DVDizzy.com | Pixar & Other Theatrical Animation | Reviews | DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Disney Schedule | Search

Pixar on DVD: Toy Story • A Bug's Life • Toy Story 2 • Monsters, Inc. • Finding Nemo • The Incredibles • Cars • Ratatouille • WALL•E • Up • Toy Story 3

Pixar on Blu-ray: Toy Story • A Bug's Life • Toy Story 2 • Monsters, Inc. • The Incredibles • Cars • Ratatouille • WALL•E • Up • Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3: 4-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) Review

Toy Story 3 movie poster Toy Story 3

Theatrical Release: June 18, 2010 / Running Time: 102 Minutes / Rating: G / Songs List

Director: Lee Unkrich / Writers: Michael Arndt (screenplay); John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich (story)

Voice Cast: Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Joan Cusack (Jessie), Ned Beatty (Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head), Michael Keaton (Ken), Wallace Shawn (Rex), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head), John Morris (Andy Davis), Jodi Benson (Barbie), Emily Hahn (Bonnie), Laurie Metcalf (Andy's Mom), Blake Clark (Slinky Dog), Teddy Newton (Chatter Telephone), Bud Luckey (Chuckles), Beatrice Miller (Molly Davis), Javier Fernαndez-Peρa (Spanish Buzz), Timothy Dalton (Mr. Pricklepants), Lori Alan (Bonnie's Mom), Charlie Bright (Young Andy), Kristen Schaal (Trixie), Jeff Garlin (Buttercup), Bonnie Hunt (Dolly), John Cygan (Twitch), Jeff Pidgeon (Aliens), Whoopi Goldberg (Stretch), Jack Angel (Chunk), R. Lee Ermey (Sarge), Jan Rabson (Sparks), Richard Kind (Bookworm), Erik Von Detten (Sid); Charlie Bright, Amber Kroner, Brianna Malwand (Peas-in-a-Pod); Jack Willis (Frog)

Buy Toy Story 3 from Amazon.com: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy • 1-Disc DVD • 2-Disc Blu-ray • 1-Disc Spanish DVD
Buy The Toy Story Trilogy: Ultimate Toy Box Collection (10-Disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Set)

<< Back to Page 1

Night aims to knock over Day in rhythm with a lumberjack's chops in the animated Pixar short "Day & Night."

BONUS FEATURES

Those who took to DVD for its bonus features and remain pleased with the format will be disheartened to find out that not even Pixar's flagship franchise is enough to get the studio back to doing fully-loaded sets on the format. Nope, as on three of the studio's last four films (and more if you count last spring's weak reissues of the first two Toy Story movies), Pixar has kept the bulk of bonus material exclusive to Blu-ray.

First up is Day & Night, the 6-minute Pixar animated short that preceded TS3 in theaters (and oughtn't be confused with the same summer's Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz action-rom-com). Written and directed by Teddy Newton, it shows us the experiences of two opposite characters whose bodies display scenes, respectively, of day and night activity.
An attack on xenophobia, it's charming enough and an inspired blend of 2D animation and CGI, but not one of the studio's best shorts. The breakneck descriptive track for the blind seems like an exercise in futility on such a visual-driven, dialogue-free 'toon.

By far the DVD's longest extra is a filmmakers' audio commentary by director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson. Pixar seems to do everything better than other studios and that includes commentaries. Of course, it helps that Unkrich and Anderson have far more to talk about than most filmmakers, having toiled on the movie for four years and been a part of the first movie starting nearly twenty years ago. Through the end of the end credits and without pause, the two speak over the film, addressing what's onscreen in an engaging and focused manner. Their revelations make it perfectly clear that Pixar considers every single scene, shot, and plot point from every imaginable angle. We discover many of the production tweaks that strengthened the film and the reasoning behind them, like ensuring a villain isn't too sympathetic or a hero isn't sympathetic enough. Unkrich especially gives credit to those responsible for certain nice touches. You'd think that enthusiasm and passion would begin to wane in veterans who have made one hit after another in similar fashion, but you really don't pick up anything but excitement, drive, and pride in this warm, comprehensive track covering every conceivable base, from inspirations (Stanley Kubrick, Sam Raimi) to the voice cast to callbacks.

Buzz Lightyear powers a digital clock with a potato in NASA's Mission Log short "The Science of Adventure." Toy Story 3 editor Ken Schretzmann displays the camera that got him first excited about animation as a child in "Paths to Pixar: Editorial." Director Lee Unkrich resists having his mane shorn in the name of solidarity in the mostly true animated Studio Stories short "Clean Start."

The next several listings follow molds established on the recent Toy Story and Toy Story 2 Blu-rays and DVDs.

"Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure" (4:25) works information and footage from a Buzz Lightyear figure's NASA expedition into an animated short. Here, Buzz relays his experiences to Rex and Hamm, with original voice actors present (gravel and all).

"Paths to Pixar: Editorial" (4:40) gathers comments from a number of the studio's lead and assistant editors about the nature of their work. Each shares his or her interests and views on cutting animation.

Next we get a trio of "Studio Stories". In the vein of the Drunk History web and TV shorts, these humorous bits relay the exaggerated anecdotes of Pixar filmmakers with witty sketch animation. "Where's Gordon?" (2:15) discusses a popular lounge accessible by crawl. "Cereal Bar" (1:38) reveals the many exciting imagination-fueling cereal options Pixar offers and its employees take advantage of. "Clean Start" (3:07) talks about the symbolic head/face shaving and subsequent lack thereof that Toy Story 3's crew members committed to in a sign of solidarity.

Varying prototypes of Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear are seen in the featurette "Toys!" Ned Beatty, given the biggest new role in the movie, looks kind of like a teddy bear with his beard. You can't say Pixar casts for marketability! Buzz Lightyear towers over theme park guests in the scale model of Toy Story Land.

With a mix of crew member interviews, animation tests, and behind-the-scenes footage, "Toys!" (6:39) covers the updates made for existing characters and the process of creating the new characters seen at Sunnyside.

"The Gang's All Here" (10:25) illustrates that voice cast featurettes aren't just for the star-studded ensembles DreamWorks builds for name recognition. This great piece runs through the returning and new actors that lend their vocals to characters. Both express excitement at their involvement, with the former noting how long the series has been part of their lives. Among those given special notice are John Morris (thrice Andy) and Blake Clark (who replaces the late Jim Varney as Slinky Dog).

"A Toy's Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land" (5:25) deals not with the films but with Toy Story Land, an area recently opened in Disneyland Paris and coming soon to Hong Kong Disneyland. John Lasseter and other Imagineering executives discuss the inspiration and rationale behind the toy's point-of-view land (which sounds an awful lot like the underappreciated "A Bug's Land" in Disney's California Adventure). We also get lots of looks at concept art and models, but not the place itself (suggesting this cool featurette was made a while back).

The DVD's final extra is the ubiquitous 1-minute promo "Learn how to Take Your Favorite Movies to Go" on Disneyfile. It at least applies here and isn't as obnoxious as the Sprouse Brothers' gladly absent Blu-ray pitch.

Voice actor John Morris records some his last lines as Andy Davis in "Goodbye Andy." Thinkway Toys CEO Albert Chan recalls how he and John Lasseter arranged their merchandising deal for "Toy Story" back in 1995 in "Accidental Toymakers." The film's epilogue features an excited Barbie welcoming new residents to recently groovified Sunnyside.

The Blu-ray-exclusive bonus features (all in HD unless otherwise noted) all appear on the set's second disc and are broken up into four areas.

Under the first section Family Play, we have "Goodbye Andy" (8:02). Director Lee Unkrich, actor John Morris, and several other crew members discuss the film's final sequence. Among the subjects touched upon are the progress of human animation since Andy's original appearance, the challenge of making the scene emotionally believable, and what the sequence meant to all who worked on it. It's both a touching and informative look at what's perhaps the most important scene of the whole trilogy.

In "Accidental Toymakers" (3:56), we learn how the fictional toys Pixar dreams up become real-life playthings. The tale of how most toy companies passed on the original Toy Story is relayed as is the boom of consumer demand that came Christmas of 1995. The process of transferring the CG character models to actual three-dimensional figures is also briefly touched upon, making this a very interesting featurette.

The section's final feature is the Epilogue (4:23) presented in fullscreen (pillarboxed 1.33:1). Viewing it in this mode allows for a better examination of all the details inserted into this winning end credits sequence.

What's the prize for winning the "Toy Story Trivia Dash" as Buzz Lightyear? A clip of retro 2-D version of the character doing a victory dance. In "Roundin' Up a Western Opening", we're shown fleeting glimpses of a discarded prologue involving a Woody and Buzz duel.

Games & Activities holds only one feature: "Toy Story Trivia Dash." Much better than the endless guessing games and mundane questionnaires of other Disney set-top games, this one gives the player the option of covering either only Toy Story 3 trivia or the whole trilogy. There's no option for a single player mode, instead offering players 1 and 2 the option of being either Woody or Buzz. The game can either be played using the numbers on the remote or, via BD-live, using cell phones. Either option seems like a more awkward alternative to just using the arrow keys. Despite that, though, the game is fun as it contains questions that actually require the player to think, and the retro style found in many hand-painted Toy Story books is very appealing.

Film Fans holds the behind-the-scenes content, the first of which is Cine-Explore. Strangely, this feature (and the next one that follows) are placed on disc two with the rest of the supplements instead of on disc one with the main feature. The DVD's Lee Unkrich and Darla Anderson audio commentary is repeated here, but with Cine-Explore, stills and video clips help illustrate both what they're discussing and what we're seeing in the film itself.
These include concept art, storyboards, color keys, test animation, and behind-the-scenes footage. Disney's Cine-Explore features are always fascinating to watch and are helpful in pointing out crew members mentioned in the commentary. It also keeps the viewer focused on the commentary itself and not getting lost in the film itself.

Next is the "Beyond the Toy Box" alternative commentary. This one features supervising animators Bobby Podesta and Mike Venturini, supervising technical director Guido Quaroni, production designer Bob Pauley, story supervisor Jason Katz. One would think a commentary of this sort would be dry and technical, but that's surprisingly not the case. While the quintet does explain some of the animation mechanics, they spend much more time analyzing the story and the choices they made to get their points across. Along the way, they also point out many in-jokes and hidden references. It's a very strong track.

For a look behind the film's prologue, we have "Roundin' Up a Western Opening" (5:42). Sound bites from both Unkrich and other crew members reveal an alternate opening that showed a Sergio Leone-style face-off between Woody and Buzz. This eventually led to the revelation that Woody and the gang were now Molly's toys. The scrapping of this sequence and creation of the one seen in the finished film both make the piece enlightening.

"Bonnie's Playtime" discusses different incarnations of the sequence with a roundtable of, left to right, Jason Katz, Eric Benson, Lee Unkrich, Matt Luhn and Adrian Molina. Sometimes your protagonist's passion for something can lead to unfortunate consequences as shown in this example during "Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion." Production artist Paul Topolos explains his approach to the design as we see storyboard art of evil Dr. Porkchop's aircraft in "Life of a Shot."

"Bonnie's Playtime: A Story Roundtable" (6:26) gathers Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, and story artists Eric Benson, Matt Luhn, and Adrian Molina to talk about the sequence in which we meet Bonnie's toys. The group reminisces about all the different versions of the sequence and the challenges in pacing and in delineating Bonnie's imagination from Andy's. It makes one appreciate all the different ways a single story point can be told and refined.

A feature more unique than usual, "Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion" (8:13) breaks down the format most stories follow. This includes formatting the story into a three-act structure, introducing the character and his passion, and creating a conflict that forces him to make a choice. All of this is illustrated using a story example of a girl and her teddy bear, and the arcs of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles are all compared to this format. Since few bonus materials, particularly Disney ones, break down the story mechanics in such an analytical way, this Michael Arndt-narrated piece is perhaps the most fascinating extra on this set.

Another interesting item is "Life of a Shot" (6:57). Here, most of the opening prologue is played back, but with a few differences. First, several crew members appear in front of the footage and directly tell the viewer what their part was in creating this sequence. Then, as they pop up, the film footage is replaced with storyboards, concept art, and rough animation. A lot of information is crammed into this segment as a new participant pops up every few seconds to explain how he did his job. The distinctive presentation coupled with the amount of facts thrown out make for a memorable feature.

The section's final BD-exclusive is "Making of Day & Night" (2:00). This clearly promotional clip interviews the team behind the short. Unfortunately, the focus isn't on how the short was made but on what the short's about. It's disappointing we don't get more of an insider's look into the unique presentation.

Among the interstitials showcased in the "Grab Bag" is this one of Woody accidentally swinging the Luxo Jr. ball into the camera lens. Barbie is bemused at one of the procedures from "Ken's Dating Tips."

The final batch of supplements can be found under Publicity. "Grab Bag" (4:00) is a collection of animated interstitials used in various promotional spots and featurettes. These include a squawking Mrs. Potato Head at the movies, characters being blown away by the use of 3-D, and a game of baseball with the gang. A few of these (such as Woody and Jessie dancing) were originally placed during the intermission of last year's Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature. All are great fun to see.

Next is "Ken's Dating Tips" (1:30), featuring three TV spots in which Ken gives questionable advice on how to attract your significant other. The character is just as amusing in isolation here as he is in the actual film.

In this fuzzy Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear commercial "from the 1980s", we see a little girl cherishing her time with him as her friends sit and watch. Woody and Buzz engage in some online banter in this clever promotional spot. "Dancing with the Stars at Pixar" shows choreographers Driton Dovolani and Cheryl Burke demonstrating a flamenco dance for animator reference.

A trio of Lotso clips follow. Two standard-definition 30-second viral videos are made to look like 1980s commercials for the actual toy bear (one from the US, one from Japan). The attention to detail in these, along with the restraint showed, make these very convincing. They're shot and edited like dozens of real '80s toy commercials, but don't exaggerate the concepts enough to look like a parody. "Making of the Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear Commercials" (1:28) supplies B-roll footage of the US commercial shoot.

For more web-based advertising, we have three online spots. "Internet Chat" (1:00), "Security Cam" (1:12), and "Gadgets" (0:58) market the film as a web application, a Paranormal Activity-style horror film, and a sleek technological product, respectively. All three provide some of the most creative movie marketing ever and are welcome inclusions.

"Dancing with the Stars at Pixar" (2:21) is a promotional piece that focuses on "Dancing with the Stars" pros Driton Dovolani and Cheryl Burke. The two were approached by Pixar to provide reference choreography for a scene between Buzz and Jessie. The gushiness of the pair's comments don't offer much, but the reference footage is mildly interesting. A split-screen comparison probably would've made this more valuable.

Mr. Pricklepants does his best to stay in character despite the announcer's constant yammering in his character intro. An unused poster concept for the film shows Mr. Potato Head using his arm and eye to see...us, apparently. In Aleks Syntek and Danna Paola's Spanish music video, Buzz's lethal laser light is inexplicably green rather than red.

Next comes a slew of trailers. "Silence Trailer" (0:40) is the same piece of animation from the "Grab Bag" reel in which Mrs. Potato Head can't keep quiet at a theater. "Antipiracy Trailer" (1:00) features footage of Geri restoring Woody in Toy Story 2 while stressing that original works of art are always superior to copies. Then there's the teaser (1:44), Trailer 1 (2:21), Trailer 2 (2:30), a Japanese teaser (1:02), and a Japanese trailer (2:44). Considering what a miracle it usually is to get a single trailer on home video releases, a collection as robust as this is greatly appreciated.

"Character Intros" (2:00) offer four TV spots that each focus on a new character (Lotso, Ken, Trixie, and Mr. Pricklepants). Each presents new animation of the character reacting to the narrated description given to them. They're very cute inclusions.

Finally, a 25-still Poster Gallery contains a mix of domestic, international, and unused print ads.

While that completes all the advertised features, there's still one more to be found: an Easter egg containing the Spanish music video "Yo Soy Tu Amigo Fiel" (3:06) performed by Aleks Syntek and Danna Paola. In terms of Spanish "You've Got a Friend in Me" renditions, it's not as memorable as the Gipsy Kings cover, but the video itself is perky and creative.

On both the DVD and first Blu-ray disc, promos play for Disney Blu-ray (3D on the Blu-ray), Tangled, The Search for Santa Paws, Bambi: Diamond Edition, and Cars 2. (Don't get too excited about the lattermost; it shows and tells us almost nothing.) The menu's Sneak Peeks listing plays cool ads for Mater's Tall Tales, The Incredibles Blu-ray (arriving next spring), and Disney Parks (a Toy Story-themed spot).

A green army man with red wagon is one of many toys walking across the DVD's main menu.

MENUS and PACKAGING

The main menus on all three discs are set in Andy's room, where toys walk, run, and bounce by, getting in the way of the listings and taking the cursor underlines with them. On DVD, scenes from Sunnyside play in paperclipped wall photos. On Blu-ray, they're shown on Andy's TV, like the menus from the 2005 DVDs. The rest of the DVD's menus are static and scored, featuring customized character poses.
Buzz holds up the handwritten font Bonus Features listings on dry erase boards. Woody admires the Set Up listings hanging on a clothes line. And so on. Instead of the Blu-ray's pop-up menu being an element from the main menu, it's a uniquely-designed chalkboard that appears on the left of the screen.

The discs include the "Maximize Your Home Theater!" calibration tests featuring characters from Pixar's first nine films. What the DVD excludes is Easter eggs of any kind, which is sad because they've long been an integral part of Pixar discs.

At disc insertion, you're prompted to choose between English and English Descriptive Video Service, although the latter feature is offered only on the film and Day & Night.

In an interesting move, Disney's FastPlay (absent from the DVD) has been given a makeover for Blu-ray. The viewer can play the main feature and every single supplement on both discs consecutively or they can arrange a customized play list of what they wish to see. It's certainly a more useful feature than just slapping trailers as bookends to a hands-free feature presentation.

Though wielding four discs, the combo pack's two-trayed blue case is only a little wider than the Blu-ray standard. The front of the requisite cardboard slipcover embosses the title and characters, but surprisingly avoids holography. Seemingly arbitrary, the sleeve devotes one spine to Rex and the second to the Potato Heads. Inside, we find a booklet promoting Disney Blu-ray 3D as well as boring old regular Blu-ray, another with your Disney Movie Rewards/Disneyfile code and directions, and a third promoting a variety of Disney and Toy Story products and events (plus batteries). Even the DVD boasts disc art, something Disney has denied the format for almost this entire year.

Facing the incinerator of the Tri-County Landfill, the beloved toys of the Toy Story series band together and pray for a miracle.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Toy Story 3 ranks among Pixar's very best, which means it's not an overstatement to instantly consider it one of the greatest films ever made. This remarkably satisfying conclusion gives us, I believe, the greatest trilogy in all of filmdom. I can only think of the original Star Wars movies as being possibly as worthy of that title. This is no kneejerk hyperbole. These Toy Story films are an achievement that ought to be appreciated without any stigmas of being animated or G-rated. Just because they are about children's playthings doesn't make them any less than cinematic triumphs of the highest order.

Whether you buy it alone or in the combo pack, Toy Story 3's DVD is unsatisfactory, especially by the Pixar standards of yore. It's sad that other studios give their animated hits better treatment than the one that set the collector's edition standard. Clearly, sight has been lost in the effort to sell the public on the Blu-ray format. Remember when DVDs included videocassettes that were watered down to make the DVD seem more special? Neither do I.

The Blu-ray fares better, with the extensive collection of promo materials and two commentaries making up for otherwise underwhelming video extras. It's not quite the perfect release, but it's close.

Support great cinema and this site -- Buy Toy Story 3 from Amazon.com:
Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy / DVD / Blu-ray / Trilogy Collection BD + DVD + DC / Spanish DVD

Buy from Amazon.com

<< Back to Page 1

Related Reviews:
Toy Story (Blu-ray + DVD) • Toy Story 2 (Blu-ray + DVD) • Toy Story (10th Anniversary DVD) • Toy Story 2 (Special Edition DVD)
Pixar Blu-rays: Cars (Blu-ray + DVD) • A Bug's Life • Monsters, Inc. (Blu-ray + DVD) • Up (Blu-ray + DVD) • WALL•E
Pixar DVDs: The Incredibles • Monsters, Inc. • Cars • WALL•E • A Bug's Life • Finding Nemo • Ratatouille
New: Grown Ups • Winter's Bone • The Karate Kid (2010) • Beauty and the Beast (Diamond Edition Blu-ray) • Elf: Ultimate Collector's Edition
Trilogies: The Godfather Trilogy • Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy • Star Trek: Motion Picture Trilogy
Third Installments: Shrek the Third • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs • The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Disney All-Time Top Grossers: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest • Alice in Wonderland (2010) • The Lion King
Toy Story 3's Voice Cast: Forrest Gump • Angels & Demons • Big • The Santa Clause • Galaxy Quest
The Brave Little Toaster • Toy Story & Toy Story 2: The Ultimate Toy Box • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins

Related Interview: Michael Arndt, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine

Related Countdowns: Top 100 Disney Songs • Top Disney Heroes & Heroines • Top Disney Villains

Toy Story 3 Songs List (in order of use): Randy Newman - "You've Got a Friend in Me", Gary Wright - "Dream Weaver", Chic - "Le Freak", Randy Newman - "We Belong Together", Gipsy Kings - "You've Got a Friend in Me (Para Buzz Espaρol)"

Download the Toy Story 3 Soundtrack: Amazon.com MP3 • iTunes

DVDizzy.com | Pixar & Other Theatrical Animation | Reviews | DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Disney Schedule | Search

Search This Site:

DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

Shop Toy Story 3 at Disney Store

Reviewed October 25, 2010. Movie and common bonus feature screencaps from standard DVD.