Toy Story 2

People like to see the same plots rehashed over and over again. That’s how James Bond became such a long and successful series, isn’t it? Following Pixar’s success with Toy Story, the animation studio looked to follow a sort of pattern, but it wasn’t so much in terms of the storyline as the setup of having an ensemble of characters where each was representative of a different kind of some such (usually titular) thing. Toy Story starred different toys, then A Bug’s Life involved different types of bugs, Monsters, Inc. involved different types of monsters, Finding Nemo had different fish and other sea creatures and Cars had, of course, different models of automobile. Fortunately, Pixar has gotten a bit more inventive with their basic pitches, but now Disney has borrowed the model for Wreck-It Ralph. It could have easily been titled “Video Game Life” or “An Arcade Story.” There is a bit more to it than this, and in fact I was surprised to find that a lot of the movie is more about sweets than video games, especially where Alice in Wonderland-esque puns are concerned (the “laughing taffy” made me laugh). Overall, I had a good time watching the movie and appreciate the greatest addition to the Disney Princesses roster in years. But it didn’t really feel like something that will become a “Disney Classic,” and not just because our grandchildren will have no understanding of what arcade games are in a way they could relate to it. It […]

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Normally, my capacity for interest in “might have been” cinematic trivia is limited to dreaming about the original, darker incarnation of Pretty Woman (just me?), but on certain occasions, other bits of fun knowledge catch my attention. Case in point – last night’s Twitter dump by Lee Unkrich (director of Toy Story 3, co-director of Toy Story 2, and editor of Toy Story) of “also-ran” titles for Pixar’s most beloved franchise. Pixar fans and movie buffs have long known that Toy Story was never meant to be the project’s official title, it was simply used as a working title for the film before Pixar chose something more permanent. The search for an official title led the filmmakers to ask all of Pixar to submit ideas, leading to over 200 possible titles. Yet, none of those titles seemed as appropriate as the deceptively simple Toy Story. Unkrich took to his Twitter last night to share some of those rejected titles, and even this small batch shows the spectrum the submissions ran, from the funny (Toyz in the Hood) to the simple (The New Toy) to the groan-worthy (Rex’s First Movie) to my favorite (Bring Me The Arm of Buzz Lightyear). You can check out the full list of titles that Unkrich revealed after the break.

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The redeeming quality of the Cars franchise has nothing to do with spectacular visuals, high-octane action or universal bathroom humor. No, when it comes to the automotive Pixar series, it’s all about the plethora of celebrity voices and their 8-cylinder caricatures. Jay Leno as Jay Limo. Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette. John Lasseter as John Lassetire. Gene Shalit couldn’t come up with names this golden. Cars and Cars 2 are wackier examples of animators porting over celebrity likenesses for the purposes of their characters, but it’s a more common practice than we realize. Hey, if the voice fits the real face, why not whip up a character that fits the bill? Here are a few examples of actors whom animators didn’t have too much trouble dropping into their cartoon feature films (with varying degrees of punny names):

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After taking a week off due to the big fiesta film party that is South by Southwest, I’m back in action with my fingers all over the pulse of the world of Blu-ray. In this entry of This Week in Blu-ray, I’m not only bringing you the releases of this week, but I will be mixing in some choice picks from last week…

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Pixar Studios

Yesterday a trio of Rejects — including myself, Brian Gibson and Dr. Abaius — sat down to watch and review Toy Story and Toy Story 2 on Blu-ray, as I am due to review it for This Week in Blu-ray. And the discussion went to, as it always seems to do, our favorite Pixar movies…

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We’re all real happy you can finally get that rash checked out, but here are ten movie characters that are even happier that health care reform is about to break on through to the other side.

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Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3-D have claimed $22 million in only 10 days. Not bad for some old ass movies. This success has prompted Disney to extend the movies’ runs, presumably through the end of the month.

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The numbers are in from a surprising weekend at the theaters, with two movies outperforming a lot of the expectations out there by a considerable margin. Seven million for Paranormal Activity? Thirty-five for Couples Retreat? Are you kidding me? No.

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Kevin Carr takes a look at this week’s movie releases, including Couple’s Retreat, Paranormal Activity and Toy Story & Toy Story 2 in 3D Double Feature.

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It’s $25 million dollars this weekend for the hit Zombieland, proving that the zombie movie genre is alive and well. As for the other movies — all I gotta say is where the hell ARE you people?

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is still in theaters making money, but it sure looks as if the defending champ could fall victim to a concerted attack by the zombies and other things.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil returns from the pit of the Great Unwashed, otherwise known as Fantastic Fest. Kevin is stunned that he actually saw some movies this week but understands the Vegas odds of that happening when five flicks head into wide release. The Fat Guys talk toys, roller derby, capitalism and zombies.

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Fourteen years after Toy Story ushered in a new generation of computer generated animation, this celebrated first feature film of Pixar is still leaps and bounds ahead of so many of today’s animated fair.

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Disney and Pixar have released a trailer for the upcoming double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D… Buzz and Woody, back again. Don’t call it a comeback.

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