Toy Story That Time Forgot is the Disney/Pixar franchise’s second television special following the 2013 Halloween special, Toy Story of Terror! It first aired in December 2014, and although it is set a couple days after Christmas, the story and message aren’t specific to the holiday, making the program accessible to all viewers throughout the year.
Trixe the Triceratops (Kristen Schaal) feels frustrated because Bonnie plays with her as everything but a dinosaur. When Bonnie visits her friend Mason, she tosses the toys she brought over (Woody, Buzz, Rex, Trixie, and Angel Kitty) aside into his playroom and joins him on his new video game system. In Mason’s playroom, the toys discover it has been taken over by the Battlesaurs, a toyline based on a fictional animated series that would have fit right during the ‘80s. Having just been opened and set up, the Battlesaurs don’t know they are toys, except for The Cleric, who does what he must to keep the secret, thereby keeping his power.
Toy Story That Time Forgot offers what seems like a familiar message of the franchise about the virtues of imagination, which the talented creators exhibit in this worthy addition to the Toy Story universe. There is also a reference to the benefits of sacrifice in the service of others, rather heady stuff for a kids’ special.
The video has been given a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer displayed at 1.78:1. Although a TV special and not a feature film, Pixar appears to hold the same high standards here, as the movies as the colors are spectacular, appearing in vibrant hues. Whites are bright and blacks are inky. The detail of the different toy textures is impressive.
The English audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, DTS-HD HR 5.1, and Dolby Digital 2.0. The 7.1 track is immersive with the score and effects filling the surrounds. Dialogue is always understandable, and with the effects, properly positioned in the soundscape. The track delivers a wide dynamic range and good bass in support of the action and music.
The HD extras include: Reptillus! (11 min) – the creative team offers a look the characters’ backstory and their creation. Toy Story Goes to Comic-Con (4 min) – the creators head to their panel and sign autographs. Karaoke: “My Unexpected Friend” (4 min) has two options: Reptillus Sings or You Sing (4 min). The song has a Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music vibe. Battlesaurs Animated Opening (1 min) – some creators are so enthused, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a spinoff. There are five Deleted Scenes (9 min) that have been storyboarded with an introduction from writer/director Steve Purcell, who also appears on the Commentary with Head of Story, Derek Thompson.
What’s great about Toy Story That Time Forgot and bodes well for the future Toy Story installments is that this story allows Trixie to be the main character, while Woody and Buzz tag along in supporting roles. And it’s good to see the care Disney/Pixar put into delivering a stunning Blu-ray.