The best part about TOY STORY, though, is that not only did Pixar Studios make history by creating the first feature-length computer-animated film, they made a wholly appealing film filled with equal parts humor, action, drama, and sheer awe that had an effect on people of all ages. Kids will enjoy the adventures the bickering toys embark on and get a little taste of darkness in terms of story direction, (the introduction to the mutated toys in a nasty kid’s room is as dementedly inventive as ever), while adults can admire the quality of the animation and how well-organized the story is. Very intriguing was the hierarchy given to Andy’s toys, how each of them had an assigned role, which served as surprisingly touching plot conflict once the worn-out cowboy Woody found his thunder being stolen by Buzz, a pricey piece of plastic with all the bells and whistles you can think of. TOY STORY surprises the viewer with how easily it can draw you in with how colorful the characters and settings are, then turn around and tug on your ol’ heartstrings a little with a plot more interesting than most animated films are given.
Almost ten years ago, TOY STORY excited me and entertained me as a kid, and today, it’s still a flawless, funny, and nostalgic wonder to behold. It remains one of the highest-profile films of its kind to prove that feature-length cartoons weren’t just for kids only; no matter how small a touch it may be, TOY STORY provides a little something for everybody, which is what has helped the film hold up so well after a decade and will continue to do so for years to come.
Intro: TOY STORY director John Lasseter gives a quick introduction to the flick.
The Legacy: An 11-minute featurette that provides a rather swift rundown of the cultural impact TOY STORY had over the past decade.
We also get a handful of trailers (including a look at the upcoming Pixar project CARS) and a commentary track with director John Lassester, co-screenwriter Andrew Stanton, co-screenwriter Pete Docter, art director Ralph Eggleston, animator Bill Reeves, and producers Bonnie Arnold and Ralph Guggenheim.
Now this is where the good stuff is at…
Making Toy Story: A 20-minute making-of documentary filmed back around when TOY STORY first came out.
Filmmakers Reflect: A 16-minute talk amongst Lasseter, Stanton, Docter, and the late, great Joe Ranft, reflecting on the process of making the film.
Deleted Scenes: An interesting selection of deleted storyboard ideas and animated sequences that almost made it to the final TOY STORY product, but not quite (the extended Sid/torture scene was pretty brief, but fun).
Behind the Scenes: Want to know something about TOY STORY? If you can think of it, you’ll find it in this section, which breaks down the film’s design, story development, production, music/sound, and publicity into their own series’ of mini-documentaries and galleries. There’s also a six-minute “Designing Toy Story” featurette that talk about making the flick look like it did. This section heavily focuses on the technical aspects of making TOY STORY, so there’s enough so that you can take an afternoon off and explore (though the Randy Newman music demos had me going nuts after a few minutes).
“The Claw!” Game: A fun little game where you pick up various TOY STORY characters with the legendary, quarter-stealing Claw Machine.
Also scattered throughout this disc are little cartoons featuring the TOY STORY characters. They can be found by highlighting and clicking on one of the little sheriff stars located in every menu. But if you’d rather not hunt for hours, just go to the Index menu, and there’ll be a list of all the vignettes.