Toy Story
Toy Story 2

As part of the lead-up to the June 18th 2010 release of Toy Story 3, some genius of marketing had the madly original notion to release a special edition combo pack of the original Toy Story and Toy Story 2 – each package containing a DVD and Blu-Ray version of the movie. Times are tight, and Blu-Ray players are not yet a universal format, so it makes wonderful sense to distribute a movie in both formats.

Having said that, it is a pleasure to revisit a wry and witty animated visioning of a great conceit in story-telling for children: that one’s toys are – when one is not looking – living a life of their own: Woody the Cowboy and Buzz the Space Ranger, the plastic soldiers and the slinky dog, Mr. Potato-head and the plastic dinosaur. They have a well-established hierarchy, and jealousies, as well as their own existential fears, joys and sorrows. They take strength from their friendship with each other, and in the undying devotion of their owners. That friendship and teamwork was one of the themes of Toy Story. The toy’s main fear (after that of being sold away at a garage sale or mutilated by Sid the Vicious little sociopath next door) – is expanded on in Toy Story 2. Children grow up, and lose interest in their once-beloved toys. Perhaps being in a glass case in a museum with your buddies is better than being in storage, or abandoned in a box at a donation station.

As always, in Disney-Pixar productions, the characters and the voice-work is top notch. The extras – most of them concerned with the various characters, or with the production woes associated with such labor-intensive animation – are lavish, but mercifully as short as they are hilarious. One sequence – which mercifully was not included in Toy Story was a visioning of Woody as a much more conniving, even borderline ‘bad’ character. Toy Story and features a look at new toy characters developed for Toy Story 3, which will be released in June.

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 Special Editions are now available through Amazon and other commercial outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her previous book “To Truckee’s Trail” and her current book project – The Adelsverein Trilogy is also available through Amazon.com. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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