Blu-rays of the Day: Toy Story and Toy Story 2 – Special Editions

Voices: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Joan Cusack, Annie Potts.
Directors: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich.
Screenplays: Joss Whedon Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin, Chris Webb.
Scores: Randy Newman.
Cinematography: Sharon Calahan.

The original hi-tech ‘toon about an old-school cowboy doll that gets pushed off a kid’s top shelf by a hotshot sci-fi newcomer who thinks he’s a real person and not a toy is more fun than ever in HD, zipping along like a joyride you wish would never end. Disney’s 1995 release not only pioneered CGI ‘toonmanship but also boasted gags and characterisations that were much hipper, funnier and adult than anything the Mouse Kingdom had hitherto done. CGI again was the star of the 1999 sequel yet it never eclipsed the fully-fleshed screenplay, vibrant characters, Oscar-worthy vocalisations and direction that would have done Spielberg proud. Structured around Buzz Lightyear and the rest of Andy’s toys setting out to rescue Woody from an unscrupulous collector (memorably voiced by Seinfeld’s Wayne Knight), Toy Story 2 succeeds way beyond comedy/adventure conventions with its sublime blend of satire, action and string-pulling poignancy. There are takes on everything from the inevitable (that other franchise blockbuster, The Phantom Menace) to the inspired (Buzz’s existential angst when he discovers he’s not the only Lightyear in the universe) to the incredible (a musical interlude that will leave you teary-eyed with melancholy, not laughter). The HD transfers are sensational and, along with extras from the previous DVD releases, there are new shorts and behind-the-scenes material. Toy Story 2, for instance, includes a sweetly animated account of how the movie was all but wiped by a computer error. The Blu-rays also come with a copy of the movie on DVD while the DVD special editions have the new extras but not the original.

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Extras: :-D :-D :-D :-D :-|

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