Lou: Is this Pixar's best-ever short?
Pixar are known, not only for the consistency of their animated features, but also for delivering superb little short films as part of the overall in-cinema experience.
From last year's Piper to 2014's Lava and 2000's hilarious For the Birds, each has provided moments of humour or pathos, as well as provided a training ground for the company's future feature directors.
But despite the claims of many of the previous efforts, it's latest one, playing in front of Cars 3 in New Zealand cinemas from Thursday, might just be its best.
Written and directed by Dave Mullens, Lou is a story about a lost-and-found box in a kindergarten playground and the unseen monster within. Every day after the morning tea break, Lou picks up the toys that the children leave behind; the next day, it sets them out on the playground for their owners to find. When a boy named J.J. starts to bully the others and take their toys, Lou emerges from the box.
Crisply animated and sharply written, Lou is six minutes of poignant and powerful perfection.
As well as offering life-lessons about bullying, it is inventive, emotional and engrossing.