Review: ‘Toy Story’ & ‘Toy Story 2’ on Blu-ray
I think it’s fairly safe to begin talking about Toy Story and Toy Story 2 by stipulating that they’re amazing. Most, if not all, of you have no doubt seen these Pixar films in the movie theaters if not on cable or DVD.
Pixar burst into the public consciousness with [[[Toy Story]]], which was fresh, charming and original. It was the first family friendly film to entertain all generations with character-based humor and sly winks to the Baby Boomers who were in attendance with their children or grandchildren. It spoke to everyone and coupled with fabulous CGI animation and a memorable Randy Newman soundtrack, the film put Disney and its competitors to shame.
Wisely, they proved they were not a one-trick pony by rushing out a sequel but instead offered up other originals first. But Buzz Lightyear and Woody were too good to let go and they returned for the sequel. At one point, when it looked like Pixar and Disney were headed for a messy divorce, the House of the Mouse put a third film into development without John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton’s involvement.
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the two entities became one. Out of that notion, though, a third visit to Andy and his toys seemed inevitable. In June, the 3-D third and final film in the series (we presume) will arrive. To celebrate and promote that fact, Walt Disney Home Entertainment is releasing this week Blu-ray special editions of the first two films.
The combo packs offer Blu-ray and Standard discs along
with a digital download option. As a result, this is (in theory) the
last time you need buy these features. Trust me, you want them on
Blu-ray as the images are incredibly crisp and the sound better than
ever. The stories and humor hold up to repeated watching, another
testament to the Pixar team’s value of story
and character over everything else.
All the standard DVD extras
remain but each disc comes with several new extras that also enhance
your enjoyment of the films. Toy Story 3 gets
promoted with a look at the story on the first disc and a look at the new
characters on the second (which might be a first – continued promos). A
Buzz action figure made its way to the International Space Station and
each film comes with a Mission Log educating the audience about the
shuttle and the orbiting lab along with some nifty NASA footage of Buzz
in zero G.
Each disc comes complete with Path to Pixar,
spotlighting various behind-the-scenes folk and how they got to work at
the studio and have grown with it. One in particular shows a math
formula that she learned in high school and comes in handy as she
determines how light moves in each scene. Each package also comes with
three animated Pixar Studio Stories – real life incidents during the
production of the movies.
Toy Story 2 also offers
up a look at the infamous pencil tests that showed how Disney interfered too
much in the first film’s development and all the characters had been
made too edgy and unlikeable. The lesson that Black Friday taught them
all to trust their instincts first and foremost. Watching it is
Those buying the sequel will earn a free ticket to
the new movie, which helps make the new disc irresistible. There’s also a
touching tribute to story man and kind soul John Luft, who died in 2005
just as the studio was completing [[[Cars]]]. While we all know the
front men, these discs shine a nice spotlight on everyone who has helped
make these films so wonderful.