Here's why you should check out Pixar short film Toy Story Of Terror! The original Toy Story was Pixar's first feature film, in addition to being the first entirely computer-animated movie. The story follows the sentient toys of a boy named Andy, with Andy's previous favorite toy Woody (Tom Hanks) becoming jealous when his position is threatened by the arrival of new action figure Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).
The chemistry of the voice cast combined with the groundbreaking animation and impeccable script made Toy Story a hit. Toy Story 2 started life as a straight to video release, but when Disney became impressed by its progress, it was upgraded to a full theatrical sequel. Toy Story 3 from 2010 was initially considered the end of the series, with the toys going on another adventure that ends with them being given away by Andy to a young girl named Bonnie. It was an emotional, hilarious entry that rounded off the story - but the Toy Story saga didn't end there.
The gang reunited in 2013 for ABC animated short Toy Story Of Terror! The plot follows the toys as they are taken on a trip with Bonnie, and they end up spending the night in a creepy motel. When Mr Potato Head (Don Rickles) goes missing, the Toy Story gang decide to look for him. The others are soon attacked and taken by a strange creature until only Jessie remains. It's eventually revealed the motel owner has trained an iguana to steal the toys of guests to sell online, and the gang has to figure a way to get out of trouble.
Toy Story of Terror! adds a fun horror feel to the franchise and while there's nothing supernatural actually happening, it adds a nice new flavor. The plot puts the focus on Jessie (Joan Cusack), who has to overcome her own fears and self-doubts to save the day. Timothy Dalton's Mr Pricklepants adds some funny narration to the short, and it also introduced Carl Weathers (The Mandalorian) as new toy Combat Carl.
While Toy Story 3 felt like the perfect ending, Toy Story Of Terror! showed there was still life in the premise. All the actors do great work and the short itself would receive strong reviews. The gang returned again in 2014 for another short film titled Toy Story That Time Forgot, though it was considered a slight letdown following Toy Story Of Terror!
Fans were shocked to discover Pixar was pressing ahead with Toy Story 4, which finds Woody questioning his place in the world as a toy. The cast has promised the film will be an emotional final outing for the franchise, and new characters played by Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Keanu Reeves will appear. While Toy Story Of Terror! is only a short, it remains one of the franchise's most underrated outings, and any fan of the series should give it a try.
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019