REVIEW: Toy Story 4 [2019]

She’ll be okay. It was said upon the release of Toy Story 3 that the franchise was done as far as Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear’s (Tim Allen) adventures were concerned. These sentiments made sense because it ended nicely on a logical breaking point wherein the boy whose name adorned their feet grew-up and gifted them to a new owner (Bonnie) who promised a warm future of happiness and play. Because simply retiring the characters would be dumb, Pixar decided to branch out into a trio of short comedic…

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REVIEW: Night at the Museum [2006]

“Keep a lid on it, Butterscotch” While based on a 1993 children’s book by Milan Trenc portraying a museum security guard discovering how he must protect the people outside from the dinosaur skeletons that come to life inside, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon‘s cinematic adaptation of Night at the Museum bears more of a resemblance to another family friendly fantasy franchise ending its trilogy the same year as theirs began. I’m talking about The Santa Clause, an enjoyable holiday journey of the heart wherein a divorced dad hoping to…

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REVIEW: Toy Story That Time Forgot [2014]

“Limitations are the shackles that we bind to ourselves” Following the success of last year’s Toy Story of Terror special, Disney and Pixar have presently tackled a holiday more on the nose: Christmas. Toy Story That Time Forgot opens two days after the presents have been torn apart and each new addition to the posable family introduced. A bit of cheer remains as Bonnie (Emily Hahn) has affixed antlers onto her triceratops Trixie’s (Kristen Schaal) horns to transform her into the unsuspecting victim of a terrible faux dinosaur played by…

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REVIEW: Toy Story of Terror [2013]

“And if something does happen to the potato—I don’t want to miss it!” While Disney/Pixar has dove into children’s television with Cars-centric offerings and a Buzz Lightyear spin-off, it’s surprising it’s taken this long to craft a primetime special. With what used to be a flawless feature film enterprise bolstered by award-winning shorts, perhaps they believed themselves above the small screen until now. But as Pixar evolves from luxury brand to simply one more animation arm of Disney proper, good press and high ratings aren’t something to ignore out of…

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REVIEW: Galaxy Quest [1999]

“Never give up. Never surrender.” What would happen if William Shatner were beamed into space for real—tracked down by a group of aliens indecipherable from the litany of cosplaying fans clamoring for his autograph at one of the infinite Comic Cons held around the nation? This is the question stuck in screenwriter David Howard‘s head as he put Galaxy Quest to paper in order to imagine the possibilities. A lush with a bigger head than when the titular show was on air, Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) encourages fans with a…

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REVIEW: Hawaiian Vacation [2011]

“I just zip and unzip. I don’t fly.” Upon seeing Buzz and Woody onscreen for the Pixar short playing before Cars 2, my first feeling was disappointment. These abbreviated tales are sometimes the highlight of going to a family friendly animated film, generally heartfelt and funny in a minimal span of time to get audiences in the mood for the feature following. Instead of some new carefully constructed character—Presto and Geri’s Game—or a well-conceived, dialogue-free vignette—Lifted and the brilliant Day & Night—all we were to be given was Toy Story…

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REVIEW: Hop [2011]

“See you later. Enjoy your life of privilege.” What do you get when you mix Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with The Santa Clause? Why another redundant holiday flick to tickle the kiddies and leave Mom and Dad clueless to the appeal, of course. Between the coronation of a new Easter Bunny, the betrothed having cold feet and a dream of drumming to fame and fortune, and a human forever lambasted for believing he once saw the mythical creature being willing to do anything to become him, you can…

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REVIEW: Toy Story 3 [2010]

“Let’s go see how much we’re going for on eBay” After ten cherished films filled with heart, soul, and comedy, Pixar finally made their first cash grab. That fact is not necessarily a bad thing since anything they touch, no matter how forced a project it may be, is still pure gold, if not certified platinum. But, when I left the theatre after viewing Toy Story 3, I couldn’t shake the feeling that even though I laughed hard, the resonating warmth of humanity and spirit was lacking. The film’s end…

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REVIEW: Toy Story 2 [1999]

“I can’t look. Can someone cover my eyes?” The stigma associated with sequels is that they always attempt to either go bigger or rehash what was already done. Both variations are usually set-ups for failure, sacrificing story for more bells and whistles or boring the audience with a slightly reworked alternate version, a watered down facsimile of the brilliant original. So, after Pixar produced just one other film post-Toy Story—the charmingly entertaining A Bug’s Life—the news that number three would be Toy Story 2 became an opportunity for everyone to…

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REVIEW: Toy Story [1995]

“Ages three and up! It’s on my box!” It’s hard to believe that, with Toy Story 3 coming out soon, it has been fifteen years since the original film. Back in 1995, Toy Story ushered in an animation renaissance for not only Disney, but also the medium as a whole. Pixar Studios had created something that changed the game forever, spawning countless other computer-graphic studios to follow suit and never fully reach the potential consistently exceeded by the Mouse House’s little buddy. Starting as a small-scale studio inside the Lucasfilm…

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