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Toy Story
BLU-RAY disk
04.02.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Toy Story order
Director:
John Lesseter

Actors:
Tom Hanks
Woody Allen
John Ratzenberger

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Today is Andy’s birthday and his toys are scared to death of being replaced. When he gets a super-cool Buzz Lightyear doll as a surprise gift, Woody (Andy’s favourite toy) decides he’ll stop at nothing to get rid of the new arrival.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It’s hard to believe that TOY STORY is a decade and a half old (you know it’s been awhile when it says “Siskel & Ebert give it two thumbs way up”), then again TOY STORY 3 is right around the corner. The Disney/Pixar duo was a relatively unnoticed merger and at this point in time nobody really cared anyway. This film changed all that, and today when I hear the word “Pixar”, I immediately get excited to see what they’ve come up with next. That’s right, I said I get excited...over an animated G movie. That, ladies and gentlemen is a testament to how great these films truly are.

The story is fun for all ages and is really quite genius: What do our toys do when we’re not around? And what’s even funnier still is that like children, pets and anything else we give affection to, toys too can become jealous of one another. For me, this was a slight nod in the direction of Disney’s HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, a forgotten adventure to most these days, but one that immediately comes to mind while watching this adventure un-fold (especially when it comes to Woody and Buzz fighting to get from one house to the other).

The cast is another great aspect of this film as though I don’t usually enjoy Tom Hanks, I will give the man credit when it comes to comedy as he’s pretty damn good at it. Tim Allen (who also does funny rather well...or at least used to) came into this flick pretty much at the height of his career and it shows as he’s at the top of his game. I’m anxious to see where the chips fall with TOY STORY 3 and hope that these two can deliver once again. I enjoyed the second one for what it was, but there’s no comparison when it comes to this first incarnation. Even the dialogue is racy and suggestive at times for a Disney flick, and that’s one of the things that keeps me coming back for more.

TOY STORY is a landmark film that hasn’t aged a day in my mind. The animation is phenomenal considering this takes us back to a time when computer animation was just getting a proper foothold in cinema as a matured avenue for all. It was an uphill battle to be sure, but these guys pulled it off in spades and continue to bring the hits home (the only one I didn’t really care for was CARS). Disney is a love/hate company, but one thing that I can say in all certainty is that teaming up with Pixar to bring us these fantastic films was the best decision they ever made. Keep em coming guys!
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Director John Lasseter, co-writer Andrew Stanton and the animation team have a blast revisiting this treasure of a film. Yes, there are a lot of laughs when it comes to comparing the animation of then and now, but they’re all still very proud of this work.

Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off: A cute little bit with Buzz going over astronaut stuff and his original mission about getting to earth. Great for kids who dig outer space.

Paths to Pixar: Artists: Here we get a look at some of the artists on team Pixar and how they work. Most of them have been around since the beginning and love every second of it.

Studio Stories: John’s Car: The crew poke fun at the (death box) car director John Lasseter was driving when they first shot the movie. Beats living in a van down by the river.

Studio Stories: Baby AJ: A funny story about how competitive the Pixar staff get at Halloween in hopes of winning a trip for two anywhere in the world. Nice.

Studio Stories: Scooter Races: Another funny story about the staff racing around work on scooters. Is it me, or does Pixar sound like a fun as hell place to work?

Buzz takes Manhattan: Director John Lesseter reminisces about the year the Macy’s Parade in New York City featured a Buzz Lightyear balloon, and how honoured he was by it.

Black Friday: The Toy Story You Never Saw: The crew explain just how difficult and time consuming this film was to create and all the back and forth effort that went into it. Thank God these guys are dedicated.

Previews: There are a bunch of trailers, a Blu-ray commercial, some BD-LIVE content as well as a DVD copy of the film. The highlight here being the TOY STORY 3 content.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
When it comes right down to it, these movies are about fun and the fun factor couldn’t be higher than it is with TOY STORY. The battle between Woody and Buzz is a riot not matter how many times you watch it. This thing looks great in HD and is well worth picking up.
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