3D Blu-Ray Review: Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2
Blu-Ray 3D Combo
Directed by John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, and Lee Unkrich
Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 1, 2011

I am a sucker for animation. From Saturday morning cartoons to epic feature films, I have always been drawn to the medium. Disney movies were staples in my household, and we owned a ton of them. In fact, my current DVD/Blu-Ray collection probably has its roots in how I felt when bringing home a new Disney movie on video. Not only did the package contain the film that I loved, but the glossy, white-rimmed boxes were different from all the other VHS cassettes we had. They were a sight to behold, and though the format has changed over the years, Disney has never disappointed in their home video releases. Always at the forefront of trends, Disney/Pixar’s release of Toy Story 2‘s 3D Combo Pack is a beautiful one.

An eye-catching O-Ring is the lead-in to the fantastic packaging for the 3D Blu-Ray. Each version of the release features a different cover, but my favorite has to be this one — The bold red background of the holographic cover that stars Jessie (Joan Cusack), Buzz (Tim Allen), and Woody (Tom Hanks) is contrasted by the sparkling silver outline with raised etchings of symbols associated with our western hero and heroine. Before I even unwrapped the plastic, this release had me. On looks alone, this is what we collectors dream about.

Turns out, beneath the packaging, there’s discs inside! And if you put those discs into machines, they make moving pictures! What a bonus! All (terrible) jokes aside, this combo pack is bursting with goodies for all movie geeks. If you are one of the lucky ones with a 3D TV, there’s a disc in there for you that brings the film right into your living room. If you’re like me and have yet to make that leap, the regular Blu-Ray is excellent. Animation looks amazing in hi def, and Toy Story 2 is a prime example. Crisp, clean, and a whole lot of fun, it is very hard not to enjoy this film. Then again, if you’re curious about the home release, you already know that, so let’s get to what makes the Blu-Ray format a fan favorite — the special features.

If you purchased the original DVD, all of the special features you enjoyed are here. Deleted Scenes, Making of Documentary, character profiles, and Audio Commentary featuring Director John Lasseter, Co-Directors Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich, and Co-Writer Andrew Stanton all add great depth to the film. The features that I dug the most though were the ones unique to Blu-Ray. Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: International Space Station is a delightful look at life in the international space station, as told by Buzz. We get to see astronauts living and exercising on the station while Buzz explains why they need to do certain things in space. This is geared for the films younger fans, but is not dumbed down or condescending in any way. Paths to Pixar: Technical Artists features technical artists that worked on the film telling their varying stories about how they came to work for Pixar. If you ever needed encouraging to follow your dreams, these are the people you should look to. Finally, I loved the three Studio Stories on the disc. Each vignette is a workplace anecdote told by a Pixar staff member with animated accompaniment. The stories are hilarious by themselves, but the pairing with the animations make them must watches. Also of note is the disc’s main menu, which features scrolling sketches and concept art from the films production backed by some of the film’s delightful score. If you’re having a party with a bunch of Pixar nerds, you could leave this menu going on for background and conversation starters without feeling (too) pretentious.

Everything above is included in the package, along with a DVD copy of the film with the special features mentioned, as well as a fourth disc containing a digital copy so you can enjoy the film on the go. As far as I’m concerned, Disney is setting the standard for how Blu-Ray’s should be released. If you’re like me and you truly enjoy everything about home video, Toy Story 2‘s 3D Blu-Ray Combo Pack is for you.

Note: The Toy Story 2 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack is currently part of a Sale where you can order any two Disney titles on Blu-ray 3D and Save $10 from now through November 13, 2011.

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