Toy Story 2 (3D) Blu-ray Review
Andy heads off to cowboy camp leaving his toys to their own devices. Things shift into high gear when an obsessive toy collector named Al McWhiggin (owner of Al’s Toy Barn) kidnaps Woody. At Al’s apartment, Woody discovers that he is a highly valued collectible from a 1950s TV show called Woody’s Roundup, and he meets the other prized toys from that show, Jessie the Cowgirl, Bullseye the Horse, and Stinky Pete the Prospector. Back at the scene of the crime, Buzz Lightyear and the other toys from Andy’s room, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Rex and Hamm spring into action to rescue their pal from winding up as a museum piece. The toys get into one predicament after another in their daring race to get Woody before Andy returns.
Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 2 BD50 / 2DVD
‘Toy Story’ was a landmark film for Disney and animation in general. After the mediocre second film in Pixar’s ‘A Bugs Life’, the toys decided to come back to town. Now, of course with any sequel loads of questions come pouring in as well as a great deal of skepticism. A sequel rarely lives up to its predecessor and history had shown that a great deal. While the plot was told to the fans way before the movies released, it sounded great, but no one was going to say anything until the movie hit theaters. In 1999 the world was graces with ‘Toy Story 2’ and did it live up to the original? The answer is yes!
‘Toy Story 2’ did a great deal of things that were right on target to making a great movie. The first positive was bringing the cast back. Tom Hanks & Tim Allen reprised their roles as Woody and Buzz and just did what they did in the first movie. Of course with a new movie it means new toys. We are introduced to some great new characters that have just as an important role to play as the originals. While it may take a little time to get use to as the movie reaches it’s end you are left quite satisfied. The second positive was the story its self. This new movie put these wonderful characters into a much larger situation than just hanging around in Andy’s room. The toys encounter the challenges of the outside world, at least for a toy and the humor that is thrown in as well as a few movie references all worked perfectly.
Of course along with the adventure side of the movie another major positive in this movie comes with a very emotional and very real message. ‘Toy Story 2’ introduces the fans to the concept of children growing up and leaving their toys behind. The message is summed up by the new character Jessie and a wonderful song preformed by Sarah MacLauchlan. The montage that goes with the song is just so real and somber you can’t believe that this is something that ends up in a movie like Toy Story. I think that is why people of all ages love this movie. It’s because of the fact that Pixar, while it has the opportunity to make a sequel, they want it to be loved by everyone. Pixar films, while they may gross millions at the box office are just filled with so much emotion and heart. Since the first ‘Toy Story’, there have been 10 Pixar films added to the library and so many people love them, quote them and even own them. Each one is such a great film and filled with so much that people appreciate and it’s because of the thought and heart that is added to each distinct film is why they are appreciated as much as they are.
‘Toy Story 2’, now that the third and hopefully final installment has been added, is probably the weakest of the 3 films. Still, it is not to say that 2 is a bad film. It’s probably because of the fact that ‘Toy Story 2’ was just a little larger and deeper and it takes just a bit of time to get use to. Once you have seen the final installment, you will find out just how important this film is to the saga and it will make you appreciate it so much more. I enjoyed ‘Toy Story 2’ so much and would recommend it to anyone young or old.
Movie Content: 9.5/10
The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. ‘Toy Story 2’ is a really colorful movie and the characters are really smooth looking. The image is image is unbelievably clear and super sharp. The colors pop off of the screen for even an older animation, it brings out the details in the animation. Some good examples of fine details, look at the foilage, you can see the lush environments. Animations have been looking so wonderful on Blu-ray and this film is no exception.
‘Toy Story 2’ wasn’t originally designed to be a 3D film, but it really trumps the original ‘Toy Story’ in 3D. ‘Toy Story 2’ has some of the most beautiful looking animations seen in a PIXAR film. There are some bold, strong, beautiful colors that make the 3D look that much better with this presentation. Where the original ‘Toy Story’ at times didn’t quite look comfortable as a 3D film besides all my praises, ‘Toy Story 2’ feels like there is a lot of breathing room in 3D. One good example of this is just the titles alone in the opening sequence also look better in 3D than they did in the first film. One of my favorite scenes in 3D was watching the front of Andy’s lawn with the sun beating on it over and over because of the lighting from the sunlight hitting the lawn looks so realistic.
Details and clarity are very apparent in ‘Toy Story 2’ over the first film as the strong colors really makes everything in the film stand out. The excellent details just make this one life like looking animation that you will almost feel like it is realistic. “Toy Story 2” has improved animated-wide by including much more detail and textures as seen during the close-ups of Mr. Potato Head (you can see the texture as you would see from the actual toy), the plastic covering on the package of Stinky Pete, the detail of Rex the Dinosaur, more shading and the scenery of the outdoors, from vehicles to the store, the trees, the ground and everything you can think of, looks much better than its counterpart. There is no banding, aliasing, or artifacts that got in the way here which is quite awesome.
Video Quality: 10/10
The audio mix is presented in DTS HD 7.1 Master Audio lossless track. Yet another excellent audio experience by PIXAR with ‘Toy Story 2’. The soundtrack is great and that is what holds us up the first half of the film in terms of sound and then the sound effects. Sound is well balanced across the soundfield with much more front heavy experience. Dialogue in the second half of the film comes through the center clear and crisp. Having watched both DVD and Blu-ray versions, the DTS-HD MA track packs a louder punch with any scenes that use the rears. Another area that excels with the lossless audio is the bass.
Audio Quality: 10/10
- Audio Commentary: Director John Lasseter, co-directors Lee Unkrich and Ash Brannon, and co-writer Andrew Stanton
- Toy Story 3 Sneak Peek: The Characters [HD]
- Studio Stories [HD]
- Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: International Space Station [HD]
- Pixar’s Zoetrope [HD]
- Celebrating Our Friend Joe Ranft [HD]
- Making Toy Story 2
- John Lasseter Profile
- Cast of Characters
- Toy Box
- Deleted Scenes
- Music & Sound
- Maximize Your Home Theater
Special Features: 10/10
Thus, in a remarkable feat, Pixar was able to improve on the ground-breaking original Toy Story and take things up even another notch. As Toy Story 3 currently begins playing in theatres across the country, it will be interesting to see if the ante will be upped once again.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10