Woody en­ters world of 3D

‘Toy Story’ re­makes en­hance vis­ual action – but the sto­ries still shine

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOVIES -

W HEN Ge­orge Lu­cas re­leased his dig­i­tally tweaked ver­sions of the orig­i­nal Star Wars tril­ogy in the mid-1990s, his ra­tio­nale was that he wanted the ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing the films to be ev­ery­thing we re­mem­bered. If we re­mem­bered the ef­fects as be­ing more ad­vanced than they ac­tu­ally were, then that’s what he’d give us. (Oh, he also had a new tril­ogy to prime us for. And toys and video games and more.)

With the new reis­sue of the Toy

Story films, Dis­ney and Pixar fol­low the same model. They’re giv­ing their flag­ship a 3D makeover so when

Toy Story 3 opens in June, it won’t have been 11 years since we had Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the brain.

Hap­pily, Toy Story and cur­rent tech­nol­ogy do make a ter­rific match. See­ing the im­agery di­men­sion­alised adds to the al­ready tan­gi­ble curvi­ness of Woody and Buzz’s molded plas­tic world. And since the movies were con­ceived in 2D, there’s no “comin’ atcha’’ gim­mickry. When Buzz takes flight, in­fin­ity and be­yond are still gen­er­ally sit­u­ated off to one side, not right at the au­di­ence. Oooh-elic­it­ing depth-of-field mo­ments come in more nat­u­ral ways: an in­ci­den­tal shot of the green army men lin­ing up in for­ma­tion, say, or Woody’s night­mare drop into a dis­carded-toy abyss.

Pre­cisely be­cause the two movies pre­date 3D’s re­cent rise, they also do more than just pay lip ser­vice to an­i­ma­tors’ self-de­clared rule that story comes first (that’s what they say, but it sure feels like we’re see­ing some an­i­mated fea­tures that are con­tent to coast on 3D’s daz­zle fac­tor and just cob­ble to­gether a script).

The sto­ries here, par­tic­u­larly in the first in­stal­ment, feel as imag­i­na­tive as ever. And the Pixar crew even puts ef­fort into the in­ter­mis­sion, of­fer­ing a reel of 2D video trivia, clips, etc.

A memo to the tech folks: if so much of 3D is aimed at kids, what’s with the one-size-fits-all glasses? And the slight colour mut­ing con­tin­ues to be a dis­trac­tion. Toy Story is sup­posed to be all about a kid’s brightly hued world. Mr Po­tato Head’s ears should be scream­ing pink, not guest-bed­room dusty rose. – The Bos­ton Globe

Toy Story films.

NO KID’S PLAY: For­get in­fin­ity and be­yond – Woody and Buzz Lightyear have en­tered the third di­men­sion with the new ver­sions of the

NOT PEACHY: The muted colours of the toys, par­tic­u­larly Mr Po­tato Head, bother the re­viewer.

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