Toy Story 2: Special Edition (Blu-ray) (1999)

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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 Characters
Audio Commentary-with John Lasseter,Lee Unkrich,Ash Brannon & Andrew Stanton
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
Featurette-Making Toy Story 2
Featurette-John Lasseter Profile
Featurette-Cast Of Characters
Featurette-Toy Box
Featurette-Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Design
Featurette-Production
Featurette-Music & Sound
Featurette-Publicity
Web Links-Disney BD-Live
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 92:25
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
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
Slovenian
Ukranian
Latvian
Lithuanian
Estonian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

For the this review of Toy Story 2 on Blu-ray I have utilised my review of the Toy Story 2 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 2 on Blu-ray and discuss its special features.

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 animated 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 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 2, like Toy Story, has always looked good on DVD. This 2010 Special Edition release on Blu-ray is simply awe-inspiring with an average bitrate of 24.48 m/b per sec.

The aspect ratio of Toy Story 2 is 1:78:1 transferred in high-definition 1080p 24/fps using AVC MPEG-4 compression, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

As per the DVD, the Blu-ray version of 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, Czech, Slovakian, Greek, Bulgarian, Arabic, 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 of Toy Story 2 on Blu-ray really emphasises the subwoofer, even more than on the Blu-ray release of Toy Story.

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 4038 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 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

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 35 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 2), Set-up (including an option to maximise your home theatre set-up) and Disney BD-Live.

Featurette- Toy Story 3 Sneak Peek: The Characters (4:00) (High Definition)

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.

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 - Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: International Space Station (3:43) (High Definition)

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

Featurette - Path to Pixar: Technical Artists (4:24) (High Definition)

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 (1:25) (High Definition)

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

Featurette - Studio Stories: Pinocchio (2:15) (High Definition)

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 (2:32) (High Definition)

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 (1:58) (High Definition)

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

Featurette - Celebrating Our Friend Joe Ranft (12:46) (High Definition)

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.

Featurette - Making Toy Story 2 (8:10) (Standard Definition)

Included from the 2005 DVD release of Toy Story 2, this featurette looks at the making of the sequel in terms of its story, characters and themes.

Featurette - John Lasseter Profile (3:02) (Standard Definition)

Following in the footsteps of Walt Disney, various production crew members discuss John Lasseter as a leader at Pixar.

Featurette - Cast Of Characters (3:28) (Standard Definition)

New voice actors are joined by recurring voice actors who share their experiences making the film.

Featurette - Toy Box (Standard Definition)

This extra allows you to view the out-takes that roll during the end credits of the film, an easter egg from the original DVD called Jessie's Gag, the Riders in the Sky Music Medley, black-and-white aged Autographed Pictures and Tom Hanks and Tim Allen argue over Who's the Coolest Toy?

Featurette - Deleted Scenes (4:11) (Standard Definition)

Three deleted scenes are included: Deleted Animation Intro, Godzilla Rex and an early version of the Crossing the Road sequence.

Featurette - Design (16:43) (Standard Definition)

Eleven design galleries of the characters, twelve 3-D visualizations and three colour design galleries highlight the pre-production phase of the film.

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

Like the special feature on Toy Story on Blu-ray, you can take a tour of Woody’s past, Woody’s Roundup, a production tour, early animation tests, special effects, and an international scene.

Featurette - Music & Sound (14:08) (Standard Definition)

This extra looks at designing the sound, making the songs, the Woody’s Roundup music video, and the Jessie song demo by composer Randy Newman.

Featurette - Publicity (8:32) (Standard Definition)

Advertising includes a mock interview with Buzz and Woody, two trailers for the film, six TV spots, twenty posters, and a and a brief animated stadium ad entitled Baseball Woody.

Bonus disc - DVD Feature Film and Special Features

The 2010 Special Edition DVD of Toy Story 2 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 2 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.However, a combined Toy Story/Toy Story 2 collection box-set is available on Blu-ray in the United Kingdom and Germany. 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 2 on Blu-ray, like Toy Story excels in its video and audio transfer. The extras are similarly extensive. In reading this interview, you likely already own Toy Story Special Edition, so make your Blu-ray collection complete by adding this animated masterpiece.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Wednesday, May 26, 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
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