Pixar’s On Top Of Its Game, And The Toy Story 4 Blu-ray Wants You To Know It
If you’ve gone back and re-watched 1995’s original Toy Story within the last few years, you probably thought that it looked a little crude compared to our high late 2010s standards. At the time of its release, however, Toy Story was a feat of animation unlike anything anyone had ever seen before—it was Pixar’s very first feature film, and it kicked off over two decades of stories that children (and more than a few adults) would continue to revisit for years to come.
In 2019, Pixar continued its streak of excellence with Toy Story 4, a surprisingly strong sequel to 2010’s seemingly conclusive Toy Story 3. The Toy Story 4 Blu-ray bonus features focus primarily on the dozens of crew members who helped Pixar maintain that streak, and rightfully so—making a full-length animated film that’s engaging, funny, and aesthetically pleasing is not easy.
Take the “Let’s Ride with Ally Maki” featurette, for example. In this extra, Maki (the voice of Giggle McDimples) talks to director Josh Cooley as well as several other crew members (including the film’s tireless script supervisor, Rachel Slansky) about how much work goes into recording and processing a few simple lines of dialogue. Will children find this interesting? Maybe not. I, an adult woman who grew up with the Toy Story movies, however, thought it was absolutely fascinating.
In another standout featurette, “Anatomy of a Scene: Playground,” two of Toy Story 4‘s set supervisors, a character tailoring lead, and a story artist break down the scene in which Woody (Tom Hanks) and Bo Peep (Annie Potts) reunite. Every aspect of the scene—the frisbee that Bo and Woody hide behind, the way in which Bo effortlessly uses her staff to help her get from place to place, the fact the Woody and Bo are in “toy mode” and can’t speak to each other right away when they first see each other—has a purpose, and the crew members analyzing the scene do a fantastic job of communicating that to the audience.
Again, I’m not sure how engaged kids will be when watching this, especially considering that the extra is a little on the long side. With that being said, I’m sure I’m not the only adult viewer who would gladly watch a whole series of these.
Some featurettes—“Toy Views” and “Woody & Buzz,” for example, are enjoyable but ultimately pretty insignificant. For the most part, however, the extras give fans valuable insight into how Toy Story 4, after years of development and production, finally came together. Did you know that the Toy Story 4 crew visited dozens of antique shops to try to make Gabby Gabby’s home look and feel as true to life as possible? Or that they set up something called a “Sporkshop” to help come up with the perfect design for Forky? The Toy Story 4 Blu-ray is full of dozens of other facts and tidbits like these, and if you’re at all interested in animation we highly recommend that you check it out.
Toy Story 4 is now available on Blu-ray and digital. Check out the official movie trailer below.