The Toy Story films may now be over but this short film came out in the UK as part of Halloween programming. I didn't know what to expect from it – perhaps it was just a lazy TV spin off to generate income and keep the brand fresh, but actually it was a very enjoyable little short with all the main characters returning as well as some great new ones. The plot sees the gang checking into a motel where, as Mr Pricklepants points out, terrible things can happen. Sure enough the gang start getting picked off one at a time, confronting Jessie with her worst fears which she must overcome to save the gang.
With this plot the short has a knowing humor based on horror movies and it wears this well. It isn't all this though, the film also has a nice message about overcoming fear and does a good job to bring that out of Jessie very quickly for maximum use. The film is not as impacting, intelligent nor as funny as the films, but it is still good enough to be worth watching for what it does well. I laughed out loud a couple of times (pretty good for 20 minutes) and was amused consistently for the rest.
The characters are great. I liked that the originals all returned, although Hanks and Allen clearly did their work in one day in the studio. Cusack is good while Dalton, Shawn, Schaal, Rickles, and others are all good value. The addition of Carl Weathers not only pleased me as an Arrested Development reference, but he was also a very funny character; Pezcat was also good and produced the biggest laugh from me. Overall a very enjoyable seasonal short film with high production values and high quality all round.
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