Toy Story 2: Special Edition (Disney) (1999)

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Released 17-May-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Audio Commentary-with John Lasseter,Lee Unkrich,Ash Brannon & Andrew Stanton
Featurette-Toy Story 3 Sneak Peek: The Characters
Featurette-Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: International Space Station
Featurette-Paths to Pixar: Technical Artists
Featurette-Studio Stories: Toy Story 2 - Sleep Deprivation Lab
Featurette-Studio Stories: Pinocchio
Featurette-Studio Stories: The Movie Vanishes
Featurette-Pixar's Zoetrope
Featurette-Celebrating Our Friend Joe Ranft
Trailer-Sneak Peeks of Toy Story 3, Disney Blu-ray, Wall-E
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 88:43
RSDL / Flipper RSDL 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
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)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/s)
Ukranian Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/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
Russian
Ukranian
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    It's not often that a sequel to a film is more successful than the original, both critically and at the box-office. Toy Story 2 cost three times more to make than Toy Story ($US90 million or about $US 1 million a minute of screen time) and took $US485 million in gross revenue. At the time of it's release, in 1999, Toy Story 2 was the 2nd highest grossing film of all time behind The Lion King. This has since been surpassed by Finding Nemo and Shrek 2. However, the story behind the development of the sequel to the massive Pixar hit of 1995, Toy Story was not all smooth sailing, at one point Pixar was developing a film that was nothing like the film we have come to know and love today, released theatrically in 1999.

    The original idea for Toy Story 2 was to develop a direct-to-video release that was no longer than 60 minutes in length. The thinking behind this idea from Disney executives was the financial success of the two direct-to-video releases of the sequels to Aladdin (in fact, the second sequel released in 1996, Aladdin and the King of Thieves grossed $US186 million). When Disney executives viewed the film they were highly impressed. They decided to make Toy Story 2 into a theatrical feature which required a great deal of work from the Pixar animators in a very short time. The documentary The Pixar Story by Leslie Iwerks on the Wall-E Blu-ray/DVD release includes details of Pixar's history from this era, with John Lasseter especially suffering from burnout and stress. He wouldn't direct another film until the release of Cars in 2006. At the time the distribution deal between Disney and Pixar was for five films, when Toy Story 2 was developed into a theatrical feature Pixar felt that it should count as part of the five-film deal whereas Disney did not. The experience in making this great animated film led to Pixar eventually seeking a distribution deal with another company after 2004, but after Disney CEO Michael Eisner left, Disney and Pixar made peace, allowing Disney to buyout Pixar in 2006. The relationship between Disney and Pixar has come full circle since 1999 with Pixar board member Steve Jobs now occupying a place on the Disney board. However, the strong assertion by Pixar that sequels should only be made if the story is strong enough still remains, even if it is only a 'gentleman's agreement' and not enforceable under contract terms legally.

    The development of the characters, specifically Sheriff Woody, the introduction of new characters and the larger 'world' in which the story develops are the elements which make Toy Story 2 an improvement over the original. The larger world allows for more action sequences as most of the story in Toy Story 2 is not set in Andy's room, like in Toy Story.

    Toy Story 2 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 Special Edition in 2005 and finally as a single Special Edition in 2010.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Toy Story 2, like Toy Story, has always looked good on DVD. This 2010 Special Edition release is no exception with an average bitrate of 7.49 m/b per sec, which is excellent for DVD.

The aspect ratio of Toy Story 2 is 1:78:1, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

Toy Story 2 looks superb. The transfer particularly excels in shading and lighting, even more than Toy Story. There is no film grain.

The colour on Toy Story 2 is again rich, bright and vibrant. Shadow detail is fabulous. This is evident in the action sequences in Al's Toy Barn with various degrees of shade and lighting in these scenes.

There are no film artefacts present whatsoever.

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

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

Audio

The audio transfer is of reference quality for DVD, with sound filtered through all channels.

There are five audio tracks on the DVD. The English, Russian and Ukrainian Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtracks are encoded at 448 kbps, the English Audio Descriptive and audio commentary are both Dolby Digital surround-encoded 2.0 tracks encoded at 192 kbps.

Dialogue is clear and audio is synchronised.

Randy Newman again wrote the film score and contributed two new songs, including the beautiful sad song, When She Loved Me performed by Sarah McLachlan. You've Got a Friend in Me is also played in the film in two new versions, in a 'round-up' style by Sheriff Woody and as a 'Vegas' number at the end of the film.

Surround Channel Usage again, like in Toy Story, 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 the many action sequences of the film, including the Buzz Lightyear opening sequence, the scenes in Al's Toy Barn and the action scenes at the end in the airport.

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

Extras

Audio Commentary by writer/director John Lasseter, co-directors Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon and co-writer Andrew Stanton

This is the same audio commentary ported from the 2005 2-disc Special Edition DVD. It was first heard on the Region 1 Ultimate Toy Box release from 2000. The participants discuss the finer details of the animation work, themes, technical challenges, the development of the story and the characters, and the difficulty in following-up Toy Story without being repetitive.

Featurette- Toy Story 3 Sneak Peek: The Characters (3:06)

Toy Story 3's director Lee Unkrich discusses the characters behind the second sequel to Toy Story. New characters are introduced including Lotso, Stretch, Trixie and Mr. Pricklepants.

Featurette - Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: International Space Station (3:36)

This feature continues the exploits of Buzz Lightyear aboard the International Space Station.

Featurette - Path to Pixar: Technical Artists (4:14)

Six technical artists discuss their early careers, their work at Pixar, and their affection for computer-graphics animation.

Featurette - Studio Stories: Toy Story 2 - Sleep Deprivation Lab (1:24)

This looks at the great difficulty the film editors had in meeting the theatrical release deadline in 1999.

Featurette - Studio Stories: Pinocchio (2:12)

Some of the animators discuss decorating the ceiling of the old Pixar offices with different objects including an old Pinocchio doll.

Featurette - Studio Stories: The Movie Vanishes (2:28)

Remember when you've lost important documents on your computer and how you felt? This extra looks at the time when the movie was lost via a computer deletion and how it was saved.

Featurette - Pixar's Zoetrope (1:56)

Inspired by Studio Ghibli, the team at Pixar design a 3-dimensional zoetrope.

Featurette - Celebrating Our Friend Joe Ranft (12:47)

This is a touching tribute to story artist Joe Ranft, who died during the production of Cars. John Lasseter describes him as the 'heart and soul' of Pixar.

Trailers

This DVD of Toy Story 2 is similar to Toy Story: Special Edition in that it 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 2 has been released in Region 4 on DVD in 2000 and 2005. It was also released in 2001 with Toy Story 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 five short extras; the Luxo, Jr. short animated film, a Characters featurette, a Coolest Toy featurette, a Music featurette and outtakes.

The 2005 2-disc Special Edition DVD included a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtrack, an audio commentary with writer/director John Lasseter, co-directors Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon and co-writer Andrew Stanton and extras including an introduction by John Lasseter, a preview of Cars, outtakes, a short featurette - Who's the Coolest Toy?, a featurette Making Toy Story 2, games Which Toy are You? and Ponkickies, a music medley Riders in the Sky, deleted scenes and behind the scenes features including a profile on John Lasseter, a Cast of Character featurette and a look at the design, story, production, music and sound and publicity of the film.

The United Kingdom Region 2 Special Edition is identical to the Region 4 release whereas the Region 1 United States Woody's Roundup Edition includes a DTS-ES 6.1 soundtrack.

For Region 4 DVD collectors the 2005 2-disc Special Edition is the best available DVD release of Toy Story 2, although the Region 1 Woody's Roundup Edition, which includes the DTS-ES 6.1 soundtrack is the best available version of Toy Story 2 on DVD internationally.

Summary

Similarly to the 2010 Special Edition release of Toy Story, if you own the 2005 2-disc Special Edition of Toy Story 2 then the 2010 single-disc Special Edition release on DVD is not for you. However, please note that the special features on the 2005 Special Edition will be ported over to the 2010 Blu-ray release of Toy Story 2 (which will also include the extras found on this 2010 Special Edition release). If you own the original 2000 release of Toy Story 2 on DVD and would like to get a single-disc replacement, then this release is for you.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Friday, April 23, 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)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Are you sure about the commentary track? - Nick REPLY POSTED