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DVD Review: Toy Story 3 (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)


Woo-hoo, I got sent a review copy of Toy Story 3! It's a 4-disc bundle, 2 Blu-ray discs and 2 DVDs, though one of the DVDs is nothing more than what they call a "digital copy" of the movie, which I believe means you can rip it to your hard drive and then watch it on your ipod or smart phone or whatever. So 3 significant discs. But then I still don't have a Blu-ray player yet, so I'm left with only 1 disc. But that one disc is packed! The movie is like 140 minutes long, plus it's got a making of featurette called "Toys", a behind the scenes with the voice actors, a theatrical short called Day & Night, a featurette called "Paths to Pixar: Editorial" where Pixar people talk about their jobs, an educational short about space and experiments, and then these shorts called "Studio Stories" where they use simple animation to tell funny stories about things that went on during the making of the movie. Oh yeah, and there's a full length commentary as well.

So yeah, you get plenty of entertainment from just a single DVD. The Blu-ray contains even more extra features. The first disc contains the movie, the animated short Day & Night, and Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure, which is that short about space and experiments that I mentioned previously. The second disc contains the other special features I mentioned plus other:

  • Toy Story Trivia Dash - Interactive Game
  • Cine-Explore With Director Lee Unkrich & Producer Darla Anderson
  • Beginnings: Setting A Story In Motion
  • Bonnie's Playtime - A Story Roundtable With Director Lee Unkrich
  • Roundin' Up A Western Opening
  • Beyond The Toy Box: An Alternative Commentary Track
  • Plus Much More

I don't quite understand how a commentary track can be on disc 2 while the movie is on disc 1, but that's what the box says. Anyway, lets get to the meat of the DVD, the actual movie. This is the third movie in the Toy Story franchise, and according to previous three-quel movie trends this would typically indicate that it's the worst of the bunch. Thankfully, this movie bucks the trend and delivers an entertaining story with the characters we've become so fond of and with new characters, both good and evil.

The story begins as Andy, the little kid from the first two films, is now a young adult getting ready to head off to college. The toys, who haven't been played with in years, are worried what is to become of them. They all desperately hope that they will be allocated to the attic, but fear that they will instead be thrown out with the trash. This is a great scene as it reintroduces us to all the principle characters and their personalities, and also provides an emotional conflict about the uncertainty that all these characters are feeling.

Eventually the toys wind up at a daycare center where they meet a whole bunch of toys who are overjoyed to welcome the new arrivals. Only Woody feels that they should not be there, and tries to convince all the others to head home with him. But the allure of once again being enjoyed by children combined with the sadness of returning to a house where they no longer feel welcome makes the choice an easy one. This is where the story splits into two separate adventures, one with the toys learning about their new environment and the other with Woody attempting to make it back home before Andy leaves for college. Both sides are equally entertaining, and they do merge back together before the third act.

The animation here is fantastic, all of the characters and objects feel as if they really exist. The fur and particle effects are particularly amazing, especially at one of the big scenes toward the end. And of course the voice actors all did a superb job, but that's pretty much a given coming from a Disney production. The story is very kinetic, constantly moving with not a single dull moment that would cause my attention to drift. I felt for these characters all the way through to the end and they didn't leave me disappointed. I think it's a great film for both kids and adults, though there may be a scene or two that's a bit too emotionally frighting for extremely young viewers. Definitely a film worth checking out.

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