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Toy Story (1995)

Josh Enjoys a Double-Feature of Toy Story & Toy Story 2 in Glorious 3-D!!

October 12th, 2009
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Last week I had the pleasure of taking in a double-feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, re-done in beautiful 3-D.  What a glorious time in a movie theatre!

It seems that 3-D is really starting to be embraced by the studios.  There have been a number of big 3-D releases in the past year, with a LOT more on the horizon.  (Personally I’m looking forward to James Cameron’s Avatar and, further in the future, Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson’s collaboration on Tintin.)  I’ve skipped most of the recent 3-D films since they really didn’t interest me.  I did see Robert Zemeckis’s Beowulf (from 2007), and while the 3-D was cool, it still made my head hurt at times, and the film itself (minus the excitement of the 3-D effects) was entirely forgettable.  After that I stayed away from 3-D films until I saw Pixar’s Up this summer (read my review here), which was magnificent.  The film itself was wonderful, and the gorgeous visuals were only enhanced by the beautiful, immersive 3-D.

Pixar’s big release for summer 2010 will be the long-awaited Toy Story 3, which will be presented in 3-D.  To build some anticipation for the film, Disney and Pixar have re-done the first two Toy Story films in 3-D, and released them to theatres for a limited 2-week engagement this month.

Even without the 3-D, it was an enormous pleasure to re-watch those two films.  I really liked the first Toy Story, and I was bowled over by Toy Story 2 when it came out — I thought it was endlessly clever, quite effectively emotional, and also totally hysterical.  The Toy Story “Toy Box set” (containing both films plus a third disc filled with special features) was one of the very first DVDs I ever bought, and I watched Toy Story 2 several times those first few years.

So while I know Toy Story 2 really well, it had been quite a while since I had last seen the first Toy Story.  I was really pleasantly surprised by how well it holds up.  There are moments when it is clear how far Pixar’s animation has progressed (the fur on Sid’s dog, for instance, is pretty much just a solid shape, as opposed to the dynamic fur effects we’d see later on with Sulley and the Abominable Snowman a few years later in Monsters, Inc.), but over-all the animation holds up wonderfully.  The characters move naturally and — more importantly — really feel ALIVE as opposed to being just nicely-rendered CGI constructs.  This is helped by the genius voice-casting.  Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are absolutely perfect in the roles, and their … [continued]