Toy Story: Special Edition (Disney) (1995)

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Released 17-May-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Audio Commentary-Commentary featuring the production team of Toy Story
Featurette-Toy Story 3 Sneak Peek: The Story
Featurette-Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off
Featurette-Path to Pixar - Artists
Featurette-Studio Stories: John's Car
Featurette-Studio Stories: Baby AJ
Featurette-Studio Stories: Scooter Races
Featurette-Buzz Takes Manhattan
Featurette-Black Friday: The Toy Story You Never Saw
Trailer-Sneak Peeks of Toy Story 3, Disney Blu-ray, Wall-E
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 77:51
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By John Lasseter
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Don Rickles
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Annie Potts
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Randy Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/s)
Hindi Dolby Digital 1.0 (128Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Arabic
Arabic Audio Commentary
Hindi
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Do you remember the first time you saw Toy Story? Do you remember thinking how impressed you were with the animation? The film was developed from 1993 and finally released in November, 1995, the first feature-length film that used computer graphics-based animation. Of course before that Pixar made short animated features which were nominated for Oscars (Tin Toy won for Best Animated Short Film winner in 1989) and they have since won the award seven times.

    Toy Story was the first of a 3 film deal with Disney by Pixar to produce computer-generated animated films. The documentary The Pixar Story by Leslie Iwerks on the Wall-E Blu-ray/DVD release chronicles the difficulty that John Lasseter and his production team had in getting the film developed and finished in time. The film cost $US30 million and required 110 staff. 300 computers were used to render the film with each of the 114240 frames in the film requiring 2 to 15 hours of processing time to render shading, lighting and visual effects. That's why perhaps children (and even adults) have watched this film incessantly over the years. You can't possibly appreciate all the video work that has been done to the film even after multiple viewings. Toy Story was a huge box-office success with over $US360 million taken in gross revenue to date. Pixar have not looked back since with many successful computer-animated films since such as Toy Story 2, Monster's Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up! Of course, did we forget that Toy Story 3 will be theatrically released in July 2010? This DVD Special Edition release of Toy Story will certainly remind you, beginning with a sneak peak trailer once you put the DVD into your player.

    The characters of Toy Story have since become part of popular culture with merchandising from the film by Disney/Pixar responsible for making Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear popular children's toys. Actors Wallace Shawn and Don Rickles will probably be remembered more for their voicing of Rex and Mr. Potato Head respectively, rather then for their distinguished acting and comedy careers. Believe it or not, the original screenplay had Barbie and G.I Joe but Mattel and Hasbro refused to allow the use of the characters in the film, although after the film's success Barbies were featured in Toy Story 2. Also, the original idea for Toy Story was to develop it as a musical as Disney was known for these type of animated films in the early 1990s (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, for example). John Lasseter did not believe that Toy Story could be developed into a musical, but he did agree to Randy Newman scoring the film. This was Randy Newman's first animated film score, he has since become synonymous with Disney/Pixar film scores, composing the music to another five animated features in the ensuing years (A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monster's Inc., Cars and Toy Story 3) and he is currently working on Cars 2. Toy Story's signature tune, You've Got a Friend in Me ironically may be more known culturally than I Love L.A.

    Toy Story has been released three times on DVD as a single release in Region 4. Firstly in a single-disc version in 2000, a 2-disc 10th Anniversary Edition in 2005 and finally as a single Special Edition in 2010.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Toy Story has always looked good on each previous DVD release and this is no exception. In fact, all three DVD releases in Region 4 have similar video transfers. The average bitrate of this 2010 Special Edition release is 7.25 m/b per sec, which is excellent for DVD.

    The aspect ratio of Toy Story is 1:78:1, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

    Toy Story looks sharp. The transfer particularly excels in shading and lighting. There is no film grain. The only quibble I have with the video transfer may be the slight mosquito noise in the opening credits, although this is only slight and is only noticeable on larger displays.

    The colour on Toy Story is rich, bright and vibrant. Shadow detail is distinctive, with rendering in every frame making the transfer look fabulous.

    There are no film artefacts present whatsoever.

    Subtitles are available in English, English for the Hearing Impaired, Arabic, Arabic for the Hearing Impaired and Hindi. There is also a subtitle option to view the audio commentary with Arabic subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is immersive, with sound filtered through all channels. Randy Newman's film score is at times subtle and dynamic, supporting the plot sequences of the film well.

    There are five audio tracks on the DVD. The DTS-ES soundtrack present on the 2005 2-disc Anniversary Edition has not been ported over to this release. The English and Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtracks are both encoded at 448 kbps, the English Audio Descriptive and audio commentary are both Dolby Digital surround-encoded 2.0 tracks encoded at 192 kbps. The final soundtrack on the DVD is a Hindi Dolby Digital 1.0 mono track encoded at 128 kbps.

    Dialogue is clear and audio is synchronised.

    Randy Newman's score captures the mood of the film perfectly. It is mellow, witty and dynamic as required to support the plot.

    Surround Channel Usage combines sound effects, background sounds, the film score and dialogue to create an ambient sound experience whereby all channels are used wonderfully throughout the film.

    The subwoofer supports the bass channel to emphasise crashes, environmental sounds, the growl of Sid's dog, the action sequence at the end of the film with the moving truck etc. perfectly.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Audio Commentary by director John Lasseter, co-writer Andrew Stanton, supervising animator Pete Docter, art director Ralph Eggleston, supervising technical director Bill Reeves and producers Ralph Guggenheim & Bonnie Arnold

This is the same audio commentary ported from the 2005 2-disc Anniversary Edition DVD. It was first heard on the 1996 laserdisc release. The participants discuss the development of the film, including the characters, changes to the story, favourite moments, self-references to other Pixar films, working with voice actors and with Disney and the success of the film. Overall, this is an engaging and informative historical account of the making of Toy Story from the people that spent three years making the film.

Featurette- Toy Story 3 Sneak Peek: The Story (2:02)

Toy Story 3's director Lee Unkrich discusses the premise behind the second sequel to Toy Story. We're told that Andy is getting to ready for college and the toys are given to a day care centre, which they think is great until they realise that they need to leave...and then the fun starts!

Featurette - Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off (3:27)

This is a promotion for NASA whereby a Buzz Lightyear action-figure takes off for the International Space Station.

Featurette - Path to Pixar - Artists (4:49)

Four Pixar employees discuss how they came to work for Pixar and what their roles are at the company.

Featurette - Studio Stories: John's Car (1:25)

Even with the success of Toy Story, director John Lasseter was still content to drive around in a rundown car. Steve Jobs had to step in an buy him a black Volvo! This funny little story is narrated by Glenn McQueen and Darla K. Anderson.

Featurette - Studio Stories: Baby AJ (1:36)

Pixar employee A.J. Riebli shares his experience of making a costume as the baby from Tin Toy to win a Halloween contest.

Featurette - Studio Stories: Scooter Races (2:13)

Pixar employees reminisce about their scooter races during breaks at Pixar.

Featurette - Buzz Takes Manhattan (2:07)

This featurette looks at the unveiling of the Buzz Lightyear balloon at a Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 2008

Featurette - Black Friday: The Toy Story You Never Saw (7:17)

This clip shows the catastrophic result of Disney executive suggestions about improving the film and how it made the Pixar animators determined to stay true to their original vision. Storyboards of the film showing Sheriff Woody as an unsympathetic character are included.

Trailers

The DVD starts with trailers for Toy Story 3, a promotional feature for Disney on high-definition Blu-ray and a trailer for Wall-E.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Toy Story has been released in Region 4 on DVD in 2000 and 2005. It was also released in 2001 with Toy Story 2 in a 3-disc release with extras on one disc which were extensive, but this release did not include a commentary or DTS-ES 6.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtracks.

    The 2000 single-disc release had two extras; the Tin Toy short animated film and a 20-minute feature on the making of Toy Story.

    The 2005 2-disc Anniversary Edition DVD included a DTS-ES 6.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtrack, an audio commentary with director John Lasseter, co-writer Andrew Stanton, supervising animator Pete Docter, art director Ralph Eggleston, supervising technical director Bill Reeves and producers Ralph Guggenheim & Bonnie Arnold and extras including an introduction by John Lasseter, an 11 minute Legacy of Toy Story featurette, a 20-minute Making of Toy Story featurette, a 16-minute Filmmakers Reflect featurette, 18 minutes of deleted scenes, deleted storyboards and a behind-the-scenes sections which looked at design, colour, story, production, music and sound and publicity.

    The United States Region 1 10th Anniversary Edition is identical to the Region 4 release whereas the Region 2 United Kingdom release misses out on the DTS-ES 6.1 soundtrack.

    For Region 4 DVD collectors the 2005 2-disc 10th Anniversary Edition is the best available DVD release of Toy Story, equal to the Region 1 Anniversary Edition.

Summary

    The bottom line you would like to know is this: if I own the 2005 2-disc Anniversary Edition of Toy Story should I purchase this 2010 Special Edition on DVD? The short answer to this question is: no! However, please note that the special features on the 2005 Anniversary Edition will be ported over to the 2010 Blu-ray release of Toy Story (which will also include the extras found on this 2010 Special Edition release). However, if you own the original 2000 release of Toy Story on DVD and would like to get a single-disc replacement because your children have scratched it beyond recognition, and thankfully they probably won't now because they're teenagers, then this release is for you.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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