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DVD REVIEW

Toy Story 1 & 2

THE ULTIMATE TOY BOX - 3-DISC COLLECTOR'S SET

 

Voices: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn and Jim Varney
Director: John Lasseter

Rating: G

Review Posted: 7.19.01

DVD Rating: 10/10

 

By Kevin Kahler

 

DISC 1: Toy Story

 

The Movie

 

Toy Story is a story about friendship, in this case about the relationship between a young boy and his toys, most of all between him and his favorite, a cowboy doll named Woody. Woody is possibly Andy's best friend, being that he gets played with for hours every day and sleeps in Andy's bed every night, while all of the other toys are put on shelves, in toy boxes, or shoved under beds.

 

Then, one day it's Andy's birthday, and he gets a new toy. It is a flashy, expensive bunch of plastic named "Buzz Lightyear." Buzz is a bold yet conceited toy that is very withdrawn from reality. He actually believes he is really "THE" Buzz Lightyear, which is really just a cartoon character. Very soon, we find poor Woody being shoved under the bed, being killed in games, and being replaced in all aspects of Andy's life by Buzz Lightyear and Buzz Lightyear related merchandise. Jealousy sets in.

 

One day, Woody sets off a chain of events meant to knock Buzz down behind a dresser, but inadvertently hits the action figure through the window down to the bushes below. The other toys, believing Woody has murdered Buzz, prepare to strike. Then, Andy runs into the room just in time to take Buzz to a restaurant with him, only to find him missing. He takes Woody as a replacement, and the cowboy soon finds himself confronting a vengeful Buzz in Andy's mom's minivan.

 

Soon, things take a turn for the worse, and the toys are stranded at a gas station, searching for Andy in a crowded arcade, and being toy-napped (hehe...I'm so clever) by Andy's sadistic, toy-torturing next door neighbor. They're also in a race to get home without breaking the standard "don't let humans see you alive" rule before Andy moves away and Woody and Buzz get left behind. The movie has some really good suspenseful scenes made all the better by the toys' sizes in proportion to the rest of the world.

 

The first film was extremely revolutionary and a lot of fun, though pretty flaky plot-wise. For a while, this was one of my favorite animated films, until better computer animated ones started being made and blew this film away. A great family film, however.

 

7 out of 10

 

The Video

 

Crystal clear. It's all computer animation, so it's sweet as hell.

 

8 out of 10

 

The Audio

 

Super. Crystal clear, great music provided by Randy Newman, awesome Dolby Digital Surround Sound....all around excellence. Plus, there are even more cool audio things in the extras.

 

9 out of 10

 

The Menus

 

The main menu is the only one which displays video and sound, but the rest are creative and fun to explore.

 

8 out of 10

 

The Extras

 

This is just the 1st disc, remember.


Oscar winning short, "Tin Toy"

Very cute. When I first saw this (on this disc, even though it's been shown in lots of places) I laughed out loud.


Audio Commentary by the Directors

Wow, a lot better than I thought. John Lasseter and crew have a lot of fun and explain a lot of stuff while still retaining a tremendous amount of appeal. Lasseter is the boss everyone wishes they worked for.

The Making of Toy Story

Pretty cool, but it only manages to scratch the surface of the creative process behind the film. Still, it's always fun to see Tom Hanks and Tim Allen fooling around in and out of the recording booths.


Multi Language Reel

This is really unique and a great idea. We start off watching a scene from the film in English. Within moments, the spoken language switches between everything from French to Portuguese to (insert random Earth language here). Pretty durn funny.


On-Set Interviews with Buzz and Woody

One of the classic gags where they animate little director's chairs for the "stars" to sit in and have them bicker about who is better in the movie. Pretty cute, and if it really is just Allen and Hanks ad-libbing and bouncing stuff off each other repeatedly (which is what it feels like), then it's funny!


Toy Story treats

As we all know, Disney owns ABC. Toy Story treats were done as little fillers between a Saturday morning cartoon and its cut to commercial breaks, so it's basically just characters saying "Stay tuned!", but some of them are good little gems of added Toy Story-ness.

 

Seriously, though, there are like 50 of these damn things. I started watching them back to back, all at once (a nifty selectable feature), and ended up watching nothing but these things for at least twenty minutes.


Sound Effects Only Track (!)

Who thought of this? This is the coolest thing on a DVD yet! It may sound kind of boring, but it's great to listen to sounds you normally barely hear buried behind music and dialogue. All big budget movie DVDs (especially cartoons) should have this feature.

 

9 out of 10

 

Rating for Disc 1:

Movies

7

Video

9

Audio

9

Menus 8

Extras

9

Final (not an average)

10

 

>>Continued on Page 2 (Toy Story 2, Extras).

 

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