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Geri's game title card

Geri's Game is a American animated short film produced by Pixar. The short was written, and directed by Jan Pinkava. The short focus an an elderly man, Geri, alone in a park playing a game of chess with himself. The short won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1998. The short has a length of five minutes and was published on November 24, 1997.


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 check. However, White Geri outsmarts Black Geri by faking a heart attack to distract him and spinning the board around. While Black Geri is still distracted, White Geri checkmates what is now his opponent's king. Finding that now he is the one with only his king left and discovering what has happened, Black Geri resigns the game and hands over a set of dentures as the prize. White Geri puts them in, then chuckles and grins in his victory, before the camera pulls back to show that he is 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".

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, where he 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. Jan Pinkava, the film's writer and director, has said the character is loosely based on himself and his elderly relatives, particularly his grandfather who was a frequent and avid chess player.

This short movie served as a demonstration of a new animation technique using subdivision surfaces (NURBS was used to animate previous Pixar movies)

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Geri's Game