Review: Toy Story That Time Forgot

The official release poster for the festive TV special © Disney Pixar

The official release poster for the festive TV special © Disney Pixar

TOY STORY That Time Forgot is a fun-filled-festive joy that reunites us with the world’s most well known gang of toys and adds to the repertoire of Steve Purcell, creator of Sam & Max and co-director of Disney Pixar’s 2012 hit, Brave.

The TV special sees most of the regular cast from the Toy Story series reprise their roles, including Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear. Kevin McKidd is a newcomer in providing the voice of Reptillus Maximus but will be very familiar to players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as he was the voice of John “Soap” MacTavish in those games.

The festive special set two days after Christmas, revolves around Trixie the toy triceratops we first encountered at Bonnie’s house in Toy Story 3, and the Battlesaurs who belong to Bonnie’s friend Mason, who are yet to be played with as he prefers the games console he also got for Christmas.

In the previous holiday special Toy Story of Terror! it is Jessie who must overcome her fears to save the day and this time it is up to Trixie to follow-suit as Buzz, Woody and Angel Kitty (another new face) are placed in great peril at the hands of the Battlesaurs.

It is as lovingly crafted as every other installment in the franchise, although by its very nature as a TV special, it cannot expect to live up to the three full-length feature films by limitations of scale and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be on the level of the aforementioned Halloween special, Toy Story of Terror!, either.

If I had to identify the biggest reason for this I think it would have to be the use of a toy(s) as the villain(s), a return to the formula of Toy Story 3 which I do not feel served it well at all and was a break from the mold of the first two films in the series.

These featured the vile bully, Sid, in Toy Story and the gluttonous Al, the toy collector in Toy Story 2 in which we the audience were really rooting for the gang of toys to overcome their human opposition in order to return to their loving owner, Andy. Toy Story of Terror! also featured a motel manager, Norm, attempting to sell the toys which now belong to Bonnie.

This was not the case in Toy Story 3 where we see a gang of toys run a somewhat brutal regime at a daycare and play the role of the villains, I don’t think this suited the franchise at all and it’s the same story with Toy Story That Time Forgot, the true sense of jeopardy to the toys just isn’t there.

This being said, it’s still Toy Story at the end of the day, and you cannot help but laugh and smile and feel good having watched this latest holiday special, it is certainly enjoyable. Star Wars fans may also want to look out for a reference to that franchise made by The Cleric (the leader of the Battlesaurs).

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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