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Blu-Ray Review: Toy Story 3

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Believe it or not, there is one Oscar race that is already decided and done. That race doesn’t belong to an actor or a drama, but to Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 3, the sure-lock for Best Animated Picture at the 2011 Academy Awards. Pixar has won nearly every contest in this category since the beginning of the century, and Toy Story 3 was yet another critically praised film from the studio-that-can-do-no-wrong. It also has earned over $1 billion worldwide and is about to make a lot more as it releases on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

The Toy Story 3 combo pack includes four discs, primarily so that Walt Disney can destroy the environment just a little faster with each DVD and Blu-Ray sold. The combo pack includes the movie on Blu-Ray and DVD, as well as an extra disc with Blu-Ray special features and yet another devoted to a digital copy of the picture. The DVD includes some bonus features, while the Blu-Ray disc contains everything the DVD offers and much more.

The Toy Story 3 Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack contains a slew of special features, which, thankfully, are all packed with value while remaining bite-sized in length. For the sake of time and your attention span, I won’t cover everything, but here’s a summary of what’s included on the disc:

  • Day & Night – the short film that aired in front of Toy Story 3. While unique and imaginative, this was not a very good short film when compared to other shorts Pixar has produced in the past.
  • A Toy’s Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land – this short feature provides a glimpse at the new Toy Story-themed playland at Hong Kong Disneyland. Even though it’s intended to be promotional, it’s an interesting look at the thought process that went into designing it.
  • The Gang’s All Here – this feature looks at the returning and new cast that provided their voices for Toy Story 3. There’s not a whole lot to it, other than that you get to see glimpses of lots of recognizable faces. Interestingly, Tim Allen seems to have completely excluded himself from the bonus features save for stealing glimpses of the actor while at work.
  • Beyond the Toybox – in an interesting alternative to the typical director’s commentary, this audio track features commentary from supervisors in the Story, Tech, Art and Animation departments.
  • Roundin’ Up a Western Opening – one of the more interesting bonus features included, this one looks at the creation of the opening scene and its evolution from an idea to the final product. The creators talk about how they had some cool ideas early on, but that they didn’t fit with the rest of the movie.
  • Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion – in partnership with the previously mentioned feature, this one has screenwriter Michael Arndt talking about successful opening scenes from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, and how a story should be structured to please the audience.
  • Bonnie’s Playtime: A Story Roundtable – a discussion about the emotional final scenes of the movie, this one examines how the reasoning behind doing what they did. Just like the opening scene, the finale is just as important if not more important.
  • Accidental Toymakers – going beyond the movies themselves, this looks at the creation of the actual Toy Story toys and how Disney, after failing to attract the big toy companies to develop Woody and Buzz toys, managed to convince a small toy company to take on the project. Needless to say, that toy maker continues to make tons of money.

There are several other bonus features not mentioned here. Most are between three and ten minutes, which make it great to watch as few or as many as you like. As with other Disney Blu-Ray and DVD combos, Toy Story 3 offers plenty of value to both family viewers and avid film fans. Definitely recommended, and it’s safe to say that this will be a rightful bestseller throughout the holiday season.

Read more about the Toy Story 3 movie, or read our Toy Story 3 movie review.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews
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