Pixar’s first holiday special based on one of their movie franchises has premiered! Toy Story of Terror aired last night on ABC stations, and just a few days before Halloween.
The special featured many of the famous Toy Story characters, and a couple of new additions. The original voice stars reprised their roles for this almost half hour special. Michael Giacchino composed the score. Angus MacLane directed.
Toy Story takes place after Toy Story 3, like many of the Toy Story shorts in theaters. The plot follows the toys on a trip with Bonnie and her mom. The car’s tire gets a flat in the night, and the family must stay at a hotel. Mr. Pricklepants keeps referencing horror movies which puts the crew on edge. Things get more tense when Potato Head ventures out of the suitcase and disappears. The toys go to look for him and start to disappear as well. Jessie is the one who’s left, and she has a great fear of being left alone, and especially alone in a box. I won’t spoil the rest, but those are some key elements of the plot.
I thought the animation turned out great, as it looked stunning on HD. It is that continuation of quality since Toy Story 3, and everything looked detailed for such a small screen. The new characters were fun additions and did add to the plot. There is a villain, and you could say even two villains, but that may be spoiling too much. Personalities and dynamics between the villains did remind me of some Disney animated features, but now I will stop about that to not give more away.
Giacchino did a good job with the score. It was the classic (can we call it classic now!?) Toy Story score feel, and with a spooky twist.
Before I go further I must warn that my one criticism will help spoil some of the plot, so be forewarned!
The only criticism I have is that the plot was a little too reminiscent of Toy Story 2. It didn’t help that Jessie was featured in this plot. I’m afraid of them losing ideas for the toys to have adventures in.
But, this special had suspense and humor! The commercial breaks were well timed, and the new characters and new character cameos gave that added toy jokes that kept me laughing. Combat Carl is a character I hope they bring back somehow, though he teetered on the edge of annoyance for me. Carl is a GI Joe knock off that talks in the third person. So, imagine a drill sergeant idea with a bit of insanity. The other fun characters I liked were Pocketeer and Transitron. Those two had fun toy jokes associated with them that also reminded me of my childhood. Another great humorous moment was a little past the credits that wrapped up the villain’s story.
With suspense, none of it was so scary that a child would be too frightened. It was very tasteful and easy to handle. All of it pertained to the plot as well, which actually made it a great Halloween special.
Overall I think this was the best holiday special Pixar has done so far. I got to see the first half preview at D23 Expo and looked forward to viewing it on television. They did have the full showing at the Expo, but I was unable to attend it. Everything seemed intact from the preview I saw. It is just a great, very enjoyable adventure with the Toy Story gang. I was especially glad to see some of the not so used characters get some spotlight time.
It’s sadly unavailable to view easily, but I’d imagine it’ll pop up to buy on the iTunes store or elsewhere soon enough. And, until next time, have a marvelous day!