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Animation Monday: Toy Story of Terror

Geek Alabama Animation

This week on Animation Monday on a Tuesday.  I am talking about a wonderful animated special just for Halloween.  Toy Story of Terror features all of your great characters from the Toy Story franchise, plus this special introduces some new toys!  For those of you who have not seen it yet, or if you want a sneak peek, watch the video below!

The events in this special takes place after Toy Story 3 and the toys are still living with Bonnie and her other toys.  Bonnie and her mom are traveling in a storm when a flat tire happens.  The toys are watching a scary black and white movie on a portable DVD player while in the trunk.  Black and white scary movies are always the best!  Jessie is afraid and traumatized of staying in dark boxes and somehow she ends up in a toolbox but the other toys free her.  This is your average scary movie scenario.  The family winds up in a creepy hotel with a storm outside.  And the toys are afraid of this place, and for good reason.

The toys, especially Mr. Pricklepants, tells everyone about one of the most common horror movie settings and what to expect.  Once everyone is settled into the hotel, Mr. Potato Head decided to see what the hotel has to offer in the way of free toiletries.  All of the toys advises against this because toys get lost in hotels.  Mr. Pricklepants is smart, and he remarks that this is exactly how horror movies start to pick off their characters, one by one.  And yes, Mr. Potato Head disappears, with only one of his hands left behind.

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Jesse, Woody, and Buzz huddle together after they follow some of the missing toys down an air vent to a sub-floor, and they try to use Buzz’s “laser” on whatever thing keeps whooshing past them in the shadows.  Woody and Buzz soon are snatched, and Jesse finds herself in the company of Combat Carl, who has lost a hand in his efforts to evade the lightning-quick thing that lurks in the dark corners of the hotel.  Unfortunately, Carl is taken almost immediately, leaving Jesse to try to hide in the shower, but soon, she is also taken.  By the way, I liked the great computer graphics in the hotel bathroom.  Everything looks so real!

The menace turns out to be the owner’s pet iguana, which has been trained to steal the toys of the guests so that the manager can sell them on “eBid.”  Jesse is photographed and placed in a glass cabinet with the other toys.  Jesse is reunited with her friends, but they see the manager placing her on sale on the computer along with all the other toys the iguana has stolen.

Of course this happens, Woody immediately fetches a price of $2,000, and is boxed up and left on the counter for the carrier service to pick up first thing in the morning – which is quickly approaching.  Jesse is the only one who can save Woody after she is the next toy sold, and to do this she must face her fear and close herself into a box to rescue Woody from the carrier truck.  Combat Carl does a good job hard talking Jessie into facing her fears!


Bonnie and her mother are preparing to check out of the hotel right in the middle of the rescue operation.  Jesse is locked in a struggle with the toy-stealing iguana as she desperately tries to draw Bonnie’s attention to her stolen toys.  She reaches into the iguana’s gullet and pulls free one of Mr. Potato Head’s arms and Combat Carl’s missing hand.  Potato Head’s arm grabs onto the curtain hiding the toys from view and pulls it down, just in time for Bonnie to look up in amazement to see the toys she had believed she’d lost.  The good news is all the toys, including Woody, escape and get back into Bonnie’s suitcase.

Bonnie’s mother angrily confronts the hotel manager, who squirms as she calls the police and the other stolen toys make their own escape via the delivery truck that was about to ship Woody away forever.  During the credits, two officers approach the hotel manager and the manager gets into more hot water by sneaking into the police car and backing into a light pole, then he makes a run for it to try to escape.  I assume the police soon after arrested him and put that evil iguana into animal control.  Jessie is really proud of being brave and the toys are happy they are gone from that bad hotel.

I thought the special was excellent!  All of the original voices were back, and the action was just like in the Toy Story movies.  The animation was awesome and Pixar did a great job with the animation work.  They are promoting this special as something we can enjoy every Halloween.  Yes, they are correct about that, this is a special you will enjoy every Halloween for a long time!  Great job from the Pixar team!  For the first ever TV special for Pixar, this special was fun, clever, and an utterly charming addition to the beloved franchise.  Hopefully ABC and Disney will deliver more Pixar TV specials in the future.  How about something from The Incredibles?

If you did not get to see the special yet, it will be repeated on Disney Channel and Disney XD now through Halloween.  I also wanted to share this Halloween related Mickey Mouse short where Goofy is a zombie, who saw that coming?

Images and videos copyright from Disney and Pixar

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