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Geri's Game
Directed by Jan Pinkava
Produced by Karen Dufilho
Written by Jan Pinkava
Starring Bob Peterson - Voice
Music by Gus Viseur
Editing by Jim Kallett
Distributed by Pixar Animation Studios
Release date(s) November 25, 1997
November 25, 1998 (with A Bug's Life)
Running time 4 min
Country United States

Geri's Game is a five-minute 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 in 1989. The film won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film.



The film is set in an empty park during autumn. The title character, Geri (voiced by Bob Peterson), is an elderly man who plays a game of chess against himself, "becoming" each of the players in turn by moving to the other side of the chessboard, where he changes his personality and either puts on or takes off his glasses to show this change. As the game progresses, it seems as though there are two people playing; at one point, the hands of both "opponents" are in frame. Black Geri (without the glasses) soon gains the upper hand over White Geri (with them), capturing every piece except his king and putting him in checkmate. However, White Geri outsmarts Black Geri by faking a heart attack to distract him and turning the board around. Finding that now he is the one with only his king left, Black Geri resigns the game and hands over a set of false teeth as the prize. White Geri puts them in, then chuckles and grins, and the camera pulls back to reveal him alone at the chessboard.


The first Pixar production to have a human main character, Geri's Game was produced with the goal to "take human and cloth animation to new heights".[1][2][3]

The face of the character "Geri" resembles actor Jonathan Harris, who also provided the voice of Geri for his later appearance in Toy Story 2. In Toy Story 2, Geri is a toy repairman who fixes Woody's torn arm. Chess pieces can be seen in his carrying case, in a nod to the short.

The film's director, Jan Pinkava, says the character is loosely based on himself and his elderly relatives, particularly his grandfather who played chess very often.[4]


Geri's Game was attached to the theatrical release of A Bug's Life and was subsequently featured on that film's VHS and DVD releases. It can also be found on the Pixar Short Films Collection - Volume 1 DVD.


  • 1998-Academy Awards, USA-Best Short Subject, Animated Films
  • 1998-Anima Mundi Animation Festival-Best FIlm x2
  • 1998-Annecy International Animated Film Festival-Jan Pinkava
  • 1998-Annie Awards-Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short Subject
  • 1998-Florida Film Festival-Best Short
  • 1998-World Animation Celebration-Best 3-D CGI by Professional Jan Pinkava
  • 1998-Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films-Internet Favourite
  • 1997-Academy Awards, Best Animated short film


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