In November 2014, Pikmin Short Movies HD and 3D were released. The collections, for WiiU and 3DS, include 3 short films starring the titular Pikmin and the captains from the game series. Each of the shorts tells a story in vivid CGI animation, approaching Pixar level of detail and quality.
These films are a My Nintendo gold reward until September 1, 2017. Both the HD and 3DS titles offer the same short films, so pick the one best suited for your family's viewing style. Do you prefer crisp visuals on your large television? Plan to watch the shorts together and discuss the various antics happening on screen with your little ones (as I did)? Then, go with the HD collection. If you want your child(ren) to have independence on when they view media and the flexibility of a portable system is more your thing, go 3DS. Or, just get both, because you have to spend those coins before they expire!
The HD shorts were enjoyable to watch with two toddlers age 2 and 4. Mom, Dad and kids talked about each of the stories while we watched. Highlights of our discussions will follow the links below, as they may be slightly spoilery. Each collection is offered at 40 gold coins, and provides approximately 22 minutes of animation total.
Link to Pikmin Short Movies HD redemption: https://my.nintendo.com/rewards/0eae013c592d0675?imp=e13aacd1cce36ff2c821ae5af399d21d1c77e0c5%3Areward_list%3A1%3A18
Link to Pikmin Short Movies 3D redemption: https://my.nintendo.com/rewards/104e0bae841e7165?imp=809833d53418cdf5c5be8fd92ee8a0ccf742ed8a%3Areward_list%3A1%3A9
"The Night Juicer" - This first short is about a minute and a half long. My kids were a little frightened by it as the lighting is purposefully dark and a character is presented in a manner that could be threatening to little ones. A day later and my daughter is still asking "Why was Olimar was going to make juice from the Pikmin"
"Treasure in a Bottle" - My kids were fascinated with the glass bottle used in this short. It's one of those you can get in the Asian section of some grocery stores or at certain restaurants with the marble in the bottleneck. I've got one of these bottles somewhere I can show to the kids. They also likened this short to an episode of "Beat Bugs," a Netflix series that uses Beatles' songs as springboards for a story.
"Occupational Hazards" - Both kids, but especially my son at this point, are totally into construction equipment. We had a fun time calling out the names of big equipment while watching this short, and the Pikmin do some pretty neat tricks with the heavy machinery to handle some aggressive wildlife. My daughter liked this one the best because "the Pikmin came out of the bad guy's nose!"