Toy Story 3 Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
You know what I’m going to say. I”ll say it anyway, it’s a Disney cover. This one works fine for the movie. It’s fun, it’s colorful, exciting, and all the favorites are present and accounted for. I wouldn’t have a Toy Story poster, but I don’t know why exactly. I think it reminds me too much of a toy story display and that’s not what I want in my house.

The menu is designed and done with a flair, as if I expect Pixar to do anything less. It’s easy to navigate, but when you are in the extras the tiniest little arrow on the left of the slightly bigger arrow for navigation is your way back. If you are like my husband and don’t see this immediately, I have just given you good advice.

Features: 10/10

  • Day & Night Theatrical Short – The most creative Pixar short yet. I love this one. It’s 2 old style 2D characters drawn similar to the 1940’s Schmoo. The thing is, they aren’t just an outline or a solid color. Their ‘inside’ is made up of a living Pixar 3D world that expresses their mood and what they are thinking. One is day, and one is night, obviously. They are different and are going to have to learn how to get along. It’s awesome.
  • Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science Of Adventure – I learned stuff, and it’s fun! That’s what I say about this little short that features Buzz as he actually goes to the International Space Station (that’s real life people, not fiction) and explains to his other toy friends all the work they do in space, the experiments and technology, etc. I’d take a whole series of these little beauties.:)
  • Toy Story Trivia Dash Interactive Game – This game works well, and it’s a good stretch of your Toy Story lovin’ brain!
  • Cine Explore With Director Lee Unkrich & Producer Darla Anderson – We get a lot of good stories and behind the scenes information during this rewatch of the movie. They show concept art, story boards, and more during the commentary. It’s easy to lose track of time and before you know it the movie is over again:(
  • Beginnings: Setting A Story In Motion – 11 years later and the Pixar folks have to put together more of Andy, Woody, Buzz, and all their friends’ story with an opening to the movie that can give the same satisfaction and emotion as other Pixar greats have done so far.
  • Bonnie’s Playtime: A Story Roundtable – Ahhh Bonnie is a great player of toys and in this discussion they explain how they brought her imagination and lively role playing so much to life.
  • Roundin Up A Western Opening – They have to start with a bang, and they sure do in this one. The old west will never be like this. A pirate potato woman, troll orphans on a runaway train, aliens in a sports car, it’s awesome.
  • Beyond The Toy Box An Alternative Commentary Track – Another commentary and another good reason to watch the movie again.
  • Paths To Pixar Editorial – This is one of those very self indulgent things that Pixar is so fond of. I like hearing about making movies, but they seem to fancy themselves as very important and their careers at the company are somehow an inspiration to people in some way….no more than any other creative success story in my opinion, but if you are a Pixar junky, this will make you oogle.
  • 3 Studio Stories – These are like hand drawn animations that tell some movie making stories about the people behind the immeasurable time and effort it takes to tell one of their stories. We get to hear about shaved heads, a cereal bar, and a hidden room. I like these a lot, more more more more.
  • DVD/Digital Copy/Blu-Ray – Yes, you can have Toy Story 3 with you no matter where you go in life, isn’t that comforting…? Not really, it’s like having a digital stalker that repeats the same thing over and over and over on your phone, your laptop, your computer, in your car, on your TV…yike…:)

The Movie: 8/10
Barbie is so funny. Ken is hilarious. Lotso looks and sounds amazing. Spanish Buzz is so sexy. Andy is grown up. Bonnie embodies the feeling of being a kid at play and is adorable. Hmmm what else? There are so many things that appeal to me with the Toy Story movies, and with this third and final installment it seems like I can’t type fast enough to get them all out of my head.

I”m not a sucker for Pixar exactly. I mean, I do enjoy their movies a lot. I appreciate what they seem to be offering as a company to their employees and some kind of legacy, and all that. Beyond that I think I see these movies as being more about the individuals who are writing down, acknowledging, dredging up, putting into words and actions a lot of very human life wonders, tragedies, triumphs, moments, and more. That sounds like a clip from some news release, but that’s just how it seems to me. People who want to, yes, make a lot of money, ok that’s out of the way. But these people also seem to want to tell good stories with heart and meaning, and humor, and a bit of a kick in the pants.

I didn’t love Wall-E so much because I felt it was a real exploitation of the idea that it’s acceptable to think of overweight people as lower class, less important, lazy, etc. I still fault it for that even if no one else ever will I stand alone and am proud of it. I did appreciate the story though, the ideas, the exploration of so many human living attitudes, beliefs, faults, and strengths.

Toy Story 3 touches on themes like abandonment, growing up, letting go and hanging onto your youth, friendship, family, and even a bit of accepting the inevitability of death…oh yea. Those things are all portrayed with humor, dignity, honesty, and so much so that I’m guessing that one scene in particular brought a hidden tear to even teenage young men’s eyes when the reality of what is being explored hits home.

I would talk about how it looks, but come on, it’s Pixar, we all know how it looks. The sound is awesome too, all around goodness if you are lucky to have speakers placed strategically around your room.

I did cry. Yes. Life is difficult sometimes and people often complain and worry about the here and now, bills, money, politics, etc. What some like to avoid, the bigger things, death, change, people in our lives growing apart from us, kids growing up, parents growing old, the exuberance of life and the end of life, I do think about these things a lot more often than the percentage of my mortgage, or whatever. Pixar folks tap right into that vein and out comes tears of joy, and thoughfulness, and sadness. Don’t get me started on the opening to UP..oh my goodness.

It’s an adventure for sure. Toy Story 3 takes us to lots of amazing places, some gross and dark, some bright and amazing. There is probably about 10 more views of the movie for me in the future years so I can see everything that the world is made up of, just so I can appreciate it all.

Overall I think you can tell, I liked it a lot. It didn’t change my life or introduce me to emotions I haven’t tapped into before, but it made me happy to think it was maybe getting some of those thoughtful topics into other people’s minds. Like, never lose that kid inside you even if someone didn’t let you be a kid when you were young, find it and keep it. Life’s too short to be a miserable friggin’ grown up until the end!!!

Audio & Video: 10/10
Another year another Pixar Blu-Ray release but what a stunner Toy Story 3 is. This disc is the epitome of what a HD transfer should look like and Disney have done it again. Come to think of it when have Pixar ever put out a bad HD release. Screened on our large projection screen in 1080P visually the movie was flawless, shadow detail was impressive and no signs of banding or compression were evident. I don’t think I have to say more this is showcase material.

Audio was also impressive, the first third of the movie doesn’t have much happening in the rear speakers but during the rest of the movie the sound really wakes up and becomes very directional. Noteworthy scenes are the trash compactor which along with the stunning visuals makes you actually feel hot under the collar. The opening couple of minutes really give your subwoofer a workout (watch out for the Monkey Nuke). Overall I cannot recommend this disc highly enough if you are 8 or 80 there is something here for everyone.

Value: 9/10
You do get a good value on this purchase. I have to say that right up front. If you find it for twenty bucks and your kids watch it about 500 times, well, you do the math but you get a good value for each viewing. As for adults who obsess over Pixar, still a good deal since you will probably watch it about 499 times. I would like to see Disney throw it out there for about 15, just as a nod to our loyalty through the years, but with a cash cow like Toy Story I can’t see them skimming any more off the price just to make ME happy.

Overall Score 9/10