Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Toy Story that Time Forgot

Here we are again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly viewing and blogging about a movie I own.  Here, we get into Pixar's most recent foray into TV specials, Toy Story That Time Forgot.  This is originally in my notes at November 8, 2015.

Toy Story That Time Forgot Poster; drawn by comic legend Mike Mingola

Well, Pixar has decided to expand into the realm of animated TV specials, and last year, they gave us their Christmas special, Toy Story that Time Forgot.  With all these Toy Story offshoots that have come following Toy Story 3 (i.e. the shorts and the TV specials), I really enjoy them when they explore the characters a little more or explore some other facet of the Toy Story universe.  And Time Forgot is OK.  It doesn't really explore those unexplored facets that much, but it does try.

This time, we get into the mind of Trixie, one of the new toys introduced in Toy Story 3.  Trixie is a toy triceratops, obviously designed to be from the same toyline as Rex, and she's a little frustrated.  Bonnie (the girl who inherited all of Andy's toys at the end of Toy Story 3) rarely uses Trixie as a dinosaur in her playtime, and Trixie would just like to be a dinosaur for once. 

The connection to Christmas is tenuous at best.  It takes place a few days after Christmas, and Bonnie goes off on a playdate with her friend Mason.  Woody, Buzz, Rex, Trixie, and a Christmas tree ornament that got swept up in Bonnie's playtime, go along.  Mason is glued to his new video game console, leaving Bonnie's toys to go off explore and meet Mason's new toys.

This is it where it gets nerdtacular for me.  Mason got a complete set of toys called Battlesaurs...anthropomorphic dinosaurs.  Battlesaurs are the ultimate mash-up of every 1980s toyline.  They've got playsets like Castle Greyskull.  They've got weapons and action features.  They've got a cartoon, and all the figures chant the theme song.  It is glorious.  Trixie starts falling for Reptilus Maximus, our He-Man-like leader of the hero toys, and the feeling is mutual. 

But here's the wrinkle, and this is where it starts getting into familiar territory.  Because Mason's been glued to his video games, he hasn't played with the Battlesaurs yet.  As such, they're all suffering from the Buzz Lightyear delusion that they're real, and thus they're just acting out their media franchise.  In fact, there is a lovely reference to that.

Woody:  They haven't been played with!  They all think they're real!
Buzz:  Incredible, isn't it?
(Woody shoots Buzz a "Really?" look.)

So then, in order to save Woody and Buzz and the rest of Mason's toys from being slaughtered by the Battlesaurs, Trixie has to get Mason and Bonnie away from the video games and playing with the toys. 

It is a fun special, but I had more fun with the Halloween special.  Maybe it's because of the choice of Trixie as the lead.  We really didn't get to know her that much in Toy Story 3, so I really didn't have any desire to get to know her more.

And, as I said, it's connection to Christmas for a Christmas special is tenuous.  We get that Christmas tree ornament that gets swept up in Bonnie's playtime, and it only speaks in inspirational holiday platitudes, which is a little strange. 

It's fun, if a little familiar.

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