawn, who has played the persnickety plaything since 1995. “He wants to stand on the side of pleasure and happiness and joy. … I live this drama every day of my life!”

It’s the third in Pixar’s series of Toy Story Toons shorts, which follow life for Woody, Buzz and the gang in the care of new owner Bonnie (seen at the end of Toy Story 3, and as the face in the center of the bubbles in the pic below.) In this mini-movie, Rex gets drafted for bath time and encounters a sad lot of rub-a-dub-dub cohorts.

“If you’re a bath toy you get really intense playtime. It’s like a party,” says director Mark Walsh, who previously worked as an animator on Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. “Then when the water goes down you can’t move. You’re helpless. And that’s pathetic, these guys in bottom of the tub all the time.”

As the only available toy with limbs, Rex puts his tiny arms to good use by turning on the water and getting the party going for those dried-out toys on his own – which leads to a sort of bubble-filled rave, complete with glow-in-the-dark toys making disco lights under an overturned colander and dance music by Grammy-nominated electronica musician BT.

“What I was going for was, you move to a new town and make new friends, and suddenly you think you have this chance where you can reinvent yourself,” says Walsh. “I love that Rex, in his sweetness, thinks he can reinvent who he is in the image of a party animal.”

Is this the beginning of a wilder, crazier Rex if we ever see a Toy Story 4? “I suppose it will be debated in history books whether toys evolve and mature, and perhaps reach a mid-life crisis,” Shawn jokes. “This is a debatable point.”

The short also has a number of hidden shout-outs to other Pixar films. One of the water toys looks suspiciously like Peach the starfish from Finding Nemo.

And that toilet seat cover in the photo above …?

Can somebody check on Sully from Monsters, Inc. and make sure he’s okay?

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