I couldn't resist the pun, Pixar's first ever television special delivered on all fronts. Toy Story of Terror is not only a lot of fun, but it's another great adventure with the beloved toy gang.
Toy Story of Terror lands Woody and the gang in a roadside motel, as owner Bonnie is on a road trip with her mother. Due to a flat tire, they must stay overnight. A stormy night at that! Mr. Pricklepants picks apart the typical horror film as the toys embark on their adventure. Mr. Potato Head - the first to foolishly leave the suitcase - goes missing, and the search for him results in everyone getting stolen by something mysterious... Except Jessie. Her run-in with a Combat Carl who talks in the third person is pretty funny stuff, but what surprised me about this special was the character development on Jessie.
Of course, fans know that Jessie has a phobia of being packaged in boxes. In this film, she finally faces her fears (which are visually represented for the first time in the series' history, as we see the box closing in around her) and uses them to save Woody at the end. I'm glad that they took the time to actually do that in a special, which makes me respect Pixar in many ways: In a special of all things, they add to characters that are already well-written and well-defined.
But what's also great is that its twists work, I honestly didn't know which direction it was going until Jessie encounters an iguana of all things, something that I thought totally came in out of left field. I loved the whole plot with the hotel manager looking to make money off of stolen toys, and when someone won Woody for $2,000, I immediately thought of good ol' Al McWhiggin. I was a bit shocked that he didn't show up in this, I thought that would have been hilarious! A post-credits scene of him weeks later, realizing that his item won't ship - I would've liked that.
The faces they meet when escaping, from Combat Carl Jr. to the self-building Lego set to the Old Timer (a fun toy clock that acts like an old man) to the Transformers parody (the name escapes me right now), were all cool as well. I hope to see them in a future special or Toy Story Toon. Part of me actually wishes for another Halloween special next year, one that has things similar to Sid's mutated toys! One can dream, right?
The only downside is that Pixar Canada won't be the ones making future specials and shorts, given their unexpected shut down a week ago. I was hoping that they'd thrive, considering what their mission was. That all being said, Toy Story of Terror is an unexpectedly great and fun Halloween treat from Pixar, it's no ordinary special.
What did you think of it? Sound off below!