"They're coming to get you, Barbara..."
Toy Story of TERROR! is the first of two Pixar holiday specials reuniting everyone’s favorite toys and when it aired last October, it was seen as a success. Now that Halloween is quickly approaching, Disney is looking to cash in on those who didn’t take the time to DVR the half-hour special with a Blu-ray and DVD release. The movie itself only lasts 21 minutes and 30 seconds, so is there enough on this release to make it worthwhile?
The Toy Story franchise is arguably the best movie series to ever be produced. After Toy Story 3 ended the trilogy, Disney-Pixar started to release shorts in front of select theatrical releases. It was plain to see the quality storytelling from the films translated well to the shorts. This television special is no different than anything before and sets remarkably high standards for the Christmas special, Toy Story That Time Forgot. The optional commentary track is actually a delight to listen to, because it gives even more insight into some of the horror movie reference.
Team of Specialists
Unfortunately, this release has very few special features, but some of the bonus content on the disc makes up for the quantity issue and “Team of Specialists” is the perfect example. The short is hosted by Toy Story of TERROR! director Angus MacLane and follows him through an average day of production. The short is very similar to a bonus feature from the Monsters University Blu-ray, but we should be lucky every time there is a feature that takes us behind the scenes of Pixar.
Vintage Toy Commercials
The shorts themselves only last 30-seconds each, but all three are extremely enjoyable. Director Angus MacLane made sure to create backstories for all of the new characters appearing in Toy Story of TERROR! and to flesh them out even more, he produced the special commercials surrounding the toys. The three commercials are for Combat Carl, Old Timer and Transitron with the highlight being Combat Carl’s. Children of the 80s and 90s will appreciate the amount of effort that went into making Combat Carl’s commercial look just like an episode of G.I. Joe. There is even an option to watch Toy Story of TERROR! with the vintage commercials added in where the commercial breaks would’ve been during the broadcast, making it the ultimate way to watch the movie.
Toy Story Toons
Before there is any outrage, let me clarify. The Toy Story Toons are not bad at all. In fact, the weakest of the three, “Partysaurus Rex,” is still hilarious, but just lesser compared to “Hawaiian Vacation” and “Small Fry.” The main issue is the shorts have all appeared on other Blu-ray releases meaning Pixar purists will already own them in some form. However, Pixar purists will also buy this release regardless of what’s on it, so it might not be a huge deal. The commentary tracks available for the shorts are definitely worth a listen, like every other commentary track on the release, but rehashing old shorts feels cheap.
The necessity of this Blu-ray release confuses me quite a bit. On the one hand, I’m really glad to be able to own Toy Story of TERROR! almost a year after it aired, but I think I would’ve preferred waiting even longer and having a release that features both Toy Story of TERROR! and the upcoming Christmas special Toy Story That Time Forgot. The positives about the release are the special itself, the vintage commercials (when they appear in the commercial breaks of the movie) and the Team of Specialists short, but there is still an argument that the price is too high for what is included. Regardless, it is still a great purchase for parents who want to free up space on the DVR and Pixar lovers who have to buy it to complete their collection.
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