Since the Halloween issue of the student newspaper’s out and I didn’t manage to review this, I may as well do it here.
Toy Story of Terror
As we’ve seen with holiday specials of childrens’ movies *coughShrek*, these things rarely, if ever, bring new things to the table. But as always Pixar delivers with its first ever TV special.
The movie puts Woody (Tom Hanks) and a portion of the gang on a roadtrip with Bonnie and her mom, with an overnight stop at a creepy motel. Perfect horror movie setting, according to the resident thespian Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), who narrates, and deconstructs, their predicament as if they *were* in a classic horror film.
Until the toys start disappearing. Now Jessie has to figure out what’s happening and come out alive. Well, not boxed.
And that’s an interesting point I’d like to make: in true horror fashion, we get the Final Girl in Jessie, with Woody and the rest playing as her sidekicks this time. If you’ve seen the main three films (if you haven’t, where the hell have you been?!), Jessie has a crippling fear of being abandoned. This film exploits that wonderfully and tastefully. She’s put into this situation many Final Girls are put into and for the most part, she plays it well without reducing her character into a screaming, helpless blow to feminists.
The story itself is well done too. Don’t expect a tearjerker like Toy Story 3, it’s popcorn fodder. It knows what it’s about and doesn’t go beyond. No complex backstories, no shark-jumping, just another awesome adventure with Bonnie’s toys.
For the film buffs among the audience, Mr. Pricklepants is delivering the genre-savvy comedy in spades. He steals the show completely whenever he’s on screen, and fits the comic relief very nicely without being a buttmonkey. He not so much breaks the fourth wall, more sits on it and tickles its funny bits until good stuff comes out. And lest we forget Combat Carl, played by Carl Weathers, giving us manly Predator feels throughout.
All in all, Toy Story of Terror is another wonderful romp with Bonnie’s toys, and a gentle poke at the horror genre that we’ve all grown to love. Go and watch it.