November 29, 2014
IGN / by Matt Fowler
This Tuesday, Woody, Buzz, Rex, and the rest of the Toy Story gang return for a brand-new holiday TV special, Toy Story That Time Forgot - a crisp and clever adventure that actually syncs up better with the recent Jurassic World buzz than it does with the oncoming Christmas season.
So the set up and payoff are a bit rudimentary, as it involves Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Rex (Wallace Shawn), and Trixie (Kristen Schaal) meeting a brand new group of toys who don't know they're toys. But everything else is great fun. Especially the surprise that Woody and Buzz take an extreme backseat here and it's Schaal's Trixie who steps into center stage for a story that involves her coming to terms with never being thought of as a fearsome dinosaur by young Bonnie.
Helping her along her journey of discovery are the Battlesaurs - a legion of just-opened toys who've been neglected by their own kid owner in favor of a new video game console. A neglect that's allowed them to take over their master's room and turn it into a battle-obsessed arena of brutality for the other toys.
Kevin McKidd plays Reptillus Maximus, the Battlesaurs' leader, who's both noble and dangerous (as Buzz once was) while the special's own director, Steve Purcell, voices sinister Cleric of the group, who looks like a mix between Mystic and a Skeksi from Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal. And with the addition of the Battlesaurs comes some funny, unspoken commentary on "boy toys" that are basely and lazily imagined for nothing more than pure, armored combat. The 'Saurs even come complete with their own catchy Manowar-style jingle theme.
At first, both Trixie and Rex are excited to be welcomed into the horde, realizing their mutual dream of being scary, serious monsters. But then things quickly turn dark are the Cleric's true, scowling motivations are revealed - as is the 'Saurs limited world of vehement violence.
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Toy Story That Time Forgot may not have time for the addicting sentiment that we've grown accustomed to with these characters, but it's still a lot of fun. It basically contains the emotional capacity of a six-minute Toy Story short (which is what it was originally intended to be) so don't expect a tear-filled, transcended experience. But do expect a playful, amusing addition to the growing saga that both kids and grownups will enjoy.
Toy Story That Time Forgot airs on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 8/7c on ABC.
Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/Showrenity.