If you were to ask me what the ideal format for a post-Toy Story 3 short would look like, it would come pretty close to Toy Story of Terror!
We get a new avenue into the stylized toy world, this time as a meta-horror movie that effectively uses all the tropes it mocks. It also gives something thematically rich for a beloved character to do: Jessie confronts her fear of being boxed up to save another toy.
Lastly, there is indeed a full-on existential crisis that accompanies the short, just like in each of the Toy Story movies proper. In 20 minutes, there’s just enough time to really get a sense of stakes and danger that a toy could be lost from her owner forever.
And yet… It all feels a bit cheap. On paper, I like the idea of these mini-films exploring the later sagas of the toys and giving us some fresh style and scenarios. But the more I watch, the more it feels like they cheapen the trilogy by rehashing and watering down the best themes and beats.
Nearly Good (4/8)
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.