The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
3D Video/Audio total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney/Pixar - 1999
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 92 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital EX 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Emery, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Wayne Knight
Directed by: John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, and Ash Brannon
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: John Lasseter, Pete Doctor, Andrew Stanton, Ash Brannon
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date:November 1, 2011
"You've got a friend in me"
While Andy is away at summer camp, Woody is
toynapped by Al McWhiggin, a greedy collector who needs Andy's favorite toy to complete his Woody's Roundup collection. Together with Jessie (voiced by Joan Cusack), Bullseye, and the Prospector, Woody is on his way to a museum where he'll spend the rest of his life behind glass. It's up to Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex, and Slinky Dog to rescue their friend and remind him what being a toy is all about.
I reviewed Toy Story 2 when it was released on Blu-ray last year. Other than the addition of the 3D Blu-ray version this combo pack is the same. Many of my comments from that review are contained here as well.
I can clearly recall being very skeptical when I heard that there was going tot be a sequel to Toy story. I couldn't help but feel, how could they possibly top the original? Well, as most of you reading this know, Toy story 2 is every bit as good as the original, and in the opinion of many is slightly better. I don't feel that it is so much a better film but its broader, more emotionally stirring, and multi-dimensional story gives it a bit more depth. As I said in my review of Toys story, it has the ability to touch audiences at both the adult and child levels. It stimulates our imaginations while integrating thematic elements that relate to real life experiences/feelings of devotion, teamwork, friendship, insecurity and love. It is easy to be drawn in by its captivating charm, intelligent wit, and heartwarming innocence. Toy story 2 is filled with well constructed characters and cleverly infused dialogue that make it fetching and fun. The addition of Jessie, Bullseye Stinky Pete, and Al along with the challenges of leaving Andy's room and venturing into the city prove rewarding in more ways than one. As an adult this is the first animated film that brought tears to my eyes. "When She Loved Me" - performed by Sarah McLachlan: Used for the flashback montage in which Jessie experiences being loved, forgotten, and ultimately abandoned by her owner, Emily still gets to me.
As a Star Wars fan I appreciated the reference between Buzz and Zurg. Buzz gets the opportunity to take the lead during the rescue and winds up teaching Woody a lesson in practicing what you preach. Rex, Potato head, Hamm, and Slink also get the chance for more involvement and it pays off big time. There is a tender side involving the relationship between Jessie, Woody, and Bullseye. I think this is conveyed appropriately and with the right amount of emphasis so that it doesn't overshadow the film's focus. Ultimately it proves to be Woody and Buzz that save the day. Theirs is an enduring friendship that serves as the very foundation that supports those around them. Everyone reprises their roles from the first film and the new cast members, Kelsey Grammer, Joan Cusack, and Wayne Knight, do a terrific job and seem perfectly mated to their respective characters. Each has their moment to shine and does so convincingly. I love these films and find them as entertaining as ever. Like I said in my review of Toy story: Toy story 2 may not have the flash of some of Pixar's newer efforts but it's an endearing, timeless and classic animated film that can be shared and enjoyed from one generation to the next. Thank you to Disney/Pixar for bringing it to Blu-ray with tender loving care as it looks and sounds spectacular in high definition.
This is a family film that can be enjoyed by all.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
3D Presentation: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Depth (Onscreen):
- Dimension (Beyond the screen):
- Color reproduction:
Toy Story 2 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD ES 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.
As I have stated previously the majority of 3D converted films that have come to Blu-ray haven't blown me away however the last couple, including Toy Story have given me hope. With Toy Story 2 being a little newer than its predecessor I expected it to look a bit better in 3D and it does. This is a resplendent 3D presentation that features few examples of ostentatious screen popping effects however it has its share of fun reach out and touch moments. Detail is well preserved as the image retains its high level of clarity as objects within the frame are delineated and sharp. Dimension onscreen is appreciable as evidenced by the notable separation of objects and characters layered in the foreground/background creating a more discerning sense of virtual space occupied by things of various sizes and shapes. There are a variety of sequences that provide a discerning sense of onscreen depth/dimension. Wide angle shots, like those in the toy store, on the street, and in Al's apartment look terrific. Fidelity is intact as the film's gorgeous color, rich contrast and inky blacks are beautifully rendered and natural. Comparing this to the 2D version in terms of the rendering of detail, color reproduction and contrast I found them to be similar. Ghosting/crosstalk is visible here and there but isn't a problem.
Like Toy story the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound on this disc is reference quality. However, this soundtrack has more of an aggressive mix and features low frequency effects and extended dynamics that frequently produce deep, demonstrative bass that attains room shaking levels. The film's opening sequence is an aurally stimulating treat that serves as a precursor for what you can expect. As good as Toy story sounds, this one bumps it up a notch which in my opinion nets it a perfect technical rating. Here are my comments from my review of Toy story as most apply here as well. Any additional comments are highlighted in bold:
This lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack improves upon the lossy Dolby Digital version in every way. This is not action style sound mix but its ability to deliver an engaging home theater experience is not to be underestimated. This animated film uses an intricate sound design that has to maintain a delicate balance so the plethora of sound effects, music and dialogue within the soundtrack can be clearly and easily interpreted by the audience. Dialogue is distinctly perceptible and well articulated so that even subtle changes in the inflection of the voices among the cast was detectable. Sound effects are accurately placed within the sound field and establish a tight correlation between the onscreen information and what is being heard within the listening environment. A great example of this occurs in the scene where Buzz, Rex, Slink, Potato head, and Hamm cross the busy highway. This creates an immersive, active and involving soundscape that is abundantly rich in detail. Its wide dynamic range can go from subtle, intricate control to room energizing dynamism. The sequence where the large concrete culvert pipe rolls off of the truck toward Potato Head (when he is under the cone during the highway crossing) sounds awesome. Low frequencies underscore sound effects and reinforce the dynamic impact of the audio. Response is authoritative, clean and on occasion prodigious as it fills the room with deep, tactile, low level bass energy. Randy Newman's emotive and wonderful music score takes center stage often as it is broadcast over the entire system with high level detail with smooth, strident free treble. I found this to be a superlative mix that creates a stable and immersive surround sound experience that achieves excellent balance so that all of the elements inherent in the recording can be realized.
2D Video Quality:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Toy story 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney/Pixar featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 mbps.
This presentation on Blu-ray looks every bit as good as Toy story's and has nearly identical attributes. Colors appear to be a bit more refined. This has nothing to do with the encoding and appears innate to the film's original elements. I also noticed reflections, an effect that I didn't see used in the first film. During the sequence in the toy store as Buzz runs through the isles his reflection is visible in the shiny tile floor. Similar to Toy story on Blu-ray the results here are sublime. Here are my comments regarding the video quality of Toy story with any additional comments highlighted in bold:
This is a reference quality high definition presentation that delivers flawless imagery. The video quality is visually arresting in its depiction of the film's animated elements. Detail and definition is impeccably rendered as images have a luminous and sparkling clarity that is appreciably three dimensional. It never left me wanting for fine degrees of subtle delineation and texture. The attention to detail in the construction of the animated characters physical features as well as objects within each frame is superb. I couldn't get over the depth of the beautifully rendered colors. Colors are deeply saturated with lustrous vibrancy and succulent textures that literally leap off of the screen. Primaries are particularly striking and exhibit visible gradational stages that bring out subtle degrees of separation. Each of the characters has distinctive physical qualities that are attributable to them not only in size and shape color as well. Blacks are inky with extended dynamic range and deep gradational highlights. The dark and shadow filled confines of the heating ducts in Al's building as well as the scenes that take place in the elevator shaft, and Zurg's lair during the film's opening exhibit a near infinite level of dimension, with superb contrast and visible shading that drew out lots of detail. I was blown away by this high definition presentation and never seen this film look this good, theatrically or otherwise.
- (HD) Toy story 3 sneak peek - 2 minutes
- Filmmaker's commentary
- (HD) Buzz Lightyear mission logs: International Space Station - 3 minute featurette with real footage/info on the space station
- (HD) Paths to Pixar: Technical artists - 4 minute featurette
- (HD) Studio stories: Toy story 2 sleep deprivation lab, Pinocchio, The movie vanishes - 6 minutes of fun stories as told by crew
- (HD) Pixars' Zoetrope - 2 minute documentary on Pixar's implementation of the Zoetrope
- (HD) Celebrating our friend Joe Ranft - 12 minute dedication piece
Classic DVD Bonus features:
- Making Toy story 2 - 8 minute featurette
- John Lasseter profile - 3 minute featurette
- Cast of characters - 3 minute featurette
- Toy box - 5 segments including outtakes, gag spots, autographed pictures and more
- 3 deleted scenes
- Design - galleries
- Production - 6 segments including production tour, special effects, and more
- Music and sound
- Publicity - Trailers, TV spots, character interviews and more
- Bonus DVD of Toy story 2 Special Edition including Bonus content
- Disney BD-Live enabled
Toy story 2 has the distinction of being a sequel that equals (or betters, depending on your opinion) its predecessor which in this case is quite an accomplishment. Disney/Pixar is at their finest as it features a multi-dimensional story that includes memorable new characters, and a broader, emotionally stirring story that proves very rewarding. The Toy Story films have an endearing charm and entertaining storylines that people of all ages can appreciate. I went in this review of its 3D converted Blu-ray video with reserved expectations but am happy to report that this presentation made for an enriching experience. Disney continues to impress with their technically proficient Blu-ray offerings that yield high quality audio/video presentations. This four disc offering includes new bonus supplements as well as the previously released extras. The new features don't add much however the original content is quite good and stands well enough on its own. If you have a 3D capable setup and are a Toy story fan I think that this Blu-ray release from Disney merits consideration for inclusion in your collection.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package