… And Beyond! Toy Story Blu Ray Reviews

As of this writing, my local Fry’s is having a deal on Toy Story and Toy Story 2: $20 each, or buy both and get an additional $10 removed—that’s $30 (~$32 with tax), or $15 for each movie… on Blu Ray! Considering how both releases have both the DVD and Blu Ray version of the movie (that’s a rant all its own) and that the retail price for each release is $40, I must say two things: 1) buy both releases on Blu Ray now, (even if you don’t have a Blu Ray player, you still get a DVD copy of the movie); 2) I can actually do a somewhat early review of the releases… at least early in comparison to most stuff I review.

For the uninitiated, there was actually a time when CG wasn’t the norm for a majority of things. That said, Pixar was the first group of people to create a movie that was entirely CG in the form of their first full-length film, Toy Story. And unlike its quasi CG predecessors (like, oh iunno :coughcough:TRON:coughcough:) Toy Story actually holds up over time, not using its nifty graphics as a crutch for the story, but as a different means to express itself.

The plot of both movies (and based on trailers, the upcoming third one as well) revolves around the concept of toys “coming to life” when the humans aren’t around, and goes off from there covering just exactly what a typical toy goes through on a normal basis, and in particular the role they play to their owners and how that role changes as their child owner grows up. I honestly can’t say more than that since well… if you honestly haven’t seen these movies yet, then for shame.

Now being the head honchos when it comes to CG movies, Pixar has always gotten the better end of the stick when it came to Disney releasing their films to DVD. That said, both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 have already been released to DVD five years ago for the first movie’s 10th anniversary.

… so is it really worth making the double dip purchase?

Honestly, when it comes to movies of this caliber, I say that re-buying the movies is perfectly fine. Then again, I was too cheap to get the DVDs when they first came out.

Both the DVD and Blu Ray menus have a theme focusing more on the behind the scenes stuff than anything else. And while this doesn’t lead to any compromising of the movies themselves (both the Blu Ray and DVD versions of both movies are crystal clear), it does make it clear that these releases were trying to appeal to the double dip customers with “ooh, look, new special features!” In terms of new special features, however, they are somewhat shallow. Besides an audio commentary track, both films have a handful of new things, going into slightly more detail about the production of the movies, including some personal stories some of the staff went through during the production of each movie in the form of a cutesy doodle-style animation.

And while seeing Pixar’s creative process in action is something I never get tired of, I have to admit that these new special features seem to be more of a last second tag-on than anything else.

The one new bit of information I was glad to see was the “Black Friday” animatic that made Disney threaten to shut down production of the first Toy Story. I would always hear Pixar staff talk about how bad Woody was originally in other Pixar special features, but it wasn’t until now that the actual animatic has been released… and for good reason. Man, Woody was a douche.

… and for those wondering about the special features on the original 10th anniversary DVD releases, the guys at Pixar were nice enough to also include all those in this new release as well for the non-double dippers out there. Sadly, they can only be accessed from the Blu Ray discs, and not the corresponding DVDs packaged alongside them (could they possibly be included in these DVDs coming out in May?), but that was probably done more so to further push for Blu Rays being the future, which is something I’m not surprised Disney would pull off.

Conclusion? Pixar never seems to disappoint, both in their movies and their home releases. And considering that the Fry’s deal for both movies on Blu Ray is good until November, I say you have no excuse to pick both of these up. Now.

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

One Response to … And Beyond! Toy Story Blu Ray Reviews

  1. Ok, everyone knows the film itself is amazing. I mean, c’mon, it’s PIXAR! They haven’t done a single thing wrong since 1995, for chrissakes! I rarely take the time to write a review of a movie that has been upgraded to the Blu-ray format. But Toy Story 2 blew my mind. The first opening sequence, with the video game simulation of Buzz and Emperor Zurg, literally explodes out of the gate with window-pane shattering bass and crystal-clear clarity. I actually jumped at one point the sound is so well-rounded and defined. The entire soundtrack will most definitely give even the latest, greatest home theaters a true and genuine workout. Once your ears adjust to the insane awesomeness of the audio, your eyes will pop with the extreme detail, depth, and vividness of the picture. Watching with my friend, we began to laugh at each other once we realized just how often we would sit up and exclaim, “I never saw that before!” For instance, who knew Stinky Pete had pickaxes on his overall buttons? I sure didn’t! Pick this up now, immediately, this very second! If you’re one of the few who have not yet converted to Blu-ray, this is your reason too! A++ for a stellar product Pixar!

    Alexander Miley

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