Sunday, November 15, 2015

Toy Story That Time Forgot!!

by Al Kessel

THEY'RE BACK!!! Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex and the gang are back and boy are they having an adventure!! 

This time around, Woody, Buzz, Rex and Trixie meet a brand new group of toys who don't know they're toys!! They actually think they're...REAL!

The set up is this: Little Bonnie (remember, our gang now belongs to Bonnie?) has a play date with a friend who has...well, LOTS of toys, including a really cool game console, which takes Bonnie's attention away from our band of heroes. 
And of course, once left alone, our heroes encounter the afore mentioned band of new toys, a group of dinosaur like creatures that believe their 'kingdom' is real. And of course, since the newbies don't know they're actually toys, they think Woody and the gang are there to invade and conquer their realm, and the Wood man, Buzz and Rex are soon captured and sentenced to...(well, this IS a family friendly blog, to I won't go any further than that), leaving Trixie the job of saving the day!!

Of course, as always, there is a LOT more to Toy Story That Time Forgot than this, but you know, no spoilers here. We want YOU to experience the movie on your own without knowing what happened. Though, by now, odds are you may have already seen this. It's actually been out since 2014, but only recently released on Blu-Ray!

As with all Disney*Pixar movies, Toy Story That Time Forgot is very well done. The story is cute, the writing is classic and the acting is top notch. All the original voice cast is back: Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Wallace Shawn as Rex, Joan Cusack as Jessie, Kristen Schaal as Trixie, Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants and of course, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head. Also joining the cast for this adventure is the awesome Scottish actor Kevin McKidd as Reptillus Maximus - one of the new toys!

All in all, Toy Story That Time Forgot is definitely a great addition to your collection. While not as great as any of the theatrically released Toy Story movies, it's sure to be classic. Running time is about 22 minutes.

Bonus Features on the Blu-Ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere include:

  • Reptillus! - In this behind-the-scenes look at “Toy Story That Time Forgot,” the filmmakers share a peek at the origins of the Battlesaurs world and culture, and explain the character design and development of its greatest hero, Reptillus Maximus.
  •  Commentary with “Toy Story that Time Forgot” director, Steve Purcell, and head of story, Derek Thompson, on the process of making “Toy Story That Time Forgot.”
  • My Unexpected Friend - Feel the power - and sing along - as Reptillus Maximus expresses the depth of his feelings for Trixie in this 80's-inspired karaoke video for his soulful ballad, "My Unexpected Friend."
  • Battlesaurs Animated Opening - A 2D animated opening for the fictional animated TV series, "Battlesaurs."
  • Deleted Scenes with Intros & Outros – “Toy Story That Time Forgot” director, Steve Purcell, introduces scenes that were developed and storyboarded for the special, but were ultimately cut from the final version:
    • Battlesaurs Christmas
    • Light of Play
    • Prisoners of Bone
    • SOS
    • Trixie’s Proposal
  • Toy Story Goes to Comic-Con - The “Toy Story that Time Forgot” team heads to San Diego to unveil the project to the public, led by their own longtime Comic-Con veterans, director Steve Purcell and head of story Derek Thompson.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Inside Out...Review

by Al Kessel

Emotions. We have have them. Those little 'voices' inside our heads that drive us. Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, 'what the heck is going on inside THEIR head?!'. Yeah, me too. Sometimes it's almost as if...there's ACTUALLY living beings inside our heads, controlling us!

Disney/Pixar's newest hit, Inside Out, doest just that - takes an exciting and HILARIOUS journey inside the mind to find the answer to the question: 'what the heck is going on in there?'.  

In, Inside Out, Disney/Pixar tackles two different worlds that actually relate to one another. First, we have the external world, in which we meet new born baby girl Riley and her parents. Then, we have the internal world, where we meet the REAL genius of our characters, the EMOTIONS. Based in Headquarters (get it? in, in the mind?), the control center of Riley, five emotions are hard at work helping Riley grow up into a wonderful woman: Fear (voiced by Bill Hader), Anger (voiced by comedian Lewis Black), Disgust (voiced by The Office's Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (voiced by The Office's Phyllis Smith). They're led by Joy (voiced by Parks and Recs Amy Poehler). Joy is, of course, the 'peppy' and positive emotion. Together, the five emotions guide Riley's responses to her external world.

All is well, until now 11 year old Riley is uprooted from her home in Minnesota to San Francisco by her parents. Of course, this throws Headquarters into a flurry of conflict! 

As Riley gets...well, riled up, by the move and the inability to fit in, her emotions get a little confused as well, and, as Joy is off tackling a pretty serious issue, the other emotions decide to take matters into their own hands. And that's not good. Ever. 

Now, of course, that's all you're getting as far as plot. Remember, No Spoilers Here! 

We learned about the project Inside Out at the D23 Expo in 2010. They didn't share a great deal of detail at that time, but we were really interested in this project. So, when Inside Out was finally released, we had high expectations for it. And we were not disappointed. This film has everything we've come to expect in a Disney/Pixar movie and more. The animation is, of course, superb, and the story is actually quite endearing. It touches everyone, on ever level. From a child to an adult. There are some scenes that only adults will understand, yet, the movie remains perfect for viewers of all ages. 

And in true Disney fashion, there are morals to the story, that are very important for the entire family to understand. Growing up isn't as easy as it seems! Often times, we have very conflicting emotions that we must sort through, and now, Inside Out shows us exactly what those emotions are doing!

With most Disney/Pixar movies these days, there are a plethora of wonderful extras. Inside Out is no different. Bonus Content includes:

* Riley's First Date - Animated short. Riley, now 12, is hanging out at home with her parents when potential trouble strikes. A BOY! Who asks to see Riley!! In this hilarious short, we get to see inside Riley's fathers mind as he deals with the prospect of his little girl, growing up!
Riley's First Date

* LAVA - Animated short. Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands, and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, LAVA is a musical love story about a lonely volcanic island, who grows over the ages and shelters many animals, many who have love. Our hero wishes for nothing more than to find true love himself, so he sings to the gods in the hopes of finding love.
LAVA Animated Musical Short

* Story of the Story - Director Pete Docter talks about the evolution of Inside Out, from the ideas and memories that inspired the story through the hurdles, explorations and experiences that helped shape it into the film it is today

* Paths To Pixar: The Women of Inside Out - Inside Out filmmakers, from voice actors to animators to production crew, talk about their paths, their goals, the challenges they've faced and the lessons they've learned along the way

* Mixed Emotions - Inside Out's filmmakers talk about how they decided which emotions to focus on in the story and how they went about creating each one's distinct personality and visual identity

* Mapping The Mind - Inside Out's artists take you through the years-long process of designing and creating a world everyone knows, but no one has ever seen - the human mind

* Deleted Scenes

* Mind Candy - A montage of toolkit and interstitials produced for Inside Out

Of all the bonus content, our favorites were Riley's First Date and LAVA. Riley's First Date is a funny look inside a fathers head, as he learns his 'baby girl' is no longer his baby girl. LAVA is a wonderfully charming story told through a beautiful Hawaiian style love song about the quest for true love, through eons. Both are without a doubt worth watching several times!

All in all, Inside Out is a great family movie and worth adding to your (growing) Disney library. Don't miss out.