HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Toy Story of Terror
HTS Overall Score:89
More “Toy Story” is never a bad thing, as Pixar has found cinematic gold with this series. Now we’re back again with a little shorter of a review off of…..(drum roll), a cinematic SHORT! The short takes place after the events of “Toy Story 3” when the toys have been passed on to Bonnie (Emily Hahn) and they have adjusted to their new owner quite well. Being that this is a Halloween short you can already guess that we’re going for more of a macabre feel to the little movie. Bonnie and her mother are going on a little trip, immediately after the toys have finished watching a horror movie and Bonnie has to take her toys with her (as every young child does). Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Woody (Tom Hanks) are a little shaken from the movie, but Mr. Pricklepants (voiced by the incredible Timothy Dalton) is making nerves run a bit raw with his constant horror film narration of the events. Soon everyone begins to get a little on edge and things start to take a terrifying turn for the worst when Mr. Potato head (Don Rickles) goes missing in the family’s hotel room. Going out to investigate the remaining toys begin to get picked off one by one, till only Jessie (Joan Cusack) is left. Meeting a lone toy named Combat Carl (Carl Weathers), Jessie tries to survive until even Carl has been picked off. Coming face to face with the monstrous creature that is terrorizing them is inevitable, and soon Jessie finds herself trapped with nowhere to go in the maw of a ………………iguana.
It seems that the hotel is run by a rather sleazy manager who uses his pet trained iguana to pick up loose toys from his customers and then locks them up in a cabinet, to be sold on E-bid to the highest bidder. While the manager tries to make a quick buck, Woody, Buzz and the crew band together with the other leftover toys in an effort to make a getaway, but in the process Woody gets sold off and packaged up for the nearest UPS man to come and get him. Now Jessie has to get over her fear of being locked up in boxes (due to her horrible experience in “Toy Story 2) and find a way to rescue Woody and get the rest of the toys back to their rightful owners.
“Toy Story of Terror” is a very simple story, it’s about the length of a half hour TV special (which it is) so there’s not a lot of complex plot development. Instead it relies on your previous knowledge of the gang’s inner workings and goes from there. Still the 22 minutes of length is plenty of time for a quick adventure and surprisingly doesn’t FEEL like a throwaway TV episode. Carl Weathers addition as Combat Carl is hilarious, especially if you’re a “Predator” fan, as he completely channels his over the top commando character from that good old Arnie classic. My real favorite though is Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants. Timothy Dalton can make even the worst character golden as his rich and baritone voice just exudes energy and talent. Mr. Priclepants uses a running monologue the entire time, comparing every incident in the toys line up to a horror movie cliché, kind of ribbing the entire horror themed episode with a little tongue stuck firmly in cheek.
Rated TV-G for General Audiences
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=24705[/img]This is a Pixar short, and I really don’t have to introduce or spice of a Pixar transfer, as it is summarily incredible. Pixar’s animation is legendary and with only 45 minutes of material on disc (including the short toons inside the special features) we have a VERY high bitrate encode that looks phenomenal. The first part of the movie is dripping with macabre overtones and is thusly shrouded in a dark and glooming color palette that lightens up into the bright and colorful experience that the “Toy Story” franchise is known for. Colors are beautiful and are luscious and saturated as you could hope for. The detail is flawless as you can see every shine and curve of the toy’s animated bodies and those dark scenes I mentioned are without peer. Since the disc is given such a high bitrate there’s no sign of banding during those dark scenes and the image is free from digital manipulation and looks about as perfect as you can get with digital animation straight from the tap.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=24713[/img]Pixar has actually given us an impressive choice of audio options as we have a 7.1 DTS-HD MA track, a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track and even a Dolby Digital 2.0 track for night listening (and for the descriptive services). The 5.1 and 7.1 DTS-HD MA track are both about the same mix, with just a slight edge for the 7.1 track for those of you with the extra channels. Dialogue is great as expected and the surrounds are used excellently to add to the creepy atmosphere of the little “horror” flick. Once the action starts up and the toys try to escape there’s a good LFE presence that throbs and pulses with every little jump scare and the crashing of toys into the glass cage they find themselves in. Basically Pixar excellence is not thrown away for a short such as this. Even the little toons in the extras section carry a full lossless audio track. Color me impressed.
• “Toy Story Toons” Shorts:
- Hawaiian Vacation
- Small Fry
- Partysaurus Rex
• Audio Commentaries
• Team of Specialists
• 3 Deleted Scenes + Editor Introductions
• Vintage Toy Commercials + Director Introductions
I have to say, I’m a sucker for the “Toy Story” series and even a little short like this has me yanking out the popcorn and watching like a little kid on the floor, with eyes glued to the screen. It’s a charming little Halloween short that still has the heart and feel of the 3 movies that we all love so much. The impressive array of audio options and the stunning video are great, but the decent set of extras round it out to a really safe purchase for I might say. If you’re a fan of the “Toy Story” movies this is definitely worth watching, or even buying since Disney has decided to give it a nice price point since it’s not exactly a full length film. Recommended.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
Directed by: Angus McClane
Written by: Angus McClane, Andrew Stanton
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Blu-ray Release Date: August 19th, 2014
Buy Toy Story of Terror Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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