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Click above to purchase "Toy Story (Movie-Only)" at


Toy Story

review by Zach B.

Rated G

Studio: Disney

Running Time: 81 minutes

With the Voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Wallace Shawn, Jim Varney, Annie Potts

Directed by John Lasseter

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: "Tin Toy" Short

Specs: 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Chapter Search, THX-Certified

I understand that some people want to own "Toy Story" seperate and don't want "Toy Story 2" (they're both great movies and I have to say if you don't want both, you're nuts but it's all opinion). Still, what Disney is doing with this movie-only edition is highway robbery. But more on that later. Let's talk about the original phenom that started it all, "Toy Story".

In Thanksgiving 1995, Pixar, a computer animation studio known for such award winning and nominated shorts such as "Tin Toy" (a somewhat basis for "Toy Story") and "Luxo Jr." (I love all their shorts, but I can't resist the snowglobe opus "KnickKnack"), put out not only the biggest film of the year with a domestic gross of about 190 million dollars, but an instant classic and different kind of animated film. The film of course was "Toy Story", and invited us to meet a cast of wonderful characters and admire detailed and beautiful computer animation, which made this movie a whole new kind of expierence for audiences everywhere.

"Toy Story" begins with Woody, the leader and favorite toy of a young boy named Andy. The toys live their lives together, coming alive and talking when their owner is not around. However, something really shakes them when it's Andy's birthday, and they all worry about new toys coming to join them. Nothing major comes to pass, except when a really cool new toy, Buzz Lightyear, joins them. Buzz has no recollection of being toy, and actually thinks he is an outerspace hero. The toys instantly take a shine to him, and makes our cowboy friend Woody really jealous. Buzz then becomes Andy's favorite toy, making Woody seem like a distant second. So Woody attempts a scheme against Buzz which backfires, and puts their whole fates in complete jeporady. They go to the food/amusment park "Pizza Planet", and both end up at Andy's neighbor's house, the mean Sid, from there. Sid likes to torture toys, and the duo must get out alive and make it back to Andy... hopefully before the moving trucks drive away.

I was first on line to see the movie when it opened in theaters, and since it's debut, "Toy Story" was an instant classic for all ages. Randy Newman provided some good songs and a beautiful musical score, while John Lassetter and his Pixar team created a whole universe with an excellent story, sharp dialogue and well developed characters. His vision comes to full life here, and the A list voice cast is sensational. Tom Hanks provides the voice of Woody, while Tim Allen is the naive space ranger Buzz Lightyear. John Ratsenberger from "Cheers", Don Rickles, Annie Potts, the late Jim Varney and Wallace Shawn make up some more of the cast.

So many of us were really, really impressed with "A Bug's Life" and the wonderful digital to digital transfer, and "Toy Story" uses this same transfer method. It is properly framed at 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen, what you get is probably the cleanest, sharpest, dazzling picture to ever grace the DVD format. Everything is simply perfect and dead on. Blacks are solid, colors don't smear but are really bright and colorful, detail is amazing. I can rave on and on about this transfer. Simply put, it ranks as one of the best transfers ever. You also may be happy to learn that these are "properly framed" (as I mentioned). When the original "Toy Story" was in theaters, it was presented in 1.85:1. The aspect ratio was changed on the laserdisc and for this DVD, so you are definently seeing more.

Just as impressive is the sound mix. A very creative track. "Toy Story" is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital, and wow, you'll really feel like you are part of their world. With Randy Newman's wonderful music, the whole Pizza Planet scene and especially the finale, this mix doesn't let you catch your breath.

Tin Toy is the Academy Award® winning Pixar short which was sort of the basis for Toy Story (as we learn in the supplement disc, the movie was originally supposed to star this lead character). This short is a delight and earned that Oscar®. The short is in widescreen no less, so be sure to check it out.

Disney, Disney, Disney... here's where you go wrong. While "Tin Toy" is a great short, thirty bucks definently deserves more features. Perhaps the "Toy Story" stuff from The Ultimate Toy Box? Considering that Disney put out a two pack, for ten bucks more you can get a whole other movie and the features there. Again, I understand some want to own just the movie, but for this price against the two pack and the three disc set, it seems like a rip. If you buy each film seperate, a bit more than ten bucks more will you get the box.

I heard Disney is stop making the two-pack, so get your hands on that while you can. Great movie, incredible presentation, but for thirty bucks and a little short, you'll definently want more, especially against the other sets that are out on the market (again, check out my features sections how this single disc holds up against the sets). Unless you have cash to blow, don't care about features or other comparisons and stuff, "Toy Story" alone is here for you...

(4.5/5 - NOT included in final score)




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