AP entertainment writer Jake Coyle writes up the short that will screen before Wall-E, Presto:
“WALL-E,” the tale of robot love that’s almost without dialogue, itself feels like a Pixar short grown long, with “Presto” as a delightful and cartoonish appetizer.
Written and directed by Doug Sweetland, “Presto” is about an elegant magician and his bunny, whose task, naturally, is to come out of a top hat at the appropriate time. We begin backstage with the bunny, whose name, Alec, is labeled on his small cage. With his floppy ears slung over, he’s frustrated that a carrot lies just out of reach.
Before he can grab it, Alec is rushed to the stage by Presto, but while Alec waits behind the curtain, he realizes the key to the magician’s trick lies beside him: When Presto reaches into to his top hat, it’s a portal through to another, Merlin-styled hat.
While Presto performs in front of a giant opera house, Alec mimes that he won’t jump through until he gets his carrot. Instead, Alec sends up a, a charged circuit board and a never-ending ladder.
“Presto” clearly references Bugs Bunny’s man-outwitting wabbit, but with a Pixar twist: in the end, both are placated: the magician ends up with an jaw-dropping trick and the bunny gets his carrot. And the crowd goes wild.
Back in May, Animation World Mag wrote about Presto, and talks to the director, Doug Sweetland.