Saturday, October 31, 2015

Let’s Review a Movie: Toy Story of Terror (2013)



It’s at this part in the blog that an introduction is placed so readers will be enticed to click the read more link.

Well I think that made it rather obvious that I enjoy this film especially Pricklepants as the genre savvy character.  He adds a real level of lightness to the terror if you will, like a reminder that it is okay guys it’s all still a movie.  He points out the tropes and rolls with them and I love it.  Also the dig at old classic horror with the floppy bat on a string black and white film the toys are watching in the trunk is a touch nice.

I find that balance of light and dark elements great here.  Because even for me the scene with Jesse in the bathroom all alone with an unknown assailant slashing at the shower curtain, and if that isn’t a reference to Psycho I’ll eat my hat, was getting scary and then it’s revealed that the monster is a cute iguana stealing toys for the motel owner and the tension deflates.  Now while the owner is a jerk his plan is quite clever.  Lots of us lose or forget things while traveling and by the time anyone realizes the toys are gone it would be too late to turn back, or if they did notice a toy was gone the owner could simply say they don’t have that toy in the lost and found.  It’s really great when creators remember that things can be scary and fun at the same time.  You can thrill and chill the kids so long as there’s a happy ending, and a hilarious one too as the manager utterly fails in his attempt to get away from the police. 

Making Jesse the focus of the film is nice too, because it provides character growth with her by showing her overcoming her fear of being alone in boxes and regaining her confidence that was lost in the opening.  It also nicely back of course to her backstory provides a great callback to Toy Story 2.  The interactions with all the cast are great too like Buzz and Woody playing charades with Potato head’s arm.  I like the whole kicks off because Potato head went to go steal the soaps and bottles from the motel bathroom.   

The animation is great of course and I love watching the special features and learning that they had to build who new ways to render the logo pieces for the Lego bunny, and seeing all the different layers and lightning that go into the look of the character once the movement has been finalized.

Finally I love all the new characters here with an updated Combat Carl, the rebuild able Lego bunny, and of course Transitrion.  Again I’m impressed that the writers we again expanded on the world with new toy types and put our heroes in a new setting and situation.  They were able to add new elements to the world with the variety of toys that inhabit it while still giving a large chunk of screen time to the established cast.  That’s what makes all these Toy Story continuations so great for me.  I enjoy the ability it gives the staff to explore new situations with these characters in fun ways, because it’s shorter than a feature so there is less at stake financial speaking.   And it makes me worry that Toy Story 4 is going to muck this all up, but until then I’m going to enjoy the wonderful works that are here right now.  

Happy Halloween everyone.

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