Eye For Film >> Movies >> Toy Story In 3D (2009) Film Review
Toy Story In 3D
Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson
Toy Story is a 14-year-old children's film, re-released here in 3-D for two reasons: a new generation rightly deserves the chance to enjoy a classic movie, and 3-D is justification for its return to theatres; with a third film in the franchise due in the next year or so, and key merchandising to support, it helps spread brand awareness.
That's not to be cynical about it - Toy Story is a lovely film, heartwarming and entertaining. Pixar's first feature release, it's deservedly considered a classic. With a stellar voice cast and a solid moral centre, it was a hit in cinemas and has done well on DVD. It's a good film, Randy Newman's songs are great, the end duet with Lyle Lovett manages a rare timelessness, in part, because it was old-fashioned at the start.
The 3-D is subtle. Indeed, were it not for the glasses, at times it'd be possible to forget it is there. There isn't the same degree of shouting about it as in G-Force; it's closer to Coraline's use of the technology to enhance richness. There's a format war going on in Hollywood trying to add value to the cinema experience, IMAX on one side and 3-D on the other. The Dark Knight went one way, Avatar (coming soon) the other. Toy Story has probably gone 3-D because, while it does require a re-render it won't have required, well, re-making it from scratch. It's easier to add 3-D to an existing picture, as with My Bloody Valentine 3D, and goodness knows it adds to the excitement - collecting ill-fitting plastic glasses, trying to keep them on your face as you fidget, having the 3-D lenses and your own prescription ones fighting for room on your nose all make it a memorable time.
There are no obvious changes to the picture, which is to Disney's credit. There's no Lucas-like fiddling with the content, but in the press-screening Eye For Film attended there was no short attached either. Toy Story originally screened with Luxo Jr, but how well that's dated in comparison to show-starters like Presto isn't as certain. There's apparently a lawsuit between Disney and the makers of the Luxo lamps over merchandise, which leads to the other big part of Toy Story - the toys.
There's Lego coming, tied in to the second sequel. There will be a fresh DVD release, one assumes, on top of the 10th anniversary edition. There are already new versions of Buzz and Woody on the shelves, sitting beside the Cars merchandise that's still getting bought for little boys (and girls) years later. Disney's also got a duty to its shareholders, and it's not as if the remake of Escape To Witch Mountain set cinemas alight.
All that business and industry stuff aside, Toy Story is still Toy Story. It's a nigh-perfect film about friendship: making and losing friends; respecting others despite, if not because of their differences; making sacrifices for others and the rewards that come with it. It's a nostalgic portrait of the innocence of childhood, and it's also now an item of nostalgia itself; there's a good chance that kids seeing it in cinemas will have parents who saw it in cinemas as children (or at least teenagers). Toy Story is, and remains, an excellent film, and well worth seeing.Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2009
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