- BD/DVD Combo
- 1080p / AVC MPEG-4
- DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
- DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 English
- Dolby Digital 5.1 French
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish
- Filmmakers Reflect
- Making 'Toy Story'
- The Legacy of 'Toy Story'
- Designing Toy Story
- Music & Sound
Exclusive HD Content
- Audio Commentary
- 'Toy Story 3' Sneak Peek: The Story
- Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off
- Studio Stories
- Buzz Takes Manhattan
- Black Friday: The 'Toy Story' You Never Saw
- Paths to Pixar: Artists
- Maximize Your Home Theater
Best Sellers and Deals
Toy Story: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Disney/Buena Vista / 1995 / 91 Minutes / Rated G
Street Date: March 23, 2010
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- List Price: $39.99
- Amazon Price: $20.93 (48%)
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Reviewed by Aaron Peck
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
What 'Snow White' did for hand drawn animation, 'Toy Story' did for CG animation. The first computer generated feature-length animated film was a success. Not only in its astoundingly colorful and fully rendered graphics, the likes of which we had never seen, but in its story, and lovable characters. The fact that 'Toy Story' has a great story, and wonderful character development makes it a great movie, but factoring in the historical cinematic significance of the film makes it a classic.
The story of Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Andy's toys really captured the imagination. It was something so original and so well put together it was bound to echo throughout the annals of cinematic history. Why was the movie so magical? Besides the beautiful animation created by the budding young group of Pixar animators, the filmmakers created characters we absolutely adore. Pixar has shown time and time again its ability to create lovable, quirky characters who keep us entertained and caring about what happens to them. Even though Woody means to push Buzz out the window, we feel for him because of the position he's in, but we also feel for Buzz who is the new guy. Neither of them is the bad guy, but Pixar was able to take these simple characters and give them a character depth that took everyone by surprise.
Even before 'Toy Story' came out, many parents had relegated themselves to using cartoons as electronic babysitters. With the occasional Don Bluth or Disney film, cartoons were solely used to placate the young ones. 'Toy Story' ushered in an era of cartoons that could be loved by adults just as much as kids. While the slapstick stuff appealed to the children, the clever pop culture references and well-written jokes gave the parents something to enjoy as well. Many modern CG pictures have taken this idea and profited handsomely. 'Shrek' and 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' both have more in the way of adult humor than kid humor. Not only do we owe thanks to 'Toy Story' for supplying the world with a new, viable animation medium, but we also owe thanks to Buzz and company for showing us that parents and their children can enjoy the same films together, for completely different reasons.
'Toy Story' is a monumental achievement in cinema. Calling it the 'Snow White' of CG animation isn't that far off. It paved the way for every CG feature we see today, just as 'Snow White' blazed a trail for hand drawn animation. What once was technology only used for short films, has become a workable medium, which draws huge amounts of box office dollars every year. What more doyou need to hear about 'Toy Story?' It has a 100 percent rating on RottenTomatoes.com for heaven's sake. It's a classic and should be treated as such. Fortunately, this Blu-ray does...
As you would expect, 'Toy Story' looks absolutely perfect in 1080p HD. While the animation – especially of Scud the dog – is starting to show its age, 'Toy Story' looks more vibrant and beautiful than ever. Colors burst off the screen. Fine detail is maxed out with textures, like Rex's skin, showing each and every groove between his plastic scales. Edges are precise. Delineation is perfect. Stick in the DVD and then stick in the Blu-ray, the difference is out of this world, and the Special Edition DVD looked pretty dang good upon its release. Blu-ray gives 'Toy Story' the visual stage on which it was meant to be seen. There are no technical blips to point out either. The transfer is completely clean, without blemish. No banding, noise, or ringing to report either. Anyway I can find to say it, it would just come out the same: This video is demo quality, period.
I'm pleased to announce that the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 presentation accompanying 'Toy Story' is just as astounding as its video counterpart. The surrounds are alive with action. From Andy's birthday party to the chaos at Pizza Planet, the surrounds are constantly pumping in ambient noise to keep you fully immersed in what's happening on screen. LFE is cranked up, and when called upon, creates a sense of wonder and dread. When the rocket is lit, and takes off after the moving van, the bass rumbles the room. Dialogue is perfectly prioritized, and intelligible. The soundtrack never drowns out the voices of the characters. The sound design in top-notch and this Blu-ray is the perfect way to show off what it can do.
All of the features from the previous DVD release of the movie are found here in standard definition. There is also a wealth of new special features just featured on this Blu-ray, they are found under the HD Bonus Content section.
- Filmmakers Reflect (SD, 17 minutes): Coming over from the Special Edition DVD, this special feature, gives us a roundtable discussion featuring Lasseter and the other Pixar big wigs discussing the film's production and evolution.
- Making 'Toy Story' (SD, 20 minutes): Even though this feature is a bit more promo fluffy than usual, it's still a nice little making of feature that gives us great behind-the-scenes footage and some insightful interviews with the brains behind the film.
- The Legacy of 'Toy Story'(SD, 12 minutes): Lasseter, joins quite a few talking heads like voice actors from the film, other filmmakers, and critics talking about how 'Toy Story' breathed new life into animation.
- Designing Toy Story (SD, 6 minutes): A technical view of how characters and animation were created for the first ever fully computer animated feature film.
Deleted Scenes (SD, 19 minutes): Ten scenes are included. Many of them remain unfinished. Rather than deleted scenes, these are more like alternate versions of memorable scenes in the movie.
- Design (SD, 28 minutes): Here is a heavy helping of character and environment design used throughout the film. If any of the old features need the HD treatment it would have been this one.
- Story (SD, 14 minutes): See how the stories formed in this featurette watching filmed elements compared against what the storyboards looked like. "Green Army Men," "Andy's New Toy," and "Chase" are the three segments available to view.
- Production (SD, 14 minutes): This featurette shows exactly what it's called, the production. See how the layouts were created in "Layout Tricks." There's a couple tours offered, "Animation" and "Production. There's also a "Multi-Language Reel" included.
- Music & Sound (SD, 26 minutes): More Randy Newman than you can shake a stick at in here. Six Randy Newman audio tracks, a Randy Newman music video for "You've Got a Friend in Me," and a "Designing Sound" featurette. Good thing we fulfilled our music video on an animated release quotient. I was getting worried.
- Publicity (SD, 24 minutes): There are tons of advertising materials contained here, from movie posters from all around the world to trailers to TV spots. Everything you wanted to know about how 'Toy Story' was publicized is in here.
- Audio Commentary: The Pixar bunch is always a congenial group to listen to. They make commentary tracks fun. All the Pixar big names like Lasseter, Stanton, Eggleston and Docter are featured here. You can tell by their enthusiasm how much they love what they do. They give some great info on what it was like making the movie, and how after being mired in changes from corporate executives they were able to break free and make the movie they wanted to make.
- 'Toy Story 3' Sneak Peek: The Story (HD, 2 minutes): Get a sneak peek at the new 'Toy Story' that will complete the first Pixar trilogy. It's basically a promo to get you to go see the new movie. This is part one of the Sneak Peek, part two is found on the 'Toy Story 2' Blu-ray (sneeeaky).
- Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off (HD, 3 minutes): This was a fantastic little featurette where Hamm, Rex, and Buzz talk about Buzz's time on the International Space Station. He's a real space ranger now.
- Studio Stories (HD, 5 minutes): Three short funny little animated features of stories told by the Pixar crew. "Baby AJ," (which is kind of creepy) "John's Car," and "Scooter Races" are featured.
- Buzz Takes Manhattan (HD, 2 minutes): Lasseter talks about how Buzz was featured as a balloon in the Macy's Parade in Manhattan.
- Black Friday: The 'Toy Story' You Never Saw (HD, 8 minutes): Boy, am I glad they didn't go with the draft of the film shown here. Lasseter talks candidly about how Disney at first forced his hand in decision making for different characters and at the end of all the corporate involvement the Pixar guys were able to take two weeks and save the movie from the bitter, angst-ridden movie it was. Can you imagine a mean, spiteful, unlikable Woody? He's here, and it's not pretty.
- Paths to Pixar: Artists (HD, 5 minutes): A few of Pixar's prominent artists reflect on how they came to be at Pixar.
- Maximize Your Home Theater – While this feature is pretty basic as pertaining to calibration techniques, it does give some helpful hints on how to get the best 'Toy Story' experience from your setup.
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This is a must own Blu-ray from the top down. With 'Toy Story,' Pixar created a film and characters that will be loved for years to come, and its historical significance in the realm of CG animation cannot ber overstated. The audio and video presentations are perfection. Sure the animation is starting to show its age a little, but it still looks pretty darn good. This is just a stunning high definition presentation. CG animation has been one of the biggest benefactors of 1080p resolution, and this time is no different. It took 15 years, but now we can finally see 'Toy Story' the way it was meant to be seen.
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