|Category||Family||Featurette - Tin Toy
Featurette - The Story Behind Toy Story
(not 80 minutes as stated on packaging)
|Start Up||Language Selection, then Menu|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
Arabic (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
For those one or two people who have escaped the attraction of this film, the story is quite a simple little yarn. Andy's room is populated with a whole raft of toys, like any young child, with the undisputed number one toy in the collection being Woody (Tom Hanks). Woody is smart, handsome and a winner with the ladies - well at least Bo Peep (Annie Potts). Everything is fine in the world of Andy's toys until his birthday party. Like every year, and every Christmas, this event brings panic to the toys as they fear that they will soon be destined for the garage sale as they are replaced with a bigger and better toy. This year will be a little different though, as a surprise present emerges and is promptly placed on the bed in said room. Big deal you say? It is, as this is the place for the favourite toy and it would appear that Woody is now out of favour. Not taking too kindly to this, Woody is determined to make the newcomer pay and petty jealousy overflows as the new toy is introduced into the fold - Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), bells, whistles, laser, wings and everything. This is one really cool toy. What follows is the adventures of the toys as Woody lets his jealousy get the better of him, and Buzz ends up taking a trip for which Woody is entirely blamed for by the rest of the toys. Woody has to make amends but to do so he has to swallow his pride, whilst Buzz has to come to the realization that he really is not Buzz Lightyear of Space Command and that he is a mere toy. Still, you are what you believe you are.
A nice little story, although perhaps not quite as good as it used to be thanks to the quality of the aforementioned sequel. But, the quality of the film is still there for all to see and once again we can all marvel at what was achieved with this film. With some truly wonderful vocal characterizations, there is little to be quibbled about as far as this film is concerned. The painstaking care that went into its gestation is seen in every frame of the film. It won a Special Achievement Award at the 1995 Oscars, as a recognition of the stunning work done to virtually define an entire new genre of film.
Another essential purchase for the collection and as fine a piece of family entertainment as you can get - outside of A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced.
There are no minor quibbles as far as the basic transfer is concerned. Just like its successor, this a reference quality transfer as far as sharpness and detail is concerned. This is one area where the use of a totally digital presentation excels - the more you watch the film, the more subtle detail seems to emerge from the transfer. The reflections inside Buzz's helmet for instance are so subtle yet so precise that they still are amazing after repeated viewings. A stunningly clear transfer that is matched by the other two features from the same source, there is nothing hidden at all by this transfer. The quality of the animation as far as the subtleties of shadows are stunning. There is nothing approaching grain or noise in this sucker at all.
Once again the colours are extremely well handled throughout the transfer, and even though this does not quite approach Toy Story 2 as far as ultimate subtlety is concerned, this is genuinely superb throughout. The vibrancy in the colours is amazing, despite the pastelly nature of the colours as opposed to a glossy look. You can forget about oversaturation or colour bleed here. Another utterly superb demonstration of how animation can redefine terms like vibrancy and subtlety.
Being entirely in the digital realm, you can forget MPEG artefacts in the transfers - well, at least I thought you could. But at 32:13 is that an MPEG artefact I spy in that downward pan shot? It may well be, but believe me it is a very, very minor one if it is. Since this transfer is all in the digital realm, there are no film-to-video artefacts in the transfer - well, again not quite true. There is some quite definite aliasing going on in this transfer, such as in the petrol station sign at 28:27 and in the truck grill at 63:44. Again, very minor stuff indeed but it is there. There is also the vaguest hint of some moiré artefacting at 29:06 in the car seat. About the only thing that does not raise any issue here is film artefacts, for the simple reason that this is not sourced from film but rather bits on a computer disk. And just to make sure you understand, the indicated issues are there but really are very minor ones indeed. It is just that the bar has been set very high by A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2 and Toy Story just falls short of clearing the bar.
I did not notice any layer change at all. In the absence of finding it, I am presuming that the formatting of this DVD is Dual Layer.
Just to ensure that there is something to lambaste
Buena Vista over, the recurring problem of packaging errors returns with
a vengeance here. Aside from failing to mention one of the extras on the
DVD, the packaging refers to soundtracks in Norwegian, Danish, Greek and
Hebrew. They are not present on the DVD. What are present are a
French and an Arabic soundtrack not mentioned on the packaging. And just
to keep the goofs rolling along, the subtitle options listed include Danish,
Greek, English and Norwegian efforts that are not present on the
DVD. Again, a French option is available that is not mentioned. It completely
staggers me how simple errors like these are not picked up in quality control.
Just in case you are wondering, the mention of an extra is not incorrect!
There are three soundtracks on offer on this DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and, of all things, an Arabic Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack: the logic for the latter on a purely Region 4 coded DVD really does escape me. I stuck to the English soundtrack for this review, although the temptation to go with Norwegian was huge until it proved impossible to find on the DVD (see above). I might suggest that you give the Arabic effort a go - it provides a whole new experience for this film.
This is a brilliantly clear presentation of dialogue and a wonderful display of audio sync. It just continues to highlight how much better digital animation can be in terms of matching the animation to the vocal work.
The original music for the film comes from Randy Newman, and a very good, complementary score it is too. Some nice original songs add to a score that does its job very well indeed.
Just like Toy Story
2, we have the mildly unusually situation for a Disney family
film of a full unrestrained bass channel. Buena Vista are quite renowned
for restraining the full dynamics of the bass channel in their films so
as not to upset the little ones. No such deal here and we get some great
bass support when it is required in this soundtrack. Surround channel use
is again very fine, and this soundtrack also takes every opportunity to
demonstrate how good Dolby Digital can be. The front to rear sound effects
are terrific and the whole soundtrack is virtually flawless. The only issue
seems to be a very, very brief nanosecond of silence in the soundtrack
at 63:10 which just sounds a little
unnatural. I am guessing that a very, very brief drop-out in the soundtrack
is the culprit. Another fine effort overall though.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
2nd December 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|