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Toy Story 1 & 2 Blu-Ray Review

Fifteen years ago (yeah 1995 was that long ago) Toy Story debuted in theaters, and introduced us to the future of animation. After, its release a slew of “Pixar copy cats” filled theaters. None of theses copy cats could compete with Pixar. I’m not talking about the animation, I’m referring to the story. That is what makes Pixar successful, the stories. Toy Story is still captivating. Now with Toy Story 3 hitting theaters this summer, we finally get Toy Story and Toy Story 2 on Blu Ray.

Synopsis
I’m not going to bore you with a synopsis of the story. If you haven’t seen these films by now, I doubt you ever will. While both of these films are under the Disney vault, keep in mind that Pixar are the “real” creators. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 focus on plot and character development. Gone are the typical musical montages. However a focus on story without the animation process hindering it was in. All the toys were brought to life by making them interesting. Yes if Tim Allen and Tom Hanks were not the voices of Buzz and Woody, I still think the film would be successful.

When you watch these films you can’t help but imagine your toys coming to life. My Lando Calrissian action figures would be searching out all of the lady figures! Though I hate referring to something that is relatively new as a “classic” Toy Story definitely earns that distinction.

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 taps into the viewers imagination.  The Pixar crew thought outside of the “Disney box,” and took animation to a new level.

Special Features
A few years ago I bought the Toy Story – The Ultimate Toy Box. That set was loaded with special features. So how does the Blu-Ray discs compare? Pretty Damn Good.

Toy Story

  • The Sneak Peak – Toy Story 3 “The Story”  gives us a glimpse of Toy Story 3 hits theaters this summer.
  • Audio Commentary – Director John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Ralph Eggleston,  Pete Docter, Bill Reeves, and producers Ralph Guggenheim and Bonnie Arnold go through the films production. They focus on the story, script, characters, voice performances, animation, technology & challenges, and filmmaking. I don’t believe this is new.
  • Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off – Buzz, Rex, and Hamm show NASA and real space exploration of space. The quick synopis is really to show NASA’s efforts to reach “infinity and beyond.”
  • Paths to Pixar: Artists –  This is interesting feature with the Toy Story artists tell us how they get into in animation.
  • Studio Stories: John’s Car, Baby AJ, Scooter Races – Three really fun animated shorts.
  • Buzz Takes Manhattan – A short featurette about the Buzz Lightyear Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.
  • Black Friday: The Toy Story You Never Saw – Toy Story could have been a different film  if the powers that be had their way.

Toy Story 2

  • The Story: An Exclusive Sneak Peek at Toy Story 3: Another quick look at Toy Story 3 with Lee Unkrich introducing the new characters of the film.
  • Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs – Episode Two: Buzz aboard the International Space Station
  • Paths to Pixar: Technical Artists: A continuation of the Pixar artists talk about how they got into animation.
  • Studio Stories: Sleep Deprivation Lab: a feature on the films editors.
  • Studio Stories: Pinocchio: The animators and a Pinocchio doll
  • Studio Stories: The Movie Vanishes: This is a really interesting feature about how some of the digital files for the movie were accidentally erased and luckily retrieved.
  • Pixar Zoetrope: is the story of the creation of a live action zoetrope
  • Celebrating Our Friend Joe Ranft: a tribute to Pixar story man and voice actor Joe Ranft who died during the production of Cars.
  • Making Toy Story: A feature that presents the film’s three directors discussing the sequel
  • A profile of director John Lasseter: A discussion of the director and leader at Pixar.
  • Cast of Characters: A short introduction of the new voice actors and familiar returning actors describing their experiences on the movie.

Overall
Wow do these movies look good in high definition! There is no reason not to buy the Blu-ray versions of these films.  Toy Story is a milestone in animation. The films are still better than most of the CG animated films. Most people would be hard pressed to find any flaws with these presentations. Of course these special editions are to help promote Toy Story 3, but these are a great way to do it. The only “valid” reason not to buy these discs is because of the potential box set that will contain Toy Story 3.
You can buy Toy Story and Toy Story II on Blu-Ray from Amazon.com.
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