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Toy Story 2
BLU-RAY disk
Apr 15, 2010 By: Aaron the H
Toy Story 2 order
Director:
John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon

Actors:
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Joan Cusack

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When our beloved toy cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen away a thieving toy collector, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang leave the safety of Andys bedroom to embark on a cross-town adventure to get Woody back.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The original Toy Story was an absolute game changer for the industry, and set an enormous precedent on behalf of Pixar. Not only did it announce their presence on the animation front and usher in the here-to-stay era of computer animation, but it did so with a classic film with a genuine sense of fantasy, hilarity, and most importantly, sincerity. The film provided a benchmark, a standard that all future CGI movies would be forced to match (or at least attempt to) to ensure any success in theatres, and for that alone, Pixar will forever be a company I admire.

So, with those lofty expectations set, how did they do with their sequel? Pretty much the same as theyve done with every film since then- they hit this thing outta the friggin park. Equally as inventive as the original Toy Story, but with a far greater sense of adventure, Toy Story 2 brings all our loveable toys back to the screen and adds a few more for good measure (though the new additions, to be fair, are not quite as loveable).

This entry adds the vocal talents Kelsey Grammar, Joan Cusack, and Wayne Knight (Newman from "Seinfeld"), whos perfect as a greedy, weasly toy store owner with some dastardly plans for Woody, revealed in this film to be a rare toy collectible. The banter and fun in this film seriously is nearly non-stop, and takes on a slightly darker and thus more adult tone than the first film, which by no means makes this any less appealing to the kiddies. The toys venture into the city, as well as the addition of some more commercial, modern toys like Barbie, also gives the film a bit more currentness (made up word of the day), detracting from the more timeless, classic feel of the original, a bit of a bummer sure, but an almost inevitable evolution in this day and age.

With the toys' owner, young Andy away for most of this film at cowboy camp, the filmmakers decide to make the bond not between a boy and his toys, but rather between the toys themselves, and while I missed feeling that connection and being reminded of my childhood (largely spent with a room full of action figures) , the strong bond now forged between Buzz, Woody and the rest of their toy gang is no less sweet. Oh, yeah and those awesome little aliens from the claw machine in the original? They find their way into this film too. All in all another fantastic Pixar experience.
THE EXTRAS
In addition to all these Blu-ray exclusives below, the disc retains ALL of the 2 disc Special Edition DVDs features, which, let me tell you, may just be the most expansive special features list Ive ever seen. You get Making Ofs, cast profiles, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Gags, and featurettes on Design, Production, Sound, and Publicity, and a ton more- literally hours worth of stuff.

Commentary by Director John Lasseter, Co-directors Lee Unkrich and co-writer Andrew Stanton: This is one of the warmest, most educational commentary tracks you can imagine. Its clear after listening to these guys why their films are so intelligent and fun. They refrain from getting too technical and reveal mostly fun trivia bits and story motivations.

Commentary by Director John Lasseter, Co-directors Lee Unkrich and co-writer Andrew Stanton: This is one of the warmest, most educational commentary tracks you can imagine. Its clear after listening to these guys why their films are so intelligent and fun. They refrain from getting too technical and reveal mostly fun trivia bits and story motivations.

Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: International Space Station (3:43) - A very cool little segment hosted by Buzz Lightyear, featuring real footage with Russian Cosmonauts and American Astronauts aboard the space station. Highly educational actually.

Paths to Pixar: Technical Artists (4:24) - A very boring series of interviews with the technical artists that bring Pixar films to the screen. They talk mostly about themselves and not the creation process, making this a largely useless featurette.

Toy Story 2 Sleep Deprivation Lab (1:25) - Not as cool as it sounds. A little animated short about how fast they had to pull this film together.

Pinocchio (2:12) - Another animated short about life at the Pixar office, this one detailing how the animators kept themselves entertained during those long, boring days. Funny.

The Movie Vanishes (2:32) - A final, wild story out of the Pixar camp, this one you gotta see.

Pixars Zoetrope (1:58) - Another featurette that doesnt have much to do with the film, but details how supremely awesome (and unashamedly nerdy) the guys at Pixar are. This ones about the creation of am insanely cool 3-D zoetrope modeled after Toy Story 2.

Remembering Joe Ranft (12:47) - A heartfelt tribute to one of Pixars most beloved crew members, writer, voice actor, and storyboard artist Joe Ranft, who sadly passed away in 2005.

Toy Story 3 Sneak Peak The Characters (4:00) - A great build-up to get you jazzed for he upcoming Toy Story 3, which looks to be tons of fun with an incredible handful of new additions to the cast (including Michael Keaton!)

The Blu-ray also comes with a DVD copy of the film, packed with all the Special Features as well.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Toy Story 2 is one of the few animated sequels (in fact maybe the only one) that actually lives up to the monumental expectations set forth by its predecessor. See this film for a few laughs, a few tears, and one hell of a fun adventure.
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