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Toon Talk: Toy Story 3 & Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales
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by (archives)
November 4, 2010
Kirby reviews Disney's Blu-Ray release of the huge summer hit Toy Story 3 and the DVD release of Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales,featuring several of the very popular Cars Toons shorts starting Mater.
Toon Talk: Disney Film and DVD Reviews
by Kirby C. Holt


Toy Story 3 and
Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales

Disney DVDs and Blu-Rays
MPAA Rating: G

Toy Stories & Tall Tales

Soon after premiering this past summer to rave reviews and blockbuster box office, it was clear that Toy Story 3 was something special. Rare indeed is a motion picture trilogy that proved to be so emotionally rich and with such consistent quality throughout each of its chapters.  It was also quickly apparent thatToy Story 3 was a grade-A tear-jerker, much more so for adults than its supposed “target audience” of children. In fact, one could easily say that the 3 in the title is the minimum amount of times one will cry while watching it.

And now you can let the tears flow unashamedly in the comfort of your own home with the release this week of Toy Story 3 on Disney DVD and Blu-ray. And, as with most Pixar releases, they were sure to fill this toy box to the brim all sorts of entertaining and informative extras.

Accompanying the main feature as it did in theaters, the inventive and clever animated short Day & Nightis the highlight of the Disc 1 bonus features. As explained by director Teddy Newton in the “making of” featurette found elsewhere in the set, Day & Night is hard to sum up and is really best viewed fresh, with the least amount of advance information about it.

A few other bonuses round out Disc 1, including a teaser trailer for Cars 2, the third and final “Buzz Lightyear Mission Log” and a brief look at how the “Toys!” were created, and in some cases re-created, for the third and final film.

If you’re wondering where the audio commentary is, you’ll find it on Disc 2. That’s right, the entire film is on both discs, albeit in the “Cine-Explore” mode on the second. This viewing option features the commentary of director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla Anderson along with picture-in-picture views of storyboards, concept art and the like. There is also a more traditional audio commentary, titled “Beyond the Toy Box”, featuring the film’s story, tech, art and animation leads.

Those two features can be found in the “Film Fan” section; other sections include “Family Play”, “Games & Activities” and “Publicity”, all of which can be viewed in a customized format via the Blu-ray’s “Fast Play” option.

The “Family Play” features, presumably aimed at the more casual viewers, include “The Gang’s All Here” (focusing on the voice cast, both “old” and “new”), “Goodbye Andy” (detailing the special attention paid to “the” scene of the movie), “Accidental Toymakers” (how the artists found themselves not only designing characters but actual toys), “A Toy’s Eye View” (on the creation of the new “Toy Story Play Land” attraction at Disneylands Paris and Hong Kong) and the film’s “Epilogue”, seen full screen and without end credits.

Hardcore movie buffs and animation enthusiasts will find lots to explore in the “Film Fans” section, which also includes featurettes on the evolution of Toy Story 3’s memorable opening sequence (“Roundin’ Up a Western Opening”), a story roundtable on the “Bonnie’s Playtime” scene, a deconstruction of all that makes up just one shot in a Pixar film -- and all the people involved in doing it, all the way down to the studio cafeteria manager (“Life of a Shot”), a “Paths to Pixar” look at the editorial department and three “Studio Stories” that take a peek at a few quirky Pixar traditions.  Most interesting of all though is “Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion”, wherein Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arnt offers up a crash course on animation screenwriting, using past Pixar hits Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles as examples.

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