Pixar shorts can be incredibly creative and beautiful, and the Toy Story specials are no exception. From sweet, lighthearted fluff like Hawaiian Vacation to the weirdly intense Skins-like chaos of Partysaurus Rex, these shorts give fun glimpses into the toys’ life with Bonnie in lieu of a full-blown sequel.
A sneak peek at the next addition to the Toy Story library of tales was revealed last week at Disney’s D23 Expo, during which the first ten minutes of Toy Story of Terror, a spooktastic half-hour special set to be aired in the fall, was screened for audiences in attendance. Toy Story of Terror was directed by Angus MacLane, who also directed previous Pixar shorts Small Fry and BURN-E.
Slash Film gave a description of the footage that was shown, and it sounds like Toy Story of Terror will be a shameless homage to horror movies. It takes place on a trip to Bonnie’s grandmother’s house, when the family stops at a roadside motel for the night. Things quickly go awry as the toys begin disappearing and strange occurrences plague them, and the whole thing is narrated by the resident drama expert, Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton). Here is Slash Film‘s description of the first ten minutes:
“The special opens with black-and-white footage of humans running from Dracula in a graveyard. The scene turns out to be part of a movie that Rex and the other toys are watching in the back of a car, from their perch inside the trunk. A flat tire bumps Jessie into the tool chest, and the entire family pulls over into a roadside motel.
“Later in the evening, the toys head out, splitting into smaller groups. Mr. Potato Head vanishes. As Woody, Buzz, and Jessie are investigating, Rex pushes them down a vent. A while later something grabs Woody and Buzz; it turns out to be Mr. Potato Head’s arm.
“The characters (including Mr. Potato Head’s arm) wind up in a bathroom and then get taken too. Combat Carl shows up to warn Jessie that he’s seen things, horrible things, and that they’d better run back now. There’s a noise, and Combat Carl disappears, leaving Jessie alone in the bathtub.”
The description also promises plenty of gags about classic horror tropes and self-referential jokes. If there were ever going to be a Toy Story short that was a third of the length of a feature film, then making one based on horror movies was probably the best way to go in terms of the amount of mileage that can be found in it. Disney also revealed that Toy Story of Terror will be aired on ABC a couple of weeks before Halloween, and it’s likely that sometime after that, it’ll be made available on DVD as part of a Pixar collection.
With Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Wallace Shawn, Don Rickles and Kristen Schaal all returning to their roles for Toy Story of Terror, with Stephen Tobolowsky (Californication) as a hotel clerk and Carl Weathers (Predator) as Combat Carl, this special sounds like it will be pretty unmissable.
Will you be tuning in to watch Toy Story of Terror, or does it sound like it would be too taxing on the nerves?
Toy Story of Terror will air on ABC @8pm on Wednesday, October 16th.