Toy Story of Terror (Blu-ray)

October 27, 2014 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly twenty years since the first Pixar movie, Toy Story. The film, like Citizen Kane before it, really transformed the way that animated films were made. Imagine a world in which there were no computer-animated films?  Hard to do, isn’t it? Part of the success (or allure, depending on your personal point of view) was the high-profile cast that was part of the first film. Led by two time Academy Award winning actor, Tom Hanks and comedian Tim Allen, the two have made Woody and Buzz Lightyear as much their own as the animators who created them.  The movie spawned two sequels (each as good as the one that preceded it) and a slew of shorts. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Toy Story of Terror was set to debut on television. This short, as long as your average episode of The Simpson’s or Family Guy, threw our stars into a dark, spooky and scary adventure. Bringing back the main voices that made them famous, let’s catch up with Buzz, Woody and Jesse.

Bonnie (voiced by Emily Hahn) and her mother are stranded at a motel due to a flat tire. So the toys, led by Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen), Jesse (voiced by Joan Cusack) look for Mr. Potato Head (voiced by Don Rickles) after he mysteriously disappears. More and more of the toys start to disappear eventually leaving only Jesse to figure out what’s going on. Jesse does meet up with a few new toys, namely Combat Carl (voiced by Carl Weathers), a soldier and “survivalist” who has made it on his own. However the owner of the motel, Ron (voiced by Stephen Tobolowsky) is selling the toys on eBay. Can Jesse and Carl find the others and save the day or are they doomed in this night of terror?!

Video: How’s it look?

The bar has always been set very high when it comes to a Pixar movie (or any movie that’s been created in the computer-animated digital realm), but Toy Story of Terror delivers the goods and looks every bit as good as I’d hoped it would. The 1.78:1 AVC HD image is sheer perfection. The textures in the plastic, the range of colors and the lack of anything and everything that might detract from this image makes this a joy to watch. You know what – I could go on and on, but I think even the casual viewer will know what to expect, visually, from a Pixar film.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Sporting a DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 mix, Toy Story of Terror doesn’t lack in the audio department either. Vocals are pure, rich and crisp with the front stage taking the brunt of the mix. Not to be outdone, the surrounds are surprisingly active as well complete with the somewhat cliched “spooky” ambiance that really sets the tone. Those that think that an animated film can’t sound every bit as good as a live action one need only listen to this very robust mix.  While not quite up the video level, this is a close second.

Supplements: What are the extras?

I have to admit – for a stand alone short like this, the disc comes pretty packed with supplements. Let’s see what’s included, if we dare!

  • Audio Commentary – Bearing in mind that the entire film is only 22 minutes long, there’s a wealth of information from Director Angus MacLane, Ian Megibben (Director of Photography) and Axel Geddes (Editor) as they break it all down. There are several references hidden in the movie as well as a look at Jesse as the heroine (not Buzz or Woody). This is a delightful little track that’s sure to please.
  • Team of Specialists – We get a look at MacLane’s day as well as how the special was planned and the creation of a few new Toy Story characters.
  • Toy Story Toons – Three previously-released shorts: Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry and Partysaurus Rex are included here though they have been released on Blu-ray before (though the exact title escapes me).
  • Vintage Toy Commercials – Old Timer, Combat Carl and Transitron are all included here. Pretty clever.
  • Deleted Scenes – Three in all, each with an introduction.
      Pencil Topper Trilogy

      Travel Brochures

      Road Trip Roulette

  • D23 Teaser – Essentially a one minute promo of this special from D23.

Disc Scores