One of the highlights of the Disney Animation panel at this year’s D23 Expo was getting a chance to watch the first ten minutes of the upcoming Halloween special “Toy Story OF TERROR!” (sorry, that scene from “Planes: Fire and Rescue“). Even though the footage was somewhat rough (and temped with music from “Ed Wood,” which was actually kind of neat), it was totally compelling. Instead of being an anthology piece, like the recent “Shrek” Halloween special (and countless “Treehouse of Horror” episodes of “The Simpsons“), it assumes a single narrative thread, appropriating the “spooky motel” conceit of “Psycho” and “Vacancy,” as an unseen malevolent force hunts hunt our toys after Bonnie’s family stops at a roadside inn on a dark and stormy night. Now a new trailer has been released for the 30-minute-special, so you too can get spookily excited.
Billed as “Pixar’s First Television Special,” the clip shows a lot of the toys sneaking around the hotel room but not much in the way of story or character (everyone, including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, are back to reprise their roles). Still: it looks like a whole lot of fun, especially the gag where the Pez dispenser throws up a chalky fruity brick (in terror, of course). The clip gives you a sense of the mood and overall tone of the piece, which is both hilarious and somewhat scary. When the ten minutes were up at D23, the audience let out an audible groan. Quite frankly, we can’t wait to see the rest.
The animation for “Toy Story of Terror” was produced by the Emeryville campus, who produced the features, and not the Canadian Pixar outpost, who were responsible for the three amazing “Toy Story Toons” short films (“Hawaiian Vacation,” “Partysaurus Rex” and our personal favorite “Small Fry,” which, like “Toy Story OF TERROR!,” was directed by Angus MacLane) and the cast for the special includes Allen, Hanks, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Kristen Schaal and Timothy Dalton (who gets a good line in this trailer), plus Carl Weathers, who plays the G.I. Joe-like Combat Carl. Pixar favorite Michael Giacchino provides the final score.
What’s interesting about the movie being billed as “Pixar’s First Television Special” is that the first “Toy Story” started life as a 30-minute-long Christmas special, originally as a kind of expanded version of the Pixar short film “Tin Toy.” This idea was ultimately vetoed for the far grander plan of creating the first feature-length computer-generated film, and the rest, as they say, is history. Watch below. [Bleeding Cool]