Buzz, Jessie, Woody and Mr. Pricklepants in Pixar's "Toy Story of TERROR." Photo: Disney/Pixar
Buzz, Jessie, Woody and Mr. Pricklepants in Pixar’s “Toy Story of TERROR.” Photo: Disney/Pixar

What do toys do in the trunk while you’re in the middle of a road trip? They break into your portable DVD player and watch movies of course. So begins the latest chapter in the Toy Story universe.  Toy Story of TERROR! is Disney•Pixar’s first TV special and it is has everything you love about the franchise in a small “fun-size” bite. Seriously, it has all the artistic standards you would expect from a full-length movie, including a pretty involved plot, set within the boundaries of a 30 minute special space.

While not truly a Halloween tale since there is no reference to the holiday within the story, the special plays perfectly well for this season. A portion of the gang is on their way home with their new owner Molly, when the humans have trouble with their car and have to stay the night at a roadside motel. Inside the motel and late at night, Mr. Potato Head decides to explore the room and to take advantage of the “free stuff” he can find, but soon, he’s missing. One by one the each of the other toys vanishes as well and it becomes clear that the only one who can save the others is Jessie the cowgirl.

While “terror” is in the title, this isn’t really a scary story – unless you are a toy. There is much build up by the dramatic Mr. Pricklepants character, (who is having the time of his life with this mystery) and some scenes may spook young ones, but no more than the other Toy Story tales. If you child was okay watching them, this one will be a breeze.

There is much to love with the short story. Instead of Buzz or Woody, this story centers more on Jessie and how she conquers her fears. It’s a lesson that every child and parent can relate to and learn from. Some parents may be upset that Jessie ultimately relies on herself to get through her trial instead of a higher being, but don’t overthink this. This is a world where toys were created by the hands of man, not God.

Like the films that preceded it, Toy Story of TERROR! has many laugh out loud moments and is very clever. The common theme of friendship and “no toy gets left behind” is alive and well here.

The cast of Toy Story OF TERROR! includes Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Joan Cusack as Jessie, Carl Weathers as Combat Carl/Combat Carl Jr., Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as Rex and Kristen Schaal as Trixie.

The special will air on the following times:

  • Tuesday, October 20 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC
  • Thursday, October 29 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC
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