[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=4939&w=o[/img]Title: Toy Story 3
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, John Ratzenberger
Directed by: Lee Unkrich
Written by: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton
Runtime: 103 Minutes
Release Date: 11/2/2010
Well this one is easy. It’s perfect, buy it. This one really should be that easy. Toy Story 3 opens with all of our favorite toys in an action packed romp as Woody and Jessie ride Bullseye 'like the wind' in order to rescue a train full of orphans. As the scene comes to a close, we learn that it was part of a video diary of Andy playing with his beloved toys Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang when he was young. We also discover that our favorite Pixar kid is all grown up and getting ready to leave for college.
As the toys plan out a way to get Andy to play with them before he leaves for school, they are suddenly whisked away in the donation box to Sunnyside day care center where they encounter Lotsa (Beatty) and Ken (Keaton) as the toys calling all of the shots. Woody manages to escape and finds himself on the outside as the other toys discover that they are nothing more than fodder for an army of toddlers. Can Woody rescue his friends and get back to Elm Street before Andy leaves for college?
It is hard to believe that the original Toy Story will be 15 years old in just 19 short days. The first one came out on November 22, 1995, just 11 months after my daughter was born. As I watched the scenes of Andy leaving for college with my daughter, who will be 16 next month and off to college herself in just a couple of short years, I couldn’t help but experience a lot of emotion remembering all of the times we watched the first two movies while she was growing up. In the end, Toy Story 3 is one of the most entertaining, sincere and bittersweet movies I have watched in quite some time and was even more special watching it with my little girl.
The original Toy Story was also the first Disney/Pixar film as well as the first high budget feature film to be made entirely with CGI. 15 years later the premise that these films were founded on still feels new and fun. A lot of times, sequels sadly succumb to the quantity over quality ire that has destroyed so many franchises, yet Pixar has done an incredible of preventing that same fate for the Toy Story franchise. Toy Story 3 not only continues the tradition but it was also the highest grossing animated movie of all time and the highest grossing film in 2010.
The voice acting in the movie is just as great as you would expect. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are great as the dynamic duo Woody and Buzz. Even after three movies, these characters still feel fresh and fun. I was a little surprised at how well Blake Clark (Waterboy’s Farmer Fran) was able to recreate the voice of Slinky Dog in place of the late Jim Varney and Ned Beatty did a great job as the baddie ‘Lotso’. Michael Keaton as the voice of ‘Ken’ was a welcomed addition and Bonnie Hunt and Whoopie Goldberg round out the rest of the cast wonderfully.
Toy Story 3 is presented in 1080P AVC MPEG4 and the results are flawless, but are you really surprised? Colors of every shade can be seen in exquisite detail. The clarity is perfect, the depth is perfect and there is absolutely nothing at fault in this transfer. Look, it’s a Pixar movie that they spent $200 million to create; there is no way that this movie wasn’t going to be perfect.
There is a whole different level of video quality where a CGI feature is concerned and because of that, I try to keep that in mind when reviewing animated vs. CGI vs. live action. That being said, Toy Story 3 really is reference quality from beginning to end and one of the top Bluray releases to date.
One scene that keeps sticking out at me is the first time the toys look out over the playground at the daycare while the children are out for recess. I don’t recall ever seeing an on screen visual with so much clarity, detail and eye popping color all at once. Every individual hue is defined with the highest amount of resolution and separation that really has no comparison.
With the DTS-HD Master Audio going full-bore, it is equally hard to find anything wrong with this audio presentation. Bass is deep and impactful but not overly intrusive. Surrounds are given plenty of attention and the front sound stage is in constant motion. There is plenty of mid-bass that is that can be very encompassing from beginning to end.
Dialogue is balanced and out front with plenty of textures and depth. One of the best things about the Toy Story movies is the music and Toy Story 3 is no different, by the way, stick around after the movie for the Spanish version of “You’ve got a friend in me”, it’s classic. The last thing I want to comment on is the level of detail that is present throughout Toy Story 3. The slightest nuance and tinge of ambient noise comes through with incredible clarity and is perfectly articulated. From beginning to end, including the credits, this audio rocks!
There are literally hours and hours of extra content in this package and it is all well worth the extra cost.
- The Gang's All Here
- 'Day & Night' Theatrical Short
- Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure
- Studio Stories: Where's Gordon?
- Studio Stories: Cereal Bar
- Studio Stories: Clean Start
- Cine-Explore Picture-in-Picture Commentary
- Beyond the Toybox: An Alternative Commentary Track
- Goodbye Andy
- Accidental Toymakers
- A Toy's Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land
- Roundin' up a Western Opening
- Bonnie's Playtime: A Story Roundtable
- Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion
- Life of a Shot
- Making of 'Day & Night'
- Paths to Pixar: Editorial
- 'Toy Story' Trivia Dash
- Grab Bag
- Ken's Dating Tips
- Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercial
- Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercial
- Making of Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercials
- Internet Chat
- Security Cam
- 'Dancing with the Stars' at Pixar
- Character Intros
- Poster Gallery
- Digital Copy and DVD
Toy Story 3 is pretty much everything you would hope it could be. Filmmakers have successfully brought the franchise up to date without sacrificing any of the things that people hold close from the first two movies. Parents with kids that grew up with the first two films will definitely feel a bit of ‘verklempt’ from time to time, but it’s not a bad thing. Overall Toy Story 3 is a wonderful family movie and an A/V tour de force. There should be no question, it’s a buy, don’t bother with a rental. Pixar have really outdone themselves on Toy Story 3 and it is one that will surely be a classic. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night! :wave: