Saturday, December 26, 2015

TV on DVD Review: Toy Story that Time Forgot

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Laughs and fun with favorite characters
Cons: A little dark at times; familiar themes for franchise
The Bottom Line:
Dangerous play date
Shows toys don’t always mix well
After Christmas laughs

“Have I Mentioned What a Fantastic Time I’m Having?”  “It’s as Plain as the Horn on Your Face.”

Disney and Pixar really aren’t ready to let the Toy Story gang go.  Since the “final” film came out a few years back, we’ve been several shorts with the gang and two TV specials (not to mention confirmation that they are making a fourth movie).  Not that I’m complaining since I love these characters myself.  Toy Story that Time Forgot is the second TV special, and fans of these characters will definitely want to watch it.

It’s after Christmas, and Bonnie (Emily Hahn) is going on a playdate to her friend Mason’s (R. C. Cope) house.  She’s grab a few of her toys to take along, including Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and her two dinosaurs Trixie (Kristen Schall) and Rex (Wallace Shawn).  Trixie is currently frustrated because she is never cast as a dinosaur in Bonnie’s play.  In fact, she is currently a baby reindeer while other toys get to be the dinosaurs.

Mason got a cool new video game for Christmas, and he and Bonnie quickly get absorbed.  However, the toys discover that Mason also got a BattleSaurs play set complete with many action figures.  Trixie and Rex are excited to be making so many new dinosaur friends.  But danger is lurking for Woody and Buzz.  Will they survive this play date?

I watched this special when it first aired last year, and my initial impression was that it was a little dark.  Rewatching it this year, I found more of the comedy, although a couple of scenes might be too much for extremely sensitive children.  It’s nothing worse than we’ve seen in the films, however.

We can pretty much guess where the plot is going early on, and it doesn’t really break any new ground for the franchise, but that’s okay because it’s plenty of fun.  There are laughs and memorable moments that fans of the series will enjoy.

It is a shame we don’t get to see more of the regular gang.  They do have cameos at the beginning and end, but that’s it.  However, this is just a half hour special.  There just wasn’t room for the rest of the toys, especially when you consider the many new toys that we meet along the way.

The voice cast does a remarkable job bringing the characters to life.  You can tell they love these characters as much as we do.  The new cast jumps right in and fits perfectly into the story.  And while this may be a TV special, the animation looks great.

Fans of the Toy Story characters (and really, who isn’t) will be glad they sat down to watch Toy Story that Time Forgot.  I think I will always enjoy checking in with these friends no matter what format the story takes.

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