Genre: CG Animation
Director: John Lasseter
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Joan Cusack, Estelle Harris
RunTime: 2 hrs 52 mins
Released By: Walt Disney Pictures
Official Website: http://disney.go.com/toystory/
Opening Day: 15 April 2010
Moviegoers are in for twice the fun and triple the thrills as The Walt Disney Studios prepares to debut the Disney Digital 3D(TM) versions of Disney-Pixar's beloved animated features - "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" - during a special limited engagement starting on October 2, 2009, it was announced today by Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group.
This extraordinary double feature, taking the latest advances in digital 3D technology "to infinity and beyond," will play exclusively in 3D. "Toy Story," the industry's first ever computer-animated feature and the first feature released by Pixar Animation Studios in 1995, and "Toy Story 2," the critically acclaimed sequel that debuted in 1999, were both directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker John Lasseter. Both films have been meticulously re-rendered in 3D from the original digital files using the latest state-of-the-art technology.
Woody. Buzz Lightyear. Rex. Mr. Potato Head. Slinky Dog. Hamm. Bo Peep.
These were the amazing and marvelous characters created by Pixar Animation Studios 15 years ago, before the likes of Nemo, Lightning McQueen and Wall•E.
Many things can happen in 15 years. A child can complete his six years of primary school education, move on to secondary school for the following four years, before deciding which academic path to take for the next five years or so. Yes, 15 years is enough for a child to grow up. And a time span of 15 years can also make this reviewer remember how much he loves the classic that was Toy Story.
Fifteen years after the world was first introduced to a cowboy doll named Woody and a fancy spaceman toy named Buzz, the folks at Disney and Pixar decides to re-release this animated feature and its wonderful sequel in a double feature special. As the tagline aptly states “1 Ticket, 2 Movies, 3 Dimensions”, this brilliant marketing move smartly rides on the 3-D bandwagon to complete the visual treat. The only difference is, unlike those movies which weren’t meant to look good in 3-D, Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999) are perfect when presented in 3-D.
If you don’t already know the gleefully clever plot already, here’s a quick recap. In Toy Story, Woody the cowboy doll is threatened when Buzz the spaceman action figure replaces him as the favourite toy in a young boy’s room. It concludes with a happy ending and a meaningful message that “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”. In Toy Story 2, Woody is stolen by a toy collector to be placed in a museum, and Buzz rounds up other toys to rescue him. It also concludes with a happy ending and a meaningful message that “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”.
Running at 184 minutes, the double feature also includes a 10 minute intermission for you to visit the washroom, freshen up and get more popcorn. If you can, stay behind as there is a line up of trivia and special treats during this innovative segment.
Besides being a clever lead up to Toy Story 3 in June, this is the perfect opportunity to revisit the two films if the last time you watched them was on your antique VCD player, or see them for the first time if you’ve only heard great things about these two movies. Heck, even if you have watched them countless times, you would want to bring along friends and family for a remarkable time at the theatres. With the latest advancements in technology, you can be assured of high quality images and astounding 3-D visuals that will bring you to infinity and beyond.
Of course, everyone loves a good voiceover cast when it comes to animation. Here we’ve got Tom Hanks and Tim Allen playing Woody and Buzz with such gusto and energy, we love every line of dialogue they spout. Other than composer Randy Newman’s adventurous and affecting score which is a joy to listen to, there are memorable songs from the movie too: The always pleasurable “You’ve Got a Friend Me” (performed by Newman), the playful “Woody’s Roundup” (performed by Western music and comedy group Riders in the Sky) and the heartrending “When She Loved Me” (performed by singer songwriter Sarah McLachlan) effectively bring out the emotions of the two movies through music.
There is always something new to look out for and enjoy whenever this reviewer watches Toy Story and Toy Story 2 – whether it is the spot on pop culture references, the mischievous in jokes, the state of the art animation, or simply the story’s unforgettable premise that “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”.
(Thank you for the wonderful memories with Woody and Buzz and the whole gang from Andy’s room – we are sure that 15 years later, we’ll still be loving you)
Review by John Li