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Must Own
5 stars
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Overall Grade
5 stars

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The Movie Itself
4.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
5 Stars
HD Audio Quality
5 Stars
Supplements
3 Stars
High-Def Extras
3.5 Stars
Bottom Line
Must Own

Toy Story 3 (4-Disc Combo Pack)

Street Date:
November 2nd, 2010
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
October 29th, 2010
Movie Release Year:
2010
Studio:
Disney/Buena Vista
Length:
0 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated G
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Up until now, aside from 'Toy Story 2,' Pixar had stayed away from sequels. This was an even more amazing feat when you realize every one of their movies, from 'Monsters Inc.' to 'The Incredibles' could have spawned a franchise, with numerous sequels generating endless box office and merchandising dollars. Still, Pixar decided to go with original story after original story, giving us movies populated with lovable characters and overwhelming heart. So naturally, when I head that Pixar would be doing another 'Toy Story' movie, I became very apprehensive. Pixar has built itself up into the most famous and recognizable production house in the US. Like Roger Ebert said, they're the only movie studio that also has celebrity status. They've spoiled us for years with their amazing, heartfelt storytelling. Hearing they were now returning to the 'Toy Story' franchise was a bit disappointing.

There's always apprehension involved when sequels are concerned. Are the old characters we've grown to love going to be given enough screen time? Are the new characters that will inevitably be introduced going to overshadow everyone else? Will the story seem watered down since we've already been to the well a couple of times before? These are all legitimate fears, but I should have had faith in Pixar. They know what they're doing.

Andy is heading off to college, and Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang face the very real possibility of being neglected for the rest of their lives. When Andy's mother tells him to gather up his stuff and either put it in the attic for storage or in garbage bags for the dump, the gang prepare to take up residence in the attic. They all know one thing for certain, they don't want to end up as trash. Of course, after a little mix up, the bag of toys is mistaken for garbage. After escaping the garbage truck, the toys think they'll be better off donating themselves to a nearby daycare where kids will play with them everyday. Woody pleads with them. He tries to tell them that Andy didn't mean to throw them away, it was a mistake, but they don't listen (if I have one gripe about the movie, it's that the not listening to Woody storyline has been played out).

Most of the movie takes place in Sunnyside Daycare, where Andy's toys soon learn it isn't as happy a place as they had thought. After being relegated to the Caterpillar Room, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, and the Potato Heads are repeatedly bashed, crushed, and thrown by terrorizing toddlers. This is definitely not what they had in mind.

They meet a whole host of new characters, who are used to perfection here. The worry here is always that the new characters will feel stuck into a movie just to boost merchandise sales. Here the new characters instantly fit into the franchise, especially a suave-acting Ken Doll voiced by Michael Keaton.

Even after all my apprehension and worry, I have to say that I loved 'Toy Story 3.' It carries on the legacy of Pixar and the 'Toy Story' franchise. It's a perfect bookend to one of the best animated series of all-time. The climax alone is more exciting and thrilling than many of the action movies that came out this year.

The end is touching and sweet, harboring that same choked-up emotion that 'Ratatouille' inspired. 'Toy Story 3' has everything you could want from a new 'Toy Story' film. Is it as good as the first and second films? Not quite, but it's still one of Pixar's best.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Toy Story 3' comes to Blu-ray in one of Disney's combo packs. This time four discs make up the package. Two BD-50s are included. One houses the feature presentation, while the other is strictly used for a bevy of bonus features. A DVD and Digital Copy are also included.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

It's almost redundant to review the picture quality on this. Was there any doubt out there that 'Toy Story 3' presented in beautiful 1080p would be anything less that demo-worthy material? I didn't think so. This is the same level of perfection we've come to expect from Pixar's movies in HD. The colors burst off the screen. Detail is ramped up, making the movie even more realistic looking than its predecessors. Take for example the finely chopped up pieces of garbage at the dump. Each one of them has its own look, consistency, and detail. Each piece of garbage, no matter how small, is distinguishable. Textures are simply amazing, like they used look of Lotso's strawberry scented fur. Or the numerous patterns used on Ken's wide variety of wardrobe choices. You can actually see the stitching and ribbing on Jessie's hat.

As for technical anomalies, there are none. I thought that I noticed a bit of banding in the sky and some aliasing during the end credits on the boom-box Jessie uses to play Spanish music, but if you aren't looking extremely closely for those then you won't see them. Truth is, the picture is as pristine and clear as they come. This is just an amazing looking release all the way around. There's nothing much more to say about it other than it's one of, if not the, consistently best looking releases we've had this year.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

You knew that the picture was going to look great. That's pretty much a given when it comes to Pixar on Blu-ray, but what about the audio? Let me tell you something, the audio is the real treat on this release. 'Toy Story 3' comes complete with an enthralling 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix that will keep you engulfed from the opening scene until the end of the credits. The soundfield is filled with lively noises and ambient sound that will totally immerse you in the story.

As soon as the toys get to the daycare center the masterful ambiance takes over. Screaming kids encircle the soundfield as they run amok. Clinks, clanks, and clangs are delivered with precision as the toys are greeted by a whole host of new toys. During a flashback with a rainstorm individual droplets can be distinguished. It's simply stunning.

Panning effects work wonders, especially as the 7.1 mix takes into account the two side channels. Now Woody is soaring high above you as the wind pushes him higher and higher. His screams and "Woos" are carried throughout the mix, placed exactly where they should be. When it comes time for the big final action-packed ending the mix is cranked up to a bass-laden LFE slug-fest that will catch you by surprise. All this time the soundtrack has been subtle and nuanced, giving us an extremely detailed but reserved audio experience. That all ends when the toys get to the dump and try to escape permanent doom. Room-shaking bass is released from the sub, but never so overwhelming that it takes over and drowns out the dialogue.

Just like the video presentation, this audio presentation is top-notch demo-worthy material. From the restrained, but detail-oriented beginning to the bass-rumbling ending this is another wonderful HD audio experience provided by Disney and Pixar.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • The Gang's All Here (Disc 2, HD, 11 min.) – We get re-introduced to all the original voice characters. Feels pretty promotional, but it's fun to see Tom Hanks and some of the new voices like Timothy Dalton, Bonnie Hunt, and Michael Keaton recording their voices in the sound studio.
  • 'Day & Night' Theatrical Short (Disc 1, HD, 6 min.) – Like always, the short that ran before the movie in theaters is included on the disc. One of my favorite shorts to date, they just get better and better.
  • Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure (Disc 1, HD, 5 min.) – Buzz, Hamm, and Rex talk about how space travel has progressed. Similar to the features that are found on the other two Blu-rays for parts one and two.
  • Toys! (Disc1, HD, 7 min.) – A brief discussion from the animators talking about how hard it was to create so many new characters and toys for the new movie.
  • Studio Stories: Where's Gordon? (Disc 2, HD, 2 min.) – A little story about a hidden office created at Pixar's new building by Andrew Gordon.
  • Studio Stories: Cereal Bar (Disc 2, HD, 1 min.) – Pixar has a whole room devoted to cereal for their employees to enjoy. Another story that makes us all feel bad that we don't work there.
  • Studio Stories: Clean Start (Disc 2, HD 3 min.) – A story about how everyone at Pixar shaved their hair, and how they finally got Lee Unkrich to shave his long flowing locks.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

  • Cine-Explore Picture-in-Picture Commentary (Disc 2, HD) – Kind of a weird situation here. The PiP Cine-Explore feature is actually located on Disc 2. This is one of the many must see features on this disc. Here director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson discuss the movie in fantastic detail. Unkrich is always personable and he's able, along with Anderson, to offer some interesting insight into the animation and the direction the story took. The Pixar charm shines throughout this feature as you can tell that these two really love what they're doing. Who wouldn't if you had their jobs?
  • Beyond the Toybox: An Alternative Commentary Track (Disc 2) – The second disc also contains an audio commentary provided by production designer Bob Pauley, supervising animator Bobby Podesta, story supervisor Jason Katz, supervising animator Mike Venturini, and supervising technical director Guido Quaroni. This commentary isn't nearly as lively as the PiP commentary with Unkrich and Anderson, but it does offer a whole host of more technical comments if that's what you're into. These guys talk extensively about how certain shots were created and all the different goodies you can find throughout the movie.

Family Play(Disc 2)

  • Goodbye Andy (HD, 8 min.) – Spoiler alert! Don't watch this featurette if you haven't watched the movie yet. It talks about how they were able to create better looking humans for this movie. Dreamworks, take note, this is how you animate human characters. It also talks about the decision Andy makes at the end with his toys.
  • Accidental Toymakers (HD, 4 min.) – This featurette talks about how none of the major toy companies wanted to make the toys from the movie and how the actual toys came to life.
  • A Toy's Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land (HD, 5 min.) – Find out how they were able to incorporate the 'Toy Story' franchise into the Disney Parks. It talks about the creation of 'Toy Story' Midway Mania (which in my opinion is the best ride at California Adventure Park). They also discuss the creation of a 'Toy Story' land in Disneyland Paris.
  • Epilogue (HD, 4 min.) – You can watch the epilogue that is played during the end credits here without any of the annoying credits scrolling by.

Film Fans(Disc 2)

  • Roundin' up a Western Opening (HD, 6 min.) – Lee Unkrich discusses the opening for the movie and how they created it. He talks about an alternate western showdown opening that's presented in storyboard form.
  • Bonnie's Playtime: A Story Roundtable (HD, 6 min.) – A roundtable of Pixar regulars talk about how Bonnie's playtime was created and how many incarnations it went through.
  • Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion (HD, 8 min.) – Michael Arndt, the screenwriter for 'Toy Story 3' talks about how hard it was to start out writing the movie. It's a very interesting, yet simple how-to on creating a good screenplay.
  • Life of a Shot (HD, 7 min.) – Anderson discusses the intricacies that go into creating a detailed world with individual detailed objects. Colors, lighting, and effects are all talked about here, showing us just exactly how many people were involved in just one scene from the movie.
  • Making of 'Day & Night' (HD, 2 min.) – Director Teddy Newton and others describe how hard it was to create 'Day & Night.' According to them it was the hardest short to make because of the 2D characters that had a 3D world inside of them.
  • Paths to Pixar: Editorial (HD, 4 min.) – Editors talk about putting together the movie from a bunch of different pieces.

Games & Activities (Disc 2)

  • 'Toy Story' Trivia Dash () – This trivia game is powered by BD-Live. You can select to play with trivia from all three of the 'Toy Story' movies or just from 'Toy Story 3.' You play with two players and answer questions with the remote. It's kind of an awkward game and the music that accompanies it gets annoying really fast.

Publicity (Disc 2)

  • Grab Bag (HD, 4 min.) – This is just a collection of promo clips that were produced for 'Toy Story 3' and its 3D aspects.
  • Ken's Dating Tips (HD, 1 min.) – A great little clip with Ken giving hilarious dating tips.
  • Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercial (HD, 30 sec.) – A VHS-quality commercial for the Lotso toy.
  • Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercial 2 [Japan] (HD, 30 sec.) – Same kind of commercial but for Japan.
  • Making of Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercials (HD, 1 min.) – This featurette shows the making of the intentionally VHS-quality commercials.
  • Internet Chat (HD, 1 min.) – An internet chat between Woody and Buzz making fun of each other.
  • Security Cam (HD, 1 min.) – A promo that makes 'Toy Story 3' look like a horror movie.
  • Gadgets (HD, 1 min.) – A promo for 'Toy Story 3' that juxtaposes the toys from the movie in against the backdrop of a futuristic car commercial.
  • 'Dancing with the Stars' at Pixar (HD, 2 min.) – 'Dancing with the Stars' came in and helped Pixar create the dance scenes in the movie.
  • Trailers (HD, 13 min.) – There are a ton of different trailers that are included here: 'TS3' Silence Trailer, 'TS3' Antipiracy Trailer, 'TS3' Teaser Trailer, 'TS3' Trailer 2, 'TS3' Trailer 3, 'TS3' Japan Teaser Trailer, and 'TS3' Japan Teaser Trailer 2.
  • Character Intros (HD, 2 min.) – A promo that introduces the new characters that are in the movie.
  • Poster Gallery (HD) – Check out a wide variety of posters that were created for the film.

Final Thoughts

'Toy Story 3,' in my mind, is one of the best Pixar films. They took their time with this movie and didn't rush it. I still think it's a peg below one and two, but it still chokes me up at the end. The video and audio are demo quality and there's a huge helping of extras that will keep you entertained for hours. In short this is a must own Blu-ray.

Technical Specs

  • 4-Disc Set (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack)

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
  • English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX

Subtitles/Captions

  • English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Supplements

  • Day & Night theatrical short
  • Epilogue - The toys' hilarious send-off
  • "Toys!" - A close look at how the classic characters were updated and new toys were developed
  • Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs - The science of adventure
  • Paths to Pixar - Editorial: Pixar editors share stories of their illustrious careers
  • Studio Stories - Cereal Bar and Clean Start
  • A Toy's Eye View - A sneak peek at Playland in Hong Kong Disney

Exclusive HD Content

  • Cine-Explore - With commentary by director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla Anderson
  • Roundin' Up a Western Opening
  • Goodbye Andy - An exploration of character design
  • The Accidental Toymakers of Pixar - Meet the makers of the original Buzz Lightyear
  • Life of a Shot - Get an inside look at the production pipeline
  • Making of Day & Night
  • Studio Stories: Where's Gordon?
  • Toy Story Trivia Dash - Sprint to the finish with Woody, Buzz, Rex and Jesse as you answer questions about all three Toy Story movies
  • Beyond the Toy Box: An Alternative Commentary Track Featuring Leads from Story, Tech, Art and Animation
  • The Gang's All Here - A look at the returning voice talent
  • Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion
  • Bonnie's Playtime - A roundtable discussion with the director and story artists

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