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Eighteen years have passed since the release of Pixar's first full-
length computer animated feature "Toy Story" (1995). Since its enormous
success, it has not only originated two high-quality sequels in 1999
and 2010, but it has also originated Pixar's very first television
special called "Toy Story of Terror", which premiered this past
Wednesday on ABC. In this half-hour special, Woody, Buzz and the rest
of the gang go on a road trip with their owner Bonnie. When it becomes
late, they all stop at a roadside motel to spend the night. During that
night, one of the toys goes missing and the other toys must do what
they can to find the missing toy before it's too late.
The interesting thing that "Toy Story of Terror" does along the way is teach kids the basic plot structure of a horror movie. Mr. Pricklepants prepares the young audience for what will eventually occur in this plot. While it may sound like it's taking the scares away from any adults watching it, it actually sets up some pretty light bits of humor for everyone to enjoy. An impressive aspect about this special is that a handful of actors such as Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Wallace Shawn and Don Rickles are reprising the roles that they made famous with the previous films in the "Toy Story" franchise. Hanks is back as Woody, Allen returns as Buzz Lightyear, and so on.
It was a wise decision for Pixar to make with this special since it shows another one of the special's strengths: its loyalty to the original characters.In other words, Pixar remains consistent with the personalities of these characters. They don't try something offensive or back-stabbing to the audience like making Woody not care about the fate of the other toys. They still maintain the integrity of the characters that we know and love in the first place by keeping them the way they were. With all that said, is "Toy Story of Terror" worthy of the same status as the "Toy Story" movie trilogy? Not quite, but then again, it was already at a disadvantage to the three films with only one-fourth of their running time. But within its limitations, "Toy Story of Terror" is pleasing enough for both kids and adults.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Toy Story of Terror' is another brilliant adventure from Pixar's
finest. This time the toys take a trip to the motel with Bonnie. They
are left in the suitcase but decide they want to have a look around,
and of course something goes wrong. It turns into a nightmare and they
try everything to get out of a bad situation.
I really liked the plot in this one, it was nice and simple but still cleverly thought out. We still had Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex, Mr Potato Head and Trixie. Mr. Pricklepants was very amusing too. Then there were some new characters as well, Combat Carl was awesome and the lizard type thing that caught the toys was rather cool. Then there was a collector who looked familiar but he was a different person. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see Hamm or Slinky as well as some others but I suppose they can't all be in every single Toy Story film.
The characters look as great as ever, there are laughs too as expected with Toy Story. The standard for Toy Story is just great. The 3 feature length films, the 3 short films and now this. They are all brilliant.
Overall, another great addition to the Toy Story franchise. Can we have some more please?
In this adventure, the toys find themselves in their own little horror
movie. As Bonnie and her mum are on a trip they find themselves
stopping at a motel and soon the toys start to disappear one by one.
Jessie has to figure out what has happened to her friends and the
cowgirl has to overcome her claustrophobia.
Woody and Buzz Lightyear have smaller roles, it is Joan Cusack as Jessie who has to sell these Toy Story short aided by Rex and Mr Pricklepants.
This television special shows there are still stories to be told in the Toy Story universe although I found part of the motivation of the villain reminiscent of Toy Story 2.
It is still a charming animation although you always sense that Pixar and Disney realise that this is still a cash cow that needs milking.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The team are back...if you don't count the numerous cartoons and shorts
over the years, but yet they're back. Yes despite my rather cocky
introduction there I was pleased to see the toy crew back for more
adventures as I'm sure everyone else was too. Much to my pure pleasure
this story centres around a horror tale of sorts, admittedly not in the
same vain as 'The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror' tales which I was
kinda hoping for but its all good.
That's not to say this short animated tale is all dark and creepy with elements of Cushing, Lee and Price, alas no (even though the intro does lean that way like its teasing you...damn them!). Its much more straight laced than that and still takes place within the semi real world we all from the films. Gotta be honest this did disappoint me as I really wanted to see a kooky haunted mansion type horror along the lines of 'The Addams Family', I really think that could of been cool.
The film does feel a tad tired I can't deny, the plot is the usual toys in trouble affair with the team getting split up and the others having to rescue them. Its not exactly genius but it just about works although the laughs are few and far between in all honesty. It looks good of course, all the characters are present and correct with their original voices by the original stars which is nice. Wasn't too sure about the pet iguana that acts like a dog, yes I know its a kids cartoon essentially but that just seemed too stupid to me, too toonish.
The best thing about this new short is easily Combat Carl voiced by Carl Weathers. This character easily equals Buzz in terms of great humorous dialog and his sheer retro design, the classic macho man action figure of the 80's and beyond. I also thought his mini version was a nice touch too, the type of smaller figure that would fit inside an action vehicle...like the small M.A.S.K. figures. Weathers was perfectly cast for this little role he really was, I loved how the action figure was basically a young Weathers probably based on his character in 'Predator'.
Then there was the awesome brief appearance of the Transformer type robot toy who comes apart and reassembles when required (looked a bit like Voltron), the fat superhero toy, the Pez dispenser and that Lego type character. End of the day the story is slightly weak I can't lie about that but its the great retro toy characters that keep you entertained. Fun for the kids because its an animated cartoon, and fun for the adults because we can reminisce about all these old toys we used to have. Surely you all remember how cool it was to see plastic soldiers in action in the original huh...am I right? Just don't expect anything as sizzling as the movies.
'can it Pants! life ain't a movie, they're never coming back'
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well It been two years since I've seen the Toy Story characters, the last time was seeing them in the short Hawaiian Vacation that I saw in theaters along with Cars 2, and now there in there first Halloween special. We still have the same cast members, we still have Tom Hanks and Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz, and so forth. I do enjoy some of the jokes they got. There is a villain in this one, I won't give any thing away but, he's more like one of the villains from the movies. The human designs on the humans even the ones from the third have improved and they also show the design in one Pixar's latest film. To me its a good Halloween special and its nice to reunite with some of our favorite characters (again).
After missing it the previous two years, I finally got to watch this Pixar/Disney special. While the voices of Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz are back, it's mostly Joan Cusack's as Jessie that serves as the main character in this one as she has to deal with her claustrophobia when she gets involved in a rescue of one of those two I just mentioned. Quite amusing throughout especially when Timothy Dalton voices a character who knows all the horror movie conventions and Carl Weathers does someone based on a character he played in Predator. Maybe it could have used a bit more time to make the plot more enjoyable but overall, Toy Story of Terror did what it was meant to do, entertain.
Good, but not very filling. Sweet little Toy Story short story / mini-
movie, made for Halloween (I guess). Very similar in concept to the
annual Simpsons Halloween Special.
Has the usual Toy Story characteristics: quirky plot, snappy dialogue, rollicking adventure.
However, the shortness is a negative quality. There is little time to develop the plot. Just when you're getting into it, the "movie" ends.
It just feels kind of "meh" afterwards. Unlike the full-length Toy Stort movies which leave you beaming from ear to ear and feeling a calm sense of innocence and delight.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ah, the Halloween special, a dying pedigree. Every December usually
brings one or two new Christmas specials. The Halloween special,
however, is a rarer breed. "The Great Pumpkin" gets trotted out every
October but new productions are seen far less frequently. Pixar, for
the first time, is throwing their hat into the ring with "Toy Story of
Terror," basically a slightly-longer, televised version of their
already popular "Toy Story" shorts. I'm a fan of the company and the
series but would a Disney-owned property be willing to get creepy? Yes
and no. "Toy Story of Terror" follow the same batch of toys as always
(though Mrs. Potato Head, Slinky-Dog, and Dolly are notably absent), on
the road with Bonny and her mom. When their car breaks down, the group
has to stop at a spooky hotel. Once inside, the toys wander off,
something strange picking them off one-by-one.
It's probably a mark of Pixar's quality that even a fluffy TV special has a genuine character arc. "Toy Story of Terror" begins with Jessie falling into a tool box and freaking out. Later on, she ventures out of Boony's bag because it's too confined for her. This is a story of the cowgirl conquering her claustrophobia. The arc is framed as a usual "believe in yourself" kid's movie story but the effort is appreciated. Moreover, Joan Cusack sells her fear honestly. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen have far smaller roles, Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Don Rickles, and Timothy Dalton doing most of the work. Dalton and Shawn are fantastic actually, the parts of Rex and Mr. Pricklepants playing nicely to their strengths.
As far as horror-content goes, "Toy Story of Terror" has some fun. The special begins with the toys watching a black-and-white vampire film, which is recreated nicely. Throughout the special, Mr. Pricklepants delivers dialogue about the traditional structure of the genre. After Mr. Potato-Head disappears, the toys investigate the dusty, cobweb-filled sub-flooring of the motel, Buzz' glow-in-the-dark paint casting an eerie green glow on everything. Jesse quickly becomes a final girl, an off-screen monster picking off her friends. She even has a run-in with an ineffectual authority figure, Carl Weathers having hilarious fun as Combat Carl. The second half of the special, after the truth is revealed, the horror elements pretty much disappear. This is disappointing, considering the first half did a good job introducing kids to the rules of the slasher film. That's unexpected for a Disney product. Will "Toy Story of Terror" become a classic like "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?" It's hard to say but, if this becomes a yearly tradition, I'd probably be okay with that.
The Toy Story films may now be over but this short film came out in the
UK as part of Halloween programming. I didn't know what to expect from
it perhaps it was just a lazy TV spin off to generate income and keep
the brand fresh, but actually it was a very enjoyable little short with
all the main characters returning as well as some great new ones. The
plot sees the gang checking into a motel where, as Mr Pricklepants
points out, terrible things can happen. Sure enough the gang start
getting picked off one at a time, confronting Jessie with her worst
fears which she must overcome to save the gang.
With this plot the short has a knowing humor based on horror movies and it wears this well. It isn't all this though, the film also has a nice message about overcoming fear and does a good job to bring that out of Jessie very quickly for maximum use. The film is not as impacting, intelligent nor as funny as the films, but it is still good enough to be worth watching for what it does well. I laughed out loud a couple of times (pretty good for 20 minutes) and was amused consistently for the rest.
The characters are great. I liked that the originals all returned, although Hanks and Allen clearly did their work in one day in the studio. Cusack is good while Dalton, Shawn, Schaal, Rickles, and others are all good value. The addition of Carl Weathers not only pleased me as an Arrested Development reference, but he was also a very funny character; Pezcat was also good and produced the biggest laugh from me. Overall a very enjoyable seasonal short film with high production values and high quality all round.
After ending up in a remote motel, Potato Head wants to look for the free stuff and disappears so the gang go an look for him. They get caught by the manager's pet and are to be sold for loads of cash, but they are not going to give up that easily. It's a horror story told in a unique way by one of the toys as they advance in plot, pretty interesting and enjoyable. It's a good short but as predictable and as cliché as it gets so far from a perfect score.
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