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3D Blu-ray Reviews

Toy Story: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW



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#1 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 21 2011 - 02:51 AM


Posted Image

What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.




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TOY STORY 3D TRILOGY 


In 1995, Pixar forever changed the face of animation with its release of Toy Story. It was a film that had immeasurable impact on audiences and would be the first in a long strong of successful animated features from the Pixar company.  What makes the Toy Story films so successful is the emphasis on their stories as well as the emotional dynamics between the characters. Now 16 years later, Toy Story is still considered the greatest animated film ever made.  


Prior to the release of Toy Story 3 to theaters, Pixar decided they would attempt to bring the first two Toy Story films to 3D so that audiences could enjoy them as never before.  The entire process of converting those films to 3D took a total of 10 months, with the first 4 dedicated to bringing the films up to present technology.




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TOY STORY 

 

Studio: Walt Disney

Product Release: November 1, 2011

Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital EX

Running Time: 81 Minutes

Rating: G



Posted Image

ON A SCALE 0-5

Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4

3D Separation: 4

3D In Yo' Face Factor: 0


This is the film that started it all, introducing us to young

Andy and his prized western doll Woody (Tom Hanks).

The doll becomes Andy's best friend, that is, until on his

birthday he is given a very special present of a nifty-new

astronaut toy named Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), who

immediately steals the heart of the young boy. Our heroes

are joined by an expertly-voiced supporting cast of characters

that include smart-alecky Hamm (John Ratzenberger), a

slinky dog aptly named Slink (Jim Varney), a petrified

dinosaur named Rex (Wallace Shawn), and a caustic Mr.

Potato Head (Don Rickles). When Woody and Buzz suddenly

find themselves lost and in the hands of a vicious neighborly

kid named Sid, they learn to put their differences aside in an

effort to help each other escape and find their way back home.


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The transfer, as would be expected, is immaculate.  In

fact, after 16 years, Toy Story looks as new as it did then.

In fact, one could very well say that this transfer stacks up

against the best the Blu-ray format has to offer with a stunningly

beautiful picture, bold and vivid colors, deep black levels and

the finest of detail -- all of which provide seemingly 3D quality

even without the glasses.


So let's talk about Toy Story in 3D.  The skeptics out there

will talk about how studios are simply upconverting their films

to 3D in order to tap a cash cow.  In fact, up until recently, the

process of upconverting 2D to 3D titles has been met with quite

a bit of criticism.  I can actually side with those critics as there

have been a few unconverted live-action films that I have reviewed

that look less than convincing.  That being said, Disney seems to

have struck oil with their attempts to bring 2D favorites into the new

dimensional format. Recent efforts such as The Lion King and

Beauty and the Beast are quite impressive with newly-added realism

that makes one feel they are watching these films fresh for the very

first time.


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This is exactly the feeling I had watching Toy Story.  The film has

been opened up to an entirely different level that makes watching

it a totally new experience.  In fact, it's quite amazing to see this

animated masterpiece made even better by its sense of depth between

characters and foreground.  Though the process does create a cut-out

look, it also gives a much more natural feeling of space and realism

that wasn't there before.


Though the film was not conceived for the 3D format, it's amazing

to see just how well the new dimensionality within the animation works.

Take for instance the claw machine at the Pizza Planet.  Looking up from

the pile of toys at the giant claw makes it look more menacing than ever.

A daring rescue in Sid's backyard with toys hiding among the foliage looks

more convincing than ever, as if originally drawn and placed with 3D in mind.

Watch as Woody gives a speech from a Tinkertoy podium at the beginning

of the film and notice the correlation between the sizing of objects.   The

conversion comes off so perfectly that one would never think about watching

this film again in 2D.


Ghosting is not really an issue here.  There is just a hint of crosstalk in

some of the darker indoor scenes, particularly inside of Sid's bedroom.


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No surprise that the 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is an amazement within

itself.  And though the film may not sport the same complexities of newer

mixes, the natural dynamics and fine placement of effects make this a

immersive experience.  I was quite pleased with the amount of bass that

is present in this mix, accenting the stomping and roars of Rex as well

as oncoming trucks and other vehicles.


Toy Story arrives in a 4-disc set which includes the 3D Blu-ray, 2D

Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy discs.  The 3D disc includes 3D trailers

for Pixar's upcoming Planes and Brave.  The Blu-ray and DVD contain

extra features that include Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off, three

Animation Studio Stories, Buzz Takes Manhattan, Deleted Scenes, and

over 90 minutes more bonus.  All of this arrives in a lenticular cardboard

sleeve case.



CONCLUSION



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This is Toy Story like you have never seen it before!  And, really as

far as I am concerned, you haven't really seen this film until you have

witnessed it in 3D.  Disney has done an outstanding job upconverting

old favorites, which should ultimately help convince the naysayers that

there really is something to this format after all.


Trust me, once you see this film in 3D, 2D will just seem inferior.

This is a must-purchase disc for anyone who savors this format as

much as I do.

 

Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. 


Equipment


LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display

Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player

Denon 3311CI Receiver

Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers

SV Sound Subwoofer

 

Up Next.....Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 in 3D.....


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 20 Todd Erwin

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Posted October 21 2011 - 06:24 AM

Nice review, Ron!


I saw these in 3D in the theater, and remember being blown away by how much detail I forgot was in the first film, as well as how well the computer animation held up 15-16 years since it was first released in theaters.



#3 of 20 Carlo Medina

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Posted October 21 2011 - 06:57 AM

Hi Ron, First, thanks for the review! When I finally get a 3D capable TV (already have an Oppo BDP-93 and a PS3) I'll definitely enjoy watching my 3D movies. I've been opting to spend the extra $2-$5 per 3D release to get the full combo rather than the 2D only versions of recent releases. One question I had was regarding this line in your review:

with the first 4 dedicated to bringing the films up to present technology.

By this do you mean the films were re-rendered using new, current technology? Do the characters and modeling look more 2011'ish rather than 1995 and 1999'ish for the first two movies? Thanks!

#4 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 21 2011 - 07:18 AM

Hiya Carlo!


Nothing has been done as far as changing anything the

way any of the characters look.  No changes have been made

to the original film itself outside of the upconversion. It looks

exactly as it did in 1995.


Basically, the old computer technology in which the film was

rendered under had to be converted to present standards before

they could even do the upconversion.


Ronald J Epstein
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#5 of 20 Carlo Medina

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Posted October 21 2011 - 07:30 AM

Cool - thanks for the clarification Ron. Will definitely add this on my Christmas wish list (and use the HTF link, of course!). :tu:

#6 of 20 BleedOrange11

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Posted October 21 2011 - 09:13 AM

Thanks for the review! Just wanted to say that Toy Story isn't really a 2D-3D conversion in the same sense that The Lion King or Thor are 2D-3D conversions. Pixar's stereographers actually went back into the original computer animation database and added a second virtual camera next to the film's original camera to create "real" stereoscopic 3D. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are just as much "true" 3D as Toy Story 3. http://www.nytimes.c...4murp.html?_r=1

#7 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 21 2011 - 09:18 AM

Barton,


Thanks for that information and welcome to the forum.


That certainly accounts for the reason why this film looks as good

as it does.  Without having yet seen the sequels in 3D, this is the

best looking of the Disney 3D reissues thus far.


Ronald J Epstein
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#8 of 20 SD_Brian

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Posted October 21 2011 - 09:56 AM

Now 16 years later, Toy Story is still considered the greatest animated film ever made.

By whom? Don't get me wrong, Toy Story is a terrific movie and all, I've just never heard it referred to in such grandiose terms.

#9 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 21 2011 - 10:12 AM

Brian,


Before writing the review I took a look at a few internet polls

on favorite animated releases, and there seemed to be a

consistent trend of placing Toy Story at the very top.


If anyone feels offened by the statement, I have no problem

adjusting the wording to be "one of the greatest animation films

ever made."


Ronald J Epstein
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#10 of 20 Paul Hillenbrand

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Posted October 21 2011 - 10:33 AM



Nothing has been done as far as changing anything the

way any of the characters look.  No changes have been made

to the original film itself outside of the upconversion. It looks

exactly as it did in 1995.

Is the aspect ratio of Toy Story 3D 1.78:1 or is there 3D-Floating-Windows? Noticed in other Disney 3D conversions lately that Disney has been aggressive with "necessary" 3D-Floating-windows in order to avoid visual confusion experiences. The Disney people explain it here. Paul
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#11 of 20 SD_Brian

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Posted October 21 2011 - 11:28 AM

Brian,


Before writing the review I took a look at a few internet polls

on favorite animated releases, and there seemed to be a

consistent trend of placing Toy Story at the very top.


If anyone feels offened by the statement, I have no problem

adjusting the wording to be "one of the greatest animation films

ever made."

Not offended, I had just never heard Toy Story referred to as such and was wondering where the claim originated: whether it was a statement of personal opinion or if there was a poll taken (such as one of those AFI lists) where this consensus was reached.

#12 of 20 BleedOrange11

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Posted October 21 2011 - 12:12 PM

Not offended, I had just never heard Toy Story referred to as such and was wondering where the claim originated: whether it was a statement of personal opinion or if there was a poll taken (such as one of those AFI lists) where this consensus was reached.

If you check out some popular metascore movie review sites, Toy Story is consistently in the top 50 of best-rated movies of all time (and in some cases top 5). That's out of all movies. Not just animated ones. There is really just a widespread appeal for this movie and the entire Toy Story trilogy among critics.

#13 of 20 SD_Brian

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Posted October 21 2011 - 02:07 PM

If you check out some popular metascore movie review sites, Toy Story is consistently in the top 50 of best-rated movies of all time (and in some cases top 5). That's out of all movies. Not just animated ones. There is really just a widespread appeal for this movie and the entire Toy Story trilogy among critics.

Fair enough: According to Metacritic, Ratatouille, Spirited Away and Wall-E all have higher cumulative scores than Toy Story. Rotten Tomatoes lists Toy Story 2 higher than Toy Story, the AFI ranks Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Lion King and Fantasia higher than Toy Story. The Online Film Critics Society does rank Toy Story as the #1 animated film. I don't deny that Toy Story is a great (and certainly a very popular) film.

#14 of 20 JasonKZ

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Posted October 22 2011 - 05:34 AM

Thanks for the great review. Just a question about how these titles are being sold. I know you can buy them individually and they are selling a Trilogy for much cheaper. Has anyone seen the Trilogy to know if it has all the extras and everything from the individual releases? My concern is Amazon lists their 3D Trilogy set as only a 3-discer???

#15 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 22 2011 - 05:46 AM

Jason,


That's a good question, and I am unsure of the answer.


Disney sent me the 3 titles that are being sold individually outside of the set.


I imagine what is being sold in the trilogy set is just the 3D Blu-ray discs (same

content as the individuals) without the extra 2D Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy.


Ronald J Epstein
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#16 of 20 Johnny Angell

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Posted October 22 2011 - 06:45 AM

Thanks for the review! Just wanted to say that Toy Story isn't really a 2D-3D conversion in the same sense that The Lion King or Thor are 2D-3D conversions. Pixar's stereographers actually went back into the original computer animation database and added a second virtual camera next to the film's original camera to create "real" stereoscopic 3D. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are just as much "true" 3D as Toy Story 3. http://www.nytimes.c...4murp.html?_r=1

Yeah, this is true. From the moment the film was in the digital can, that had what they needed. After all, the characters and I imagine, most elements were described digitally in the computer from head-to-toe, back to front, as 3D images. The 3D was always there in the computer, just not on the screen. They didn't make it up. BTW, will there be any deals on this? If not, I'll wait to buy since I have no 3D setup and already own the trilogy in blu. However, as an earlier poster is doing, I'm planning ahead.
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#17 of 20 Johnny Angell

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Posted October 22 2011 - 06:52 AM

Thanks for the great review. Just a question about how these titles are being sold. I know you can buy them individually and they are selling a Trilogy for much cheaper. Has anyone seen the Trilogy to know if it has all the extras and everything from the individual releases? My concern is Amazon lists their 3D Trilogy set as only a 3-discer???

That has to be a typo on Amazon, they list the following specs:

•Blu-ray 3D™ Feature Film •Blu-ray™ Feature Film + Bonus •DVD Feature Film + Bonus •Digital Copy Of Feature Film •Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off •3 Animated Studio Stories •Buzz Takes Manhattan •Deleted Scenes •And Over 90 Minutes More Bonus!

The way I see it, having the 3D blu and the dvd requests two discs per film. Also, isn't it a blu-ray standard that a 3D edition also be compatible with 2D? The only way I've seen that handled so far is a separate blu disc. Now that I read the specs again, the 2D version is included. Now that's 3 discs per film. Disney has been including the digital copy on a separate disc so far, now you're up to 4 discs per film.
Johnny
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#18 of 20 Johnny Angell

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Posted October 22 2011 - 07:12 AM

After doing a little googling, the issue of whether this is a 3D package only remains unknown. There's a lot of discussion and no one knows. If you look at the packaging for both the trilogy and the single titles, the single titles specify 3D, 2D, DVD, and digital copy. No such specification is made for the trilogy. This might be the first time a 3D movie was released without a 2D version. Leave it to Disney to do that. I'm wondering if my single movie 2D blu's of the TS trilogy contain all the extras of the new single 3D blu's?
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#19 of 20 Jose.P

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Posted October 24 2011 - 02:17 AM

Just a quick question Ron. The set you reviewed was the trilogy or individual releases? If it was the trilogy how many discs were each release. Was it only the 3d version or were there multiple formats for each of the Toy Story movies?

#20 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 24 2011 - 02:53 AM

Hi Jose!


Welcome to the forum.  Hope you stick around.  Really great group here.


I received the individual titles.  Each set was comprised of 4 discs: 3D
Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy.  Toy Story 3 adds a 5th bonus

2D Blu-ray disc.



Ronald J Epstein
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