BLU-RAY REVIEW: Toy Story 3
The critically acclaimed animated film heads to home video...
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On November 2nd, Pixar Animation Studios' latest masterpiece - Toy Story 3 - finally comes home on DVD and Blu-ray hi-def. Woody, Buzz, and the whole gang return for their biggest and most dangerous adventure yet. When Andy begins to pack for college, he is faced with the decision of whether to put his toys in the attic or take them with him. One thing leads to another and our heroes find themselves donated to Sunnyside Daycare. Is it really the toy’s ultimate paradise or is it a prison with no way out?
At this point in time, what more could possibly be said about Toy Story 3? It is arguably one of the most touching, funny, and entertaining films of the year and the perfect end cap for now one of the best film trilogies ever made. If the original Toy Story (1995) was a perfect 10 and Toy Story 2 (1999) ranked an 11, Toy Story 3 would be a solid 12. Each film is perfect on its own but even stronger when combined. It's no wonder that Toy Story 3 is the most critically acclaimed and highest selling animated film EVER.
For those with Blu-ray capabilities, you have a real playdate with destiny as you will discover not only the best visual and audio transfers possible for any film, but you will also find more bonus features than you'll know what to do with. Since these are bonus features on a Pixar movie, you will find yourself plowing through them all anyway and enjoying every minute.
If you're like me, you’ll pop in Disc 1 immediately and search for the audio commentary. You won't find it on Disc 1 here however, as they have left as much space for the film as they possibly could. No compression, no loss of data... this is the film in its purest form and highest possible quality. Two commentaries with the entire film can be found on Disc 2 along with TONS of other extras.
Blu-ray Bonus Features Include:
- Cinexplore: Commentary by Director Lee Unkrich and Producer Darla K. Anderson
- Beyond the Toybox: An Alternative Commentary Track Featuring Leads from Story, Tech, Art, and Animation – Commentary track with even more background information by Story Supervisor Jason Katz, Supervising Technical Director Guido Quaroni, Production Designer Bob Pauley, and Supervising Animators Bobby Podesta and Michael Venturini.
- Day & Night: Teddy Newton's inspiring short film that was shown in front of Toy Story 3 is included here in hi-def.
- Toys!: A closer look at updating the classic characters to the creation of the new toy characters.
- Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science Adventure: Produced in conjunction with NASA, this hybrid animation documentary of Buzz's visit to the International Space Station focuses on research in zero gravity and Buzz's triumphant return to Earth.
- Paths to Pixar: Editorial: Editors at Pixar share anecdotes about their careers.
- The Gang's All Here: A touching look at the returning voice talent for the film as well as an introduction to some of the new ones.
- A Toy's Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land: A sneak peek at the new Toy Story-themed playland at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Studio Stories: A series of amusing animated anecdotes about the life at Pixar.
- Toy Story Trivia Dash: Fun trivial challenge game testing your knowledge of all three Toy Story films.
- Beginnings: Setting A Story In Motion: Screenwriter Michael Arndt analyzes successful opening scenes from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.
- Bonnie's Playtime: A Story Roundtable: A roundtable discussion with Director Lee Unkrich and the story artists who brought the "Bonnie's Playtime" scene to life.
- Roundin' Up a Western Opening: The development of the movie's exciting opening scene.
- Life of a Shot: Toy Story 3 artists and technicians describe their contributions to a few of the shots in the film's "Western Opening."
- Goodbye Andy: an exploration of character design, acting and animation in the scene "Andy's Goodbye."
- Accidental Toymakers: A short look behind the scenes at Thinkway Toys, manufacturer of the best-selling Buzz Lightyear 12" action figure.
- Making of Day and Night: The story behind the unique 2D/3D blended short.
The Toy Story 3 4-Disc Combo Pack also includes a standard DVD of the film and a Digital Copy so you can enjoy your Toy Story 3 anywhere!
It's rare to have such a great movie fully loaded with this much good stuff. This is the #1 animated film of the year but to me, this is the #1 film of the year. Own it.
By David Yeh
Review Sample Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment