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|Home: BigScreen Journal - Disney to Offer Special 3D Double Feature of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" on October 2, 2009|
Toy Story was the first computer animated feature-length movie and it marked the debut of Pixar Animation Studios in 1995. Back then, Pixar was a small company few people had heard of that did a few animated shorts, but nothing as large as a full-length movie. They had a long-time relationship with Disney, and in 2006, the two companies formally joined forces. Now, it's hard to think of Disney without thinking of movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Incredibles.
3D technology has become a new and exciting buzzword for the movie industry as studio chiefs are pounding the pavement pitching the wonders that 3D can bring to the movieplex and a huge number of movies are being produced in, or converted to, 3D. To date, no single movie has been the gangbuster hit in 3D that I think the studios are hoping for. Monsters vs. Aliens 3D received OK reviews, but most critics panned the story and many in the audience didn't see the huge advantage in the movie-going experience that they were promised.
Can it be different with the Toy Story franchise? I think so.
First off, the biggest thing that any movie needs is a good story and compelling characters. Buzz and Woody and friends have this to spare, so that's taken care of.
Second, and this is going to be pivotal for the success of the 3D format, is the 3D going to be useful to the story and the experience, or is it going to feel like an amusement park ride? I have to believe that, with Academy Award winning John Lasseter at the helm, this is going to be the best it possibly can be.
Lasseter was quoted in the press release as saying:
"The 'Toy Story' films and characters will always hold a very special place in our hearts and we're so excited to be bringing these first two films back for audiences to enjoy in a whole new way thanks to the latest in 3D technology. Disney Digital 3D offers lots of great new possibilities for the art of animation and we will continue to use this new technology to push the boundaries in telling our stories. With 'Toy Story 3' shaping up to be another great adventure for Buzz, Woody and the gang from Andy's room, we thought this would be the perfect way to let audiences experience the first two films all over again. To see the movies back to back will be an amazing treat as well. This is certainly nostalgic for me and reminiscent of my youth when double features were the norm."
These characters and stories are the foundation of Pixar, and they must be a matter of personal and professional pride for anyone that was there in the beginning, and that has joined the company since. There's a lot riding on doing not just a good job, but an excellent job!
Since the Toy Story movies were computer generated, the Disney Pixar team is able to go back into the source files for the movie and now recreate the movie in a 3D space. If done with the right amount of skill and restraint, I think we're going to see a 3D experience by which all others will be judged.
All this, of course, is leading up to the release of Toy Story 3 in Disney Digital 3D on June 18, 2010.
Am I setting my expectations too high? Quite possibly. But I think if anyone can do 3D right, it's going to be Pixar.
If they can't do it, the industry needs to back away from their excitement and bluster, and get back to doing movies the old-fashioned, no-glasses-necessary way, and concentrate on making the stories and characters the best that they can be.
Source: Walt Disney Studios Press Release
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