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‘Toy Story 3’ Creators Say Blu-ray Couldn't Fit it All

25 Oct, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

Toy Story 3 production designer Bob Pauley

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — There are two Blu-ray Discs included in the four-disc combo pack of Toy Story 3 (Nov. 2, $45.99), packed with hours and hours of special features about the No. 1 grossing animated film of all time.

And those two Blu-rays still weren’t enough to include all the extras Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment created for the film, according to director Lee Unkrich.

“We couldn’t fit everything,” he said during a discussion about the release. “Slowly over the years we’ve been doing more and more of these special features in house. It’s hard to have a camera filming as much as we were filmed. I felt like I was in a reality show. In retrospect it was great.”

There are more than a dozen featurettes, covering everything from the scenes to the toys to the creators, commentary tracks, and a game. There’s a cute animation short about the differences between day and night, and a fact-filled animation with Buzz Lightyear and friends offering space science with the help of NASA. The filmmakers even put the commentaries for the film on the second disc, to maintain the highest possible picture and audio (a 7.1 Dolby mix) for the main feature.

Producer Darla Anderson called the bonus features for the Blu-ray “A time capsule, a historical document,” while Unkrich praised the 1080p picture as “just stunning” and “the movie looks like it did while we were making it.”

“I’m glad Blu-ray is the standard out in the world,” he said.

A “Life of the Shot” bonus takes viewers further into the making of the opening scene, with technicians and artists offering their take.

“People who are interested in learning about [the making of the film] will love it,” Unkrich said. “It took 400 people to make this movie. You get this great sense of the fabric of people and the number of talents needed to make this.”

In short, the breadth of bonus features in the set reflects just how import this movie and franchise is to Disney and the creators.

“That movie [Toy Story], for us, represents the beginning of the studio,” Unkrich said. “That film will always remain special to us. People feel a lot of satisfaction watching the characters interact again. They’re like family to us. We all have to say goodbye to things we love in life.” 

To see how much work went into every aspect of this film, look no further than the research the Pixar team put into creating the film’s villain Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. “We had walls of every teddy bear we could think of,” said production designer Bob Pauley. “We wanted something that was new, fresh.”

For voice actor John Morris (Andy), it’s the end of a journey that began 18 years ago, when he was cast for the first film at the age of seven. The casting call asked for kids to bring in a toy to play with in front of filmmakers. Morris brought in a box of 45 X-Men figures, dumped them out, and started tearing the room apart “Just like I did at home,” he said.

“It’s amazing to be part of a trilogy, ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Toy Story,’” Morris said. “It’s surreal. It’s an honor.”

From the all-around joy found in the first one to the poignant lessons of sharing and letting go found in the third, the “Toy Story” franchise has found fans of all ages, including those who do toys for a living.

“I’ve watched them umpteen times,” Marianne Szymanski, founder and president of Toy Tips, an international child development research group, said about the films. “Pixar touched a real emotional button with these movies.”

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