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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2010

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"Toy Story" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-april-2010-toy-story

Synopsis

The first fully CG film from Pixar, Toy Story tells the story of Woody, a toy cowboy, long used to being the favorite toy of his owner Andy.  When Andy receives a Buzz Lightyear action figure for his birthday, his place at the top of the totem pole is challenged for the first time, leaving him unsure how to react, and angry at this change.  After accidentally disposing of Buzz, Woody has to set out to retrieve him and return things to normal in the world of Andy's toys.

 

Specifications

  • Pixar
  • 1995, Color, G, 81 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio:1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec:  MPEG-4 AVC
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring:  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
  • Directed by John Lasseter
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Minor toy-related violence
  • Sex: None
  • Language: None

Commentary

I had not seen Toy Story since it was released in theaters, and it has held up amazingly well.  Pixar produces my favorite films year after year, that appeal both to children and to adults.  They don't fill them with catchy pop culture references that will be dated in a few years, but instead just with fantastic storytelling that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.  When I went into Toy Story I was more expecting to see what the CG animation could offer, but came away more impressed with the story than with the technology.  Looking back at it now after 15 years, the technology has improved (the textures and objects in Toy Story aren't as detailed and lifelike as they are in modern Pixar films), but the story remains one that I can't wait to enjoy with my son once he is old enough.

Technical

As good as the story in Toy Story is, the image is even better.  Looking better than it probably ever has, with no issues that I could see, Toy Story looks absolutely fantastic.  The only bad thing I can say is that the extra resolution provided by the Blu-ray makes it easier to see how Pixar has improved over the past 15 years, and wondering how much more amazing the film would look if they were doing it now.  The colors pop off the screen, backed by solid blacks and incredible detail.  CG movies are often the best for showing off how much detail a Blu-ray can provide and Toy Story is no exception.

The soundtrack for Toy Story has probably never sounded as good either.  Taking advantage of lossless codecs, Toy Story comes through with a detailed, highly immersive soundtrack that never disappoints.  Modern Pixar movies might do a little better job with the surrounds and really bringing you all the way into the film, but Toy Story does a very good job, especially considering it's age, which is fairly early on in the discrete 5.1 era.

Extras

Toy Story comes loaded with extra features.  Starting with a full audio commentary by the director, co-writer, animators, and producers, and including over a dozen more featurettes going behind the scenes of how the movies was made with all the details you would want to know, and finishing with a trailer for the upcoming Toy Story 3 that is being released this summer.  Pixar made a fantastic DVD set for the Toy Story movies and all of those special features have been ported over.