Top positive review
TOY STORY OF TERROR!  [Blu-ray + Digital HD Copy]
16 October 2014
TOY STORY OF TERROR!  [Blu-ray + Digital HD Copy] [US Release] One Toy Gets Left Behind!
PIXAR / Disney proudly presents a wacky new tale featuring all your favourite characters from the Toy Story films. Join Woody, Buzz, Jessie and their pals in a frighteningly fun animated adventure.
What starts out as an exciting road trip for the Toy Story gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse following a detour to a roadside motel. After Mr. Potato Head suddenly disappears, his friends find themselves caught up in a hilarious mystery that must be solved before they suffer the same fate in this thrilling ‘Toy Story Of Terror!
Voice Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Carl Weathers, Stephen Tobolowsky, Timothy Dalton, Wallace Shawn, Don Rickles, Kristen Schaal, Kate McKinnon, Lori Alan, Peter Sohn, Emily Hahn, Dawnn Lewis, Jason Topolski, Ken Marino, Christian Roman, Laraine Newman, Tara Strong, Angus MacLane, Josh Cooley and Dee Bradley Baker
Director: Angus MacLane
Producers: Andrew Stanton, Galyn Susman and John Lasseter
Screenplay: Angus MacLane, Andrew Stanton (characters) and John Lasseter (characters)
Composer: Michael Giacchino
Cinematography: Ian Megibben
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Running Time: 22 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: PIXAR Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: I always get super excited and psyched up when a new PIXAR animation film comes out. They've made us laugh, cry, and have even thrilled us on occasion. But rarely have they tried to frighten us, let alone make a horror movie. But for Halloween in 2013 PIXAR released a thirty minute short film, featuring everyone's favourite toys from the 'Toy Story' franchise on US primetime television, but sadly not in the UK. And it certainly did not disappoint everyone in America. Plus, it was so much fun to see what the geniuses over at PIXAR could do with a horror movie.
Every toy is back this time around including Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex, and Mr. Potato Head, as well as some newcomers. But what really sells this short besides the excellent script and voice acting, are the numerous horror movie references throughout the 22-minute runtime. You can tell that writer/director Angus MacLane (an animator for PIXAR since 'A Bug's Life'), is as huge fan of horror and science fiction movies. With new toys such as Combat Carl (voiced by Carl Weathers of course), Transitron, a PEZ cat, and shape-shifting LEGOs, Angus MacLane uses these new toys to their fullest ability that packs some great laughs and some genuinely creepy moments.
A flat car tyre strands Bonnie [Emily Hahn] and her mother [Lori Alan] at a creepy, small motel for the night, due to the tow truck company not being open until morning. In the car with Bonnie are Woody [Tom Hanks], Buzz [Tim Allen], Jessie [Joan Cusack], Mr. Potato Head [Don Rickles], Rex [Wallace Shawn], Mr. Pricklepants [Timothy Dalton], and Trixie [Kristen Schaal]. As the group locates their room and settles in for the night, the toys come awake and feel like exploring their surroundings. But soon enough some unseen monster starts capturing each toy one by one, until it's just Jessie left to find her friends before morning.
During her search, Jessie meets up with some new toys, one of them being Combat Carl [Carl Weathers], a big GI Joe looking guy with his miniature version Combat Carl Jr., which makes for some excellent comedy. Little does Jessie know that the motel manager is an Ebay seller [Stephen Tobolowsky] who has his pet iguana around him at all times? But now it is up to Jessie and her new friends to save the day and be back in their room before morning. It was a good move to have Jessie the main heroine here. Jessie struggles with her own nightmares and hang-ups in order to save her friends and must overcome her greatest fear to survive.
All children and adults alike will love this film, as there are some laugh out loud moments and some excellent horror movie Easter eggs for the older generation. As always, the voice talent here is top notch, and adding Carl Weathers to the cast is simply perfect. I hope Pixar continues to release these holiday themed shorts throughout the year with their other franchises, because ‘Toy Story Of Terror!’ hits all of the right notes 100%.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘Toy Story Of Terror!’ is as every bit of excellent as you've come to expect from a PIXAR/Disney release. It has a glorious 1080p ultra image transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The detail of this animation is perfect. Every inch of screen is completely detailed from the stains on the walls of the seedy motel to the textures on the toys' cloth costumes. Every stitch is crystal clear and vivid. Even in the darker scenes, which this short film has a considerable amount of, looks impressive, and never leaves you in the dark. The edges are very crisp and organic. There are some shots that actually look realistic. It looks that good. The colours simply pop out of screen at all times and are well balanced and bright. The black levels are very deep and inky with no crush whatsoever. There were no instances of any banding or aliasing to speak of, which is difficult to say for an animated film, but PIXAR does it up right. This video presentation is totally amazing and would be even more improved if they had brought it out in 3D?
Blu-ray Audio Quality – This release comes with an impressive lossless 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix that sounds robust, full, and loud. PIXAR uses all of the favoured horror genre sounds here to perfection, which should make you happy. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand, and is perfectly situated on the centre channel. There is some excellent directionality here as well. The sound effects and creepy voices and noises can be heard from the surrounds nicely, and puts you in the centre of the action. You might even begin to look over your shoulder or around your room to see if that was a real noise or not. These sound effects are life-like and pack a good punch. Ambient noises can be heard too and sound great. The fun and eerie score always adds to the entertainment of the movie and never drowns out any dialogue or sound effect. The surround effects are superb and the dynamic range is very wide here, leaving the audio presentation something to marvel over.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary withDirector Angus McLane, Director of photography Ian Megibben and Editor Axel Geddes: Here we get a breakdown of this special Blu-ray, scene by referential scene, noting the Easter eggs and classic film references tucked away in Toy Story of Terror! They also discuss the story and characters and paying particular attention to Jesse's arc as a horror heroine, the new heroes and villains they've introduced to the ‘Toy Story’ universe and just about every little titbit and in-joke a fan could hope for.
Special Feature: Team of Specialists [1080p] [12:00] This day-in-the-life of Angus MacLane soon gives way to a production feature that covers the development of the special, the creation of new Toy Story characters, animation and effects, and the staff meetings his team holds to guide shots from the storyboard stage to editorial. We get to see everything from research, and even a small conversation with Michael Giacchino, the composer of the short’s music and composer of scores for films such as ‘UP’ and ‘The Incredibles.’
Special Feature: Toy Story Toons [1080p] [19:00] While "Hawaiian Vacation," "Small Fry" and "Partysaurus Rex" have already been released in high definition via previous PIXAR Blu-ray releases, their inclusion here gives each short's filmmakers a chance to chime in thanks to a trio of optional audio commentaries.
Special Feature: Vintage Toy Commercials [1080p] [4:00] The special's hilarious vintage commercials are "Old Timer," "Combat Carl" and "Transitron" which can be played with ‘Toy Story Of Terror!’ which can be accessed individually from the Bonus Features Menu, or viewed with director introductions.
Deleted Scenes [1080p] [7:00] Three unfinished deleted scenes are available, which include "Pencil Topper Trilogy," "Travel Brochures" and "Road Trip Roulette" and each with an optional introduction by Alex Geddes.
D23 Teaser [1080p] [1:00] ‘Toy Story Of Terror!’ promo from D23. This little teaser was shown at the 2013 D23 EXPO, following the first 10 minutes of the short. It’s nothing really major, but definitely makes you wonder what you’ll see and the good thing is, they keep so much of the juicy stuff not shown!
Finally, ‘Toy Story Of Terror!’ is quite a fun film, and an excellent addition to the PIXAR and 'Toy Story' universe. The references to other horror classics are hilarious and great, and the fact that they used Jessie as the main hero here was fantastic. The video and audio presentations are both demo quality while the extras are all worth watching. And I'm glad that Disney is aware that they are selling a 22-minute film, therefore the price is very reasonable. If you are a fan of PIXAR animation, like I am, then this is one very entertaining short film you will want to add to your Blu-ray collection and the bonus features are also a total MUST! Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom