Woody enters world of 3D
‘Toy Story’ remakes enhance visual action – but the stories still shine
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
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.