Toy Story: Special Edition (Blu-ray) (1995)

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Released 17-May-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Featurette-Toy Story 3 Sneak Peek: The Story
Audio Commentary-Commentary featuring the production team of Toy 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
Featurette-Filmmakers Reflect
Featurette-Making Toy Story
Featurette-The Legacy of Toy Story
Featurette-Designing Toy Story
Featurette-Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Design
Featurette-Story
Featurette-Production
Featurette-Music & Sound
Featurette-Publicity
Web Links-Disney BD-Live
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 81:04
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 Variant
RPI $39.95 Music Randy Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 6.1 ES Discrete (4608Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (640Kb/s)
Slovak Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (640Kb/s)
Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (640Kb/s)
Bulgarian Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (640Kb/s)
Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (640Kb/s)
Ukranian Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (640Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Czech
Slovak
Greek
Bulgarian
Arabic
Serbian
Slovenian
Ukranian
Latvian
Lithuanian
Estonian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

For the this review of Toy Story on Blu-ray I have utilised my review of the Toy Story 2010 Special Edition release on DVD. The purpose of this review is to inform our readers of the quality of the video and audio transfer of Toy Story on Blu-ray and discuss its special features.

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 on Blu-ray for the first time in 2010, in time for the theatrical release of Toy Story 3 in June, 2010. This release includes the film on DVD as a bonus disc.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Toy Story has always looked good on each previous DVD release but this release on Blu-ray is incredible. The average bitrate of this 2010 Special Edition Blu-ray release is 23.68 m/b per sec.

The aspect ratio of Toy Story is 1:78:1 transferred in high-definition 1080p 24/fps using AVC MPEG-4 compression, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

Toy Story looks sharp on DVD. On Blu-ray the transfer excels in its shading and lighting effects. There is no film grain.

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

There are no film artefacts present whatsoever.

Subtitles are available in English, Czech, Slovakian, Greek, Bulgarian, Arabic, Serbian, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and English for the Hearing Impaired.

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 nine audio tracks on the Blu-ray. The main soundtrack is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ES track encoded at 4443 kbps. The Czech, Slovak, Greek, Bulgarian, Arabic and Ukrainian tracks are all encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 EX at 640 kbps. The English Audio Descriptive and audio commentary tracks are encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 320 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

The Blu-ray disc has a language selection option prior to loading the main menu when inserted into your Blu-ray player. The main menu gives you six main options - Play Movie, Scene Selection (select from 30 chapters), Bonus Features (which are identical to the 2010 DVD Special Edition release bonus features except that all the featurettes are in high-definition), Classic DVD Bonus Features (with extras, in standard definition, ported from the 2005 2-disc Anniversary Edition of Toy Story), Set-up (including an option to maximise your home theatre set-up) and Disney BD-Live.

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

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!

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

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) (High Definition)

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) (High Definition)

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) (High Definition)

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) (High Definition)

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

Featurette - Buzz Takes Manhattan (2:07) (High Definition)

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) (High Definition)

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.

Featurette - Filmmakers Reflect (16:56) (Standard Definition)

John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Joe Ranft discuss their experiences during the movie’s production.

Featurette - Making Toy Story (20:17) (Standard Definition)

This extra includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the animators and crew behind the film.

Featurette - The Legacy of Toy Story (11:41) (Standard Definition)

John Lasseter, his voice actors, notable critics Leonard Maltin, John Canemaker and Roy Disney, and a number of filmmakers such as George Lucas, Peter Jackson and Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki share their thoughts on Toy Story and how it has changed computer animated features ever since its release.

Featurette - Designing Toy Story (6:12) (Standard Definition)

This looks at the technical aspect of the design and computer animation used on Toy Story.

Featurette - Deleted Scenes (18:50) (Standard Definition)

10 deleted or alternate unfinished scenes are included. These can be played separately or together by choosing the 'play-all' option on the menu.

Featurette - Design (14:03) (Standard Definition)

Design and features galleries for the characters and locations in the film are included which look at basic look and design and 3-D visualisation. Three colour galleries look at the colour design of the film.

Featurette - Story (13:56) (Standard Definition)

Three segments: "Green Army Men," "Andy's New Toy," and "Chase" highlight the comparison between the final product and their related storyboards.

Featurette - Production (13:41) (Standard Definition)

Take a tour of the production facility, the layout tracks, the tour of the animation stations, and experience a multi-language comparison.

Featurette - Music & Sound (Standard Definition)

View the music video of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, Gary Rydstrom discusses sound design and view six Randy Newman demos of songs for the film.

Featurette - Publicity (10:14) (Standard Definition)

Advertising includes a Character Interview short, two Theatrical Trailers, four TV Spots, twenty-five domestic and international Posters, merchandise photos, and fifteen Toy Story Treats.

Bonus disc - DVD Feature Film and Special Features

The 2010 Special Edition DVD of Toy Story is included as a bonus. Follow this link for further information on the disc's contents.

Web link - Disney BD-Live

Connect interactively using Disney's BD-Live feature.

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 the United States, United Kingdom and France with the bonus DVD feature, like the Australian release. The Blu-ray releases in Germany, Sweden, Holland and Canada do not include a bonus DVD as a second disc. These releases only vary in their language and subtitling options. Extras are identical and all Blu-ray releases worldwide are encoded Region-ALL.

Summary

    Toy Story on Blu-ray simply excels in its video and audio transfer. The extras included on this Region-ALL release are comprehensive, which has now become a pleasingly common occurrence for Disney Blu-ray releases in general. I simply cannot recommend highly enough the addition of Toy Story Special Edition to your Blu-ray/DVD collection. Do yourself a favour and buy it now! What are you waiting for?

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Tuesday, May 25, 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)
Film grain? - Anonymous REPLY POSTED
re: film grain - Sean Brady
Film Grain as Digital Noise - Trevor REPLY POSTED