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Blu-ray Review: Toy Story 3
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Toy Story 3 Blu-ray DVDToy Story 3
Blu-ray/DVD Combo | DVD
Directed by Lee Unkrich
Starring Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, Ned Beatty
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 2, 2010

I’m a Pixar fanatic through and through and yet I’m not in love with the Toy Story franchise. My mind often wonders how that is possible. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciate the series and the first movie, in particular, for its historical significance. I also feel the current crop of 3D animated films owe their existence to Woody, Buzz, Slinky Dog, and the rest, but I’ve always found the first two entries in the series to be of a different time in Pixar’s life. I find myself much more engaged by more recent outings like Wall-E and Up than I do from older films like A Bug’s Life and Toy Story.

That being said, I think Toy Story 3 just might be my favorite film in the franchise. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s the most recent and it’s fresh in my mind, but I had a lot of fun with this third part of the trilogy. The film benefits greatly from computer technology that is a decade ahead of the previous Toy Story films and looks amazing (especially on Blu-ray). This can be found in the level of sophistication in not only the toys and humans, but in the backgrounds and environments as well. The opening dream sequence really shows off what I feel like the filmmakers have been trying to show us since the first movie but were limited by the technology of the day.

The plot of the film centers around our old pal Andy. As he prepares for college, the toys anxiously ponder what will be their ultimate fate. But when a mix-up lands them at Sunnyside Daycare, they meet a host of new toys and soon find themselves in the midst of a wild new adventure.

The theme of the film is change. How people react to change and how people/toys deal with change in their lives. This is such a universal element of mortality and I found it to be a wonderful touchstone for the movie.

Similar to the second film, the third introduces some great new characters with equally great voice actors that you and your family will instantly fall in love with. My favorite being Mr. Pricklepants, a Shakespearean actor in the form of a hedgehog who takes his craft seriously, voiced by the charming Timothy Dalton. I also loved the addition of Ken, brought to life by your favorite Batman and mine, Mr. Michael Keaton. The new characters are able to bring a breath of fresh air to the series while also not taking away from any of the existing characters that we’ve all grown to love over the years.

Toy Story 3 is satisfying from a comedy standpoint, from an action standpoint, from an adventure standpoint, and most of all, from an emotional standpoint. The notion of becoming an adult and having to put away your cherished playthings (and to a greater extent your childhood) is a milestone in all of our lives and that makes the story and journey of Andy’s life that much more relatable.

I enjoyed the ride from start to finish and on Blu-ray the picture and sound are magnificent. Toy Story 3 is one of the best films of the year and a must-have for any Pixar or Disney fans.

I give Toy Story 3 an A+!

Bonus Features

• Cars 2 Teaser Trailer
A quick peak at the next Pixar film.

• Day And Night Theatrical Short
The wonderful short that played before the film theatrically, like love and marriage, this short proves hand drawn animation and computer generated animation go together like a horse and carriage.

• The Gang’s All Here
My favorite feature. Here we get to see the actors recording their dialogue and their process as a voice actor.

• Toys!
How many toys are in Toy Story 3? Most of the animators don’t know, but it’s fun to see them take a guess.

• Epilogue
The film’s epilogue.

• Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science Of Adventure (with NASA)
The third episode in the series of fun and educational shorts featuring real astronauts taking Buzz along for the ride.

• Paths To Pixar: Editorial
Various editors at Pixar talk about how they came to work for the studio and what their job entails.

• Studio Stories
Pixar employees tell humorous stories set to animation. Stories include: Where’s Gordon, Cereal Bar, and Clean Start.

• A Toy’s Eye View: Creating A Whole New Land
Creators talk about getting the Toy Story characters into the Disney Theme Parks.

• Alex Syntek (Mexican Music Video for You’ve Got a Friend in Me)
Music video


• Cine-explore
Commentary track with director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson.

• Beyond The Toybox
An Alternative Commentary Track featuring leads from story, tech, art, and animation.

• Roundin’ Up A Western Opening
Behind the scenes of the awesome opening to the film.

• Bonnie’s Playtime – A Story Roundtable
The filmmakers speak about how this sequence came into being.

• Beginnings: Setting A Story in Motion
Writer Michael Arndt talks about his process for writing the film.

• Goodbye Andy
The animators talk about how they approached crafting human characters and the uncanny valley, specifically in the ‘Goodbye Andy’ scene that closes out the movie.

• Accidental Toymakers Of Pixar
Interesting look at how the creations of Pixar become real life toys for kids to play with.

• Life Of A Shot
A look at the incredible collaboration and teamwork that goes into creating the film.

• Making of Day & Night
Creators of the short reminisce about the making of the film.

• Ken’s Dating Tips & Lotso Commercials
Fun promotional material featuring Ken and Lotso.

• “Dancing With The Stars” at Pixar
Dancers from the ABC’s Dancing With The Stars are brought in to help the animators create the Spanish Buzz dance scene.

• Game: Toy Story Trivia Dash
A fun little trivia game

You can purchase three versions of the film right now: a 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (SRP $45.99), a 2-Disc Blu-ray (SRP $39.99) (with alternate cover), and a stand-alone DVD (SRP $29.99).

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