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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Action > Adventure > Computer Animation > Toy Story 3 (2010/Disney/Pixar 4-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Set)

Toy Story 3 (2010/Disney/Pixar 4-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Set)

 

Picture: A/B     Sound: A/B     Extras: B     Film: A-

 

 

There are few films that can be called instant classics, but Toy Story 3 is surly among them.  After years of legal disputes and rewrites, Disney and Pixar joined together to again create one of the best animated films of all time.  The Disney/Pixar powerhouse managed to deliver time and time again and after the success of the two previous Toy Story films it was hard to imagine that a third film could work in any way, shape or form.

 

Though Pixar has steered clear of sequels (outside of Toy Story 2) for years now, it seems it is a new age for the studio.  With the achievements of Toy Story 2 and 3 the studio has moved full steam ahead with sequels for such titles as Cars and Monsters Inc; with there even being talks about sequels for Finding Nemo, as well as The Incredibles.  It seems there is more story left to tell and that was the case for Toy Story also.

 

Toy Story 3 has the whole gang, including Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Rex and all the rest joining together for one last (?) adventure.  It seems that Andy is off to college and his mother is making him go through his old “stuff” to donate to charity or go in the attic.  Well, that old “stuff” are our favorite characters and Andy’s favorite toys.  In a mixed up series of events the toys (all but Woody) that were meant for the attic are accidentally placed by the curb as garbage by Andy’s mother.  After the toys narrowly escape the insult of the garbage dump, they (and their hurt egos) decide to donate themselves to a daycare center.  Woody (who was going to go off to college with Andy) attempts to convince the toys that it was a huge misunderstanding, but before Woody can say another word they are all shipped off to daycare.  Once at their new home, all toys (but Woody) seem to think that they have found heaven; where old toys are made new again and there is always someone to play with.  Woody does not see the silver lining and plans his escape; sadly no one is on board with him.

 

At the daycare we get to meet a whole host of new characters.  The leader of the toys is Lots o’ Huggin Bear, a cute and cuddly purple stuffed bear that may be more than he seems. Along with Lots o’ there are plenty of other new “friends,” including the flamboyantly misunderstood Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton) who appears to be right under Lots o’s big purple paw.

 

Needless to say a “race to the finish” epic adventure begins for the toys to save themselves from disaster and get themselves back to Andy.  This time around, however, the ending of this story for the toys may not be what they anticipated.

 

The film is fantastic from beginning to end.  What Pixar has managed to do time and time again is integrate heart and soul with comedy and great writing.  The Toy Story franchise is huge and if they could keep delivering films like this I would take a million.  The character development is there and we as an audience genuinely feel a connection with these characters.  The coupling of classic archetypes with modern edge and technology has set Pixar apart from the rest and is the reason they have no produced a bad film yet.

 

If you want a demo worthy film on Blu-ray this is it.  The picture and sound are amazing, but that is no surprise as all Pixar creations have been stunning on Blu-ray.  The DVD is not bad, by any means, but after viewing the Blu-ray it is clearly a downgraded feature.  This Toy Story 3 set comes in a 4-Disc combo pack with one Blu-ray housing the feature presentation, a second Blu-ray housing the cornucopia of extras and the last 2 DVDs hold the DVD presentation and the Digital Copy.  The technical features on this new Disney/Pixar Blu-ray are astonishing as the picture and sound are some of the best Blu-ray has to offer; as well as some great and exclusive extras to top it off.  The picture is presented in a 1080p AVC encoded High definition 1.85 X 1 widescreen that offers vivid colors, a crisp image, solid contrast, dark and inky blacks, free of digital artifacts and an overall image like no other.  The picture is nearly perfect with only very fine details here and there straying from that perfection; but my small and picky gripes don’t take away from the fact the picture is amazing and act as a wonderful demo for any HD presentation.  Whereas I had my small issues with the picture that kept it from a perfect rating, the audio is awe inspiring in its DTS-HD Master Audio lossless 7.1 Surround Sound, which debuted in many movie theaters that way.  The audio manages to utilize the entire surround spectrum and speaker range as it boasts an extreme fullness and depth that not many films can deliver.  The entire soundscape is heard with crisp dialogue, a wide ambient noise range and a note worthy directionality that flies across the speakers with ease.  As always Disney/Pixar gets it right with this DTS presentation that engulfs the viewer with brilliants scores, sweeping sound effects and an overall clarity that delivers time and time again.

 

The DVD is nice, but does not hold up to the Blu-ray and I felt tense watching its downgraded colors and crispness.  Especially with Disney offering these brilliant combo packs there is no reason not to buy this film.

 

The extras are plentiful, but not always of the best return viewing quality.  The extras are as follows:

 

  • The Gangs All Here
  • “Day and Night” Theatrical Short
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Mission Logs: the Science Adventure
  • Toys!
  • Studio Stories: Clean Start – Apparently everyone at Pixar shaved their heads
  • Studio Stories: Cereal Bar – Apparently there is a cereal room at Pixar Studios
  • Studio Stories: Where’s Gordon? – Apparently Andrew Gordon has a secret office
  • Cine-Explore: Picture in Picture Commentary
    • This along with the second commentary track are amazingly well done.  The first is the better of the two as director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla Anderson discuss the ins and outs of making the film in very insightful detail.
  • Beyond the Toy Box: Alternative Commentary Track

 

  • Accidental Toy Makers

 

    • Oddly enough no toy company wanted to make the toys for the movie and this feature discusses how the toys came to life.
  • Goodbye Andy
  • Epilogue
  • A Toy’s Eye View: Creating a Whole New World

 

  • Roundin Up: Western Opening
  • Paths to Pixar: Editorial
  • Making of “Day and Night”
  • Life of a Shot
  • Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion
  • Bonnie’s Playtime: A Story Roundtable

 

  • Toy Story Trivia Dash

 

  • Grab Bag
  • Ken’s Dating Tips
  • Lots o’ Huggin Bear TV Commercial
    • Particularly interesting, this if a viral advertising campaign which created a “fake” TV commercial from the 1980’s for Lots o’ Huggin Bear
  • Lots o’ Huggin Bear TV Commercial 2 (Japan)
  • Making of Lots o’ Huggin Bear Commercial
  • Security Cam
  • Gadgets
  • Internet Chat
  • Poster Gallery
  • Trailers
  • Character Intros
  • Dancing with the Stars at Pixar

 

 

I highly recommend this film.  It is an instant classic that is fun to share with new viewers and only gets better with time.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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