If you haven’t seen "Presto," the short features a magician who has trouble with his strong-willed rabbit. The premise is that the magician uses real magic, a top hat that acts as a portal to a wizard's hat, which allows him to reach through and grab and produce objects, including the rabbit.
I initially dismissed the short. It featured a stereotypical, old style magician complete with top hat and tails. And I concluded that the short was irrelevant to magic mostly because of its core premise of real magic or some type of science fiction style portal.
What took me a month to realize is that "Presto" is absolutely relevant to the art of magic. You see, as magicians, it's our job to take the impossible and seemingly make it a virtual reality in real time.
If we magicians want to reach our hand into a hat and have it appear in other places, it's our job to find a way to create the illusion. And there are numerous routines that come to mind that provide a foundation: Kevin James' "Re-Animator," Christopher Hart's "Zombie" and Penn & Teller’s “Blast Off” parody. And don't forget that if it wasn't for cartoons, we may not have Dan Sylvester’s "Sylvester the Jester."
This experience has reminded me to not to limit my thinking to the established effects that I can perform as a magician, but to take cool concepts and ideas and come up with ways to make them happen.
This cool concept comes from nothing less than the creative and brilliant minds at Pixar. How's that for inspiration from folks who know a thing or two about creating real magic?