Disney keep their favorite little toys alive with yet another short adventure, this time in the vein of Halloween. While, it’s not a full length narrative, it does present the same stakes and personal back story that the three feature films have, and is an entertaining look in to the lives of the toys with their new owner Bonnie. After watching a horror movie while on the road with Bonnie, her mom and she stop at a local motel where Mr. Pricklepants is convinced horror awaits them.
Checking in to their new room, Mr. Potato Head goes missing and suddenly the toys begin to panic. Jessie especially has a fear of what lurks in the darkness of their room, after revealing her fear of boxes after spending years sealed in one. Slowly as the toys begin looking for their missing friend, they go missing one by one and discover something sinister at hand. The motel owner is using his lizard to steal toys from customers, and is selling them online. Now Woody and the group have to figure out how to get back to Bonnie before they’re all sealed and shipped to other countries forever.
The animation is as top notch as ever, providing some truly interesting moments of empathy and realism for the toys, as they not only have to face the dreaded collector, but are rapidly running out of time and may not make it home with Bonnie. Carl Weathers plays Combat Carl, a large soldier toy that has been captured, and helps Woody and his group find a way to escape, so that he can be united with his owner Billy.
It’s a great miniature adventure with the introduction of some unique characters and the writers manage to convey their back stories and personalities very well in such a short time. Jessie has to eventually face her fear of being sealed in a box when Woody is shipped off by the evil collector, and we’re given a more expanded look at interesting toys, including a PEZ dispenser and, my favorite, Transitron, the Transformer toy that can assemble in multiple parts. Fans of “Toy Story” will enjoy this adventure that ends on a hilarious final scene typical of Pixar.