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TOY STORY 3
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

Review by Michael Jacobson

Voices: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jodi Benson
Director: Lee Unkrich
Audio: DTS HD 7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Studio: Disney/Pixar
Features: See Review
Length: 103 Minutes
Release Date: November 2, 2010

You've got a play date with destiny!”

Film ***1/2

The toys are back in town...and you couldn't ask for a happier holiday surprise!

Ever since Pixar brought the original Toy Story to the big screen and introduced the world to the concept of the computer-animated feature, they have been leading the way in the art form. And a couple of times, they have managed to move forward by taking a look back. Toy Story 2 was that rare sequel that equaled or surpassed its predecessor.

Now, the gang is all back for a new adventure, and the fun, humor, and surprisingly emotional moments are all intact. Toy Story 3 is a sheer delight.

Sheriff Woody (Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Allen) and the gang are all still loyal to their child Andy. But Andy is growing up...in fact, he's only a few days away from leaving for college. He loves his toys, and his toys love him back, but toys were meant to be played with, and that hasn't happened in quite a few years.

Andy's desire is to save his precious childhood mementos in the attic, but an error causes them to end up in a bag on the curb. Only Woody knows Andy's real intention...the other toys, feeling abandoned, decide to seek out a new life in a day care center. Kids everywhere...it's a dream come true for a toy, right?

Not exactly...Buzz, Jessie (Cusack), Hamm (Ratzenberger) and the gang receive a rude awakening when they find out they aren't exactly age appropriate for the young and wild children. They seek help in the center's huggable leader Lotso (Beatty) and Ken (Keaton), who develops an eye for Barbie (Benson)...imagine that.

Getting out of their new nightmare might is going to be a challenge, but Woody never gave up on Andy, and he's not about to give up on his friends. Their escapades in trying to leave the day care center are brilliant tongue-in-cheek send-ups of the great prison escape movies. But there is real peril here; in one of the more intense and frightening sequences of the series, the toys face the garbage incinerator. It's okay if your knuckles get a little white.

As with its immediate predecessor, Toy Story 3 finds a wonderful blend of humor and emotion, and if there's a real testament to the magic of Pixar, it might not be the imaginative visual wonders, but the fact that we care so darn much about the fate of toys. The impeccable voice cast helps a lot; we've come to know these little guys by their personalities, and to this day, I think Buzz Lightyear is Tim Allen's greatest role.

Disney and Pixar struck gold for the third time with Toy Story 3. This funny, warm and energetic offering is sure to delight audiences of all ages, and is just the holiday escape you've been waiting for.

Video ****

The Real 3D in the theatre was a joy to behold, and perfect for a movie of this nature...but this absolutely incredible 2D offering on Blu-ray doesn't leave much to be desired. I love computer animation in high definition, specifically when it comes from Disney and Pixar. This is a bright, colorful, richly detailed and vividly imaginative world come to life in a way that is sheer perfection from start to finish. With digital to digital technology, there's not a flaw to be found.

Audio ****

The only aspect that compares to the visual imagination of the movie is the auditory one. From the opening rescue to the daring and emotional finale, this DTS HD 7.1 track is phenomenal. Dynamic and bold, with incredibly layered effects and solid music from Randy Newman backing the hilarious and touching dialogue, this is a fully realized world that you'll find yourself easily immersed in.

Features ****

This combo pack brings together two Blu-ray discs, a DVD, and a digital copy disc. The first Blu-ray disc has the movie, the theatrical short that accompanied it “Day & Night” (and this I really DO miss in 3D), and Buzz Lightyear's Mission Log “The Science of Adventure”.

The second disc boasts the rest of the features, including:

An incredible features package!

Summary:

If this is the end of the line for our beloved toys, they couldn't have asked for a better finale. Toy Story 3 is now the most successful animated film of all time, and this incredible Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy pack from Disney/Pixar is sure to add even more to that success.

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