Presto is directed by Doug Sweetland, the animator who’s worked on every Pixar feature up to Ratatoullie, as well as the short film Boundin'. This is Sweetland’s directorial debut. He pitched and sold the storyline about an amiable turn of the century magician and his reluctant rabbit. But he found that his original vision grew into something quite unexpected.
The film is about Presto, the magician, and Alec, his rabbit in a hat who plots revenge against the overbearing and cruel magician. While the rabbit in a hat trick brings Presto great fame and fortune, Alec is left to languish in a cage, a carrot just out of reach.
Alec is decides not to take Presto’s abuse any longer and rebels giving the magician a taste of his own mean spirited medicine. The rabbit is determined to get the last laugh at the expense of his demanding employer. The film is filled with slapstick, magic hats, vaudevillian antics, all in five minutes of screen time. Presto is tormented in a variety of ways, including being attacked by a ladder, electrocuted, thrown to the rafters and having his clothes torn off among other comic tortures. The audience that had come for a magic show finds all of this uproariously funny and I suspect we will too.