Pixels (2010 film)

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For the feature film adaptation, see Pixels (2015 film).
Pixels short film.jpg
Directed by Patrick Jean
Produced by Johnny Alves
Benjamin Darras
Written by Patrick Jean
Cinematography Matias Boucard
One More Production
Release dates
  • April 2010 (2010-04)
Running time
2 minutes
Country France

Pixels is a 2010 French animated short film written and directed by Patrick Jean. It is about an invasion of New York City by classic 8-bit video game characters, such as those from Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Tetris, Arkanoid, and others.

The film won the Annecy Crystal for Best Short Film at the 2011 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.[1]


A man walks over to a trash can, puts a 1980s-era television by it, and leaves. A few seconds go by, then the TV turns on and shows colored bars. An 8-bit picture of a bomb shows up and the simulated fuse runs out, causing the TV screen to shatter, releasing a cloud of pixels (illustrated as voxels because of the three-dimensionality of the scene). The pixels fly over to New York City and head in various directions.

Space Invaders start to shoot downwards; on contact, the projectiles cause a delivery truck and two taxis to degenerate into pixels.

A cloud of pixels then flies down the stairs into a subway, eventually forming into Pac-Man, which eats the subway trains and stations as it travels the tunnels. Its progress is shown on the subway status display, similar to the cleared-away dots on the original game screen.

Giant Tetris tiles then match up with floors of skyscrapers. One building gets a "Tetris", eliminating several mid-level floors, and the building's top falls onto the remainder of the building.

Arkanoids come and destroy the bricks of a bridge pier, resulting in the bridge collapsing.

Donkey Kong then throws a barrel from the Empire State Building and flattens a traffic light as well as breaking off a fire hydrant, from which sprays suddenly pixelated water.

Frogger does not do damage, as he is (as in the game) trying to cross traffic unharmed.

Finally, a giant pixelated bomb is shown. When it explodes, everything around it starts become pixelated: buildings, parks, traffic lights, the landscape around, and finally the entire Earth. Earth is shown changing to a single giant, cubic voxel. The last scene shows it rotating as it drifts away.

The end credits are shown as a high-score list.

Feature film[edit]

Main article: Pixels (2015 film)

Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison Productions developed a feature film based on the short film.[2] Tim Herlihy and Tim Dowling wrote the script,[3][4] which Chris Columbus directed.[5] Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Brian Cox, Ashley Benson and Michelle Monaghan star in the film.[6][7][8]

The feature film started principal photography in Toronto, Canada on June 2, 2014, using downtown streets decorated to resemble New York City.[9]


  1. ^ Hopewell, John; Keslassy, Elsa (2011-06-11). "'Rabbi's Cat' wins Annecy best feature". Variety. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  2. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (12 May 2010). "Sony, Happy Madison Playing With Viral Sensation ‘Pixels’". deadline.com. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Kit, Borys (10 November 2010). "Happy Madison Hires Writer for 'Pixels' Feature". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Sneider, Jeff (16 July 2012). "Tim Dowling to rewrite vidgame-themed ‘Pixels’". variety.com. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Sneider, Jeff (30 May 2013). "Chris Columbus in Talks to Direct ‘Pixels’ for Sandler and Sony". thewrap.com. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Sneider, Jeff (26 February 2014). "Adam Sandler to Star in Sony’s Big-Budget Video Game Movie ‘Pixels’". thewrap.com. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Game of Thrones’ Star Peter Dinklage Joins Cast of Adam Sandler’s ‘Pixels’". variety.com. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (4 April 2014). "Michelle Monaghan Joining Adam Sandler in 'Pixels'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Christine. "Pixels". Onlocationvacations.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 

External links[edit]