|Toy Story 2 (3D/2D) (1999)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Monday, 31 October 2011|
Marvelous. Simply marvelous. That is all I can really say about this film. "Toy Story 2" was as much unexpected as it was successful. Full-length, theatrically released animated sequels were unheard of. And to this today there haven't been many. In fact, with "Toy Story 3" coming to theaters in a few months it still ranks as one of the only animated franchises to have theatrically released sequels.
What's more, is that the sequel is actually better than the original, something that is quite uncommon among film sequels. "Toy Story 2" blows the first film out of the water. So what makes the second film better? Well, there are several things, two in particular. First, interaction of the toys with the outside world is more inviting and interesting to watch that the first film's more limited locations.
The second is the brilliant additions to the cast. Joan Cusack voices Jessie the Cowgirl and simply wonderful. She is returning for the third film as well. In addition, Tim Allen and Tom Hanks return for this sequel and the third film as well. Other popular voice talents also return. Unfortunately, since of the passing of Jim Varney, Slinky Dog will have to voiced by another actor. Other than that, the cast seems to remain original.
Now that Buzz and Woody have warmed to each other life in the toy world is much more calm. Or is it? When an accident causes Andy to leave for cowboy camp without Woody, Woody's depression sets in. Woody is kidnapped by a toy man during a daring rescue at a yard sale.
When Woody arrives at his new destination he discovers who he really isand his importance in toy history. He is joined by his relatedcharacter toys. Meanwhile, Buzz and a group of toys attempt a daringrescue of their own. The majority of the film takes place away fromAndy's bedroom, which is refreshing. The adventures undertaken in thisfilm are intriguing and enthralling.
The creators of "Toy Story 2" have incorporated all the missing linksform the first film, such as a Buzz's space ranger background andorigin. The sequel is certainly a story about origins. It even has asurprising twist in character development. The sequel has so much morestory to offer adults and yet still remains easily understandable forchildren. Children will also still get the vibrant colors to oogle at.
The 2D release of “Toy Story 2” resulted in an excellent videorestoration and transfer. As with the first film, the transfer isconsistent. What you want to know about is the 3D nature of the secondfilm. Well, I am pleased to say that the sequel contains anotherstellar 3D transformation. I want to give each of the films a five star3D transfer. However, given the fact that I have seen all three filmsin 3D, I have to rank them in order. On their own they would be fivestars. The sequel ranks just a half a star ahead of the first film. There are still a couple moments of aliasing that I think will pass bythe majority of audiences without notice. Ghosting is different foreveryone depending on the technology, screen size and viewing distance. However, leaving the subjective qualities out of it, ghosting is onlyapparent twice in the entirety of the film. If you spot more than thatthen try adjusting your viewing arrangement. Colors remain as bold asever and only help to strengthen the 3D effect of “Toy Story 2.” Thebackgrounds and locations of the sequel are much more vibrant andconducive to the 3D effect than the original film. In that regard, “ToyStory 2” is extremely effective. Whether it is a brightly lit sequenceor one cast in shadows, the 3D nature of the image is readilyapparent. Depth in the screen and 3D extension best that of theoriginal film’s 3D conversion. The 3D effects are smooth and nevercontrived. Like with the first film, the 3D effect of the image on thesequel brings a new level of enjoyment to watching the film.
If there was a slightly more than perfect score for audio, this DTS-HDMaster Audio 5.1 track would get it. The audio is truly astounding. Every detail is present in the soundscape. The soundfield is immersiveand still localized. The opening space sequence immediately grabs yourattention. Asteroids fly by your head. Laser blasts envelope you andexplosions are fulfilling and heart-pounding. Dialogue is perfectlyclean. I found it a little distracting that the dialogue is notcontained in the center channel. The dialogue will be panned ever soslightly if the character on screen is even just off the center line ofthe screen. While this is how it should be, since the majority of allfilms leaves the dialogue anchored in the center channel to eliminatethe phantom center issue it is bit distracting here. The LFE channel isbountiful and even. Dynamics are expansive. If played at a calibratedlevel children might get a little scared at some points, much like theshark attach in "Finding Nemo." The Blu-ray also comes with a DTS-HD MA2.0 track.
This 3D Blu-ray edition of "Toy Story 2" comes in a four-disc package,with Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray 2D, DVD and Digital Copy discs. All bonusmaterials are presented on the Blu-ray 2D disc. The bonus materialssection is structured like that of the first film. Some of theinformation is actually repetitive of the first. Other than a couplenew segments, the Blu-ray simply contains the standard DVD bonusmaterials and they are left in standard definition.
New to the disc is a sneak peek at "Toy Story 3," three studio shorts,Buzz's space mission logs, a tribute to Joe Ranft and Pixar's Zoetrope. The ported over features include a director audio commentary, a makingof featurette, character featurette, outtakes, deleted scenes, anddesign/production (including music) featurettes.
"Toy Story 2" is definitely a must have. It is certainly going to be aclassic animated feature in the future. The audio and video qualitiesare simply amazing. While it is animated feature, this Blu-ray discshows off what the format can do for your favorite films. This is thefirst film that has received five stars for the three major categories. I don't count bonus materials for very much.