Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story That Time Forgot”
Directed & Written By: Steve Purcell
Produced By: Galyn Susman
Admittedly, I had no intention of reviewing this short film but having viewed it, I find myself incapable of not offering my own thoughts and opinions towards it. However, due to it being a short film of all twenty-some minutes in length, I shall focus firstly whether or not is one geared towards the holiday season, the freshly introduced “Battlesaurs” and the characters Reptillus Maximus and Angel Kitty, and upon the morale of the story.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you all. Toy Story That Time Forgot is as much a Christmas story as say… Rise of the Guardians is. There are elements of the holiday season sprinkled here and there but overall there is next to nothing of Christmas in the story save for the character of Angel Kitty.
A toy ornament of a literal kitty with golden wings and a halo too coincide with her tiny trumpet, Angel Kitty is a complete and utter mystery to everyone, the toys included. While there is no argument that she is first and foremost a Christmas themed toy, there is more to this tiny kitten than meets the eye. She speaks in an almost reverent sounding voice of a young girl and her words are always a quotation of wisdom the likes of which I can honestly say is both adorably endearing and immensely creepy to hear. Her facial expression rarely changes from the wide-eyed staring that cats are famous for the world over and yet…
Darn it, I want one to hang on my Christmas tree…
As to the Battlesaurs themselves… I had read that three years were spent in the creation of this short film and that two of them had been geared towards the creation of the Battlesaurs and their respected backstories as though they were not only real toys but ones based on an extremely popular cartoon series to boot. It wasn’t just the creation of the Battlesaurs as toys but rather they are toys with an actual story behind them and not one simply created for the heck of it. Each and every one of them has a purpose both as a toy and as the character that they represent.
There are moments, lots and lots of moments if I’m to be honest, where I frankly forgot that I was watching toys interacting with one another and instead presumed I had begun watching a cartoon straight from the 80’s or 90’s. The Battlesaurs, as of the time of this posting, aren’t a realized concept in our world but I could easily see it being made into one and succeeding with the same degree as other shows of those eras and perhaps even more so with the likes of Reptillus Maximus leading them.
I’m not going to lie I love the character of Reptillus Maximus both as the actual character and as a toy. It is not rare to see humanoid dinosaurs, and I myself had a childhood wherein there were some operating under the title of Extreme Dinosaurs, but it is rare to see them done right. I don’t mean in a literal scientific sense of a perfect blend of human and dinosaur but rather that they are dinosaurs that evolved into humanoids and while elements of their prehistoric selves remain evident, they’re an entirely new race. While a good multitude of the Battlesaurs are expressively evident to their dinosaurian nature, and quite a few possessing the tyrannosaur blood in their plastic molds, Reptillus is just… just so right.
I don’t know if it’s the combination of the stupendous animation qualities of Pixar or the superbly fitting voicework of Kevin McKidd, but Reptillus fits his role as being both the champion Battlesaur and a toy fresh from the box. Initially falling under the same syndrome that Buzz had in that he believed himself to well and truly be a Battlesaur and not a toy, Reptillus’ worldview is opened by Trixie and… Well, I shall not spoil it any further than to say that the interactions between him and Trixie are not only adorable but, in all honesty…
I’d ship it.
Initially, I presumed that the morale of the story was of people accepting that the roles that they are given are not always the ones that they want but can still enjoy regardless. With Trixie, the toy triceratops, having been assigned every role but an actual dinosaur by her owner Bonnie, it is a logical presumption to make and it is truthfully the main morale of the story as a whole.
Yet, when one looks towards the children rather than their toys, there is another morale to be had from the story and one that the modern and future generations should truly try and learn. The owner of the Battlesaurs, a boy named Mason, has been given the entire collection as a gift but has also received the ever coveted “Optimum X,” a gaming system on par with the likes of the PS4 or Xbox-One.
Personally, given the state of the room that the gaming system is found in, I believe that the game system was intended towards either an older sibling or the boy’s own parents. I say this in the sense that the Optimum X was given a whole room to itself across from the boy’s own room and has enough side bling, like virtual reality enhancing lenses and motion-reactive gaming chair, that it had to be intended for someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt that the boy is a good lad and well deserving of the title of being nice but he had to have been a saint to get both an advanced gaming system and an entire collections worth of toys at the same time.
… Still, back to my main point…
Mason, having been so enamored by the Optimum X hasn’t even so much as looked at his Battlesaur toys since he opened them from their respected boxes. Even little Bonnie, a child with enough imagination to make the likes of Dreamfinder fill his idea bag a thousand times over, was enraptured by the spectacular graphics and gaming possibilities of the Optimum X. There is no stranger a sight than seeing a pair of kids both around kindergarten age playing a video game to a degree that only the most avid of gamers can reach.
It wasn’t until Trixie managed to convince Reptillus to turn off the power for the Optimum X that the spell was broken over Bonnie whom, upon discovering the Battlesaur, promptly started to play with him as a child ought to with a toy. Mason, initially began to restart the game system but upon seeing how much fun Bonnie was having playing with a toy and her own imagination, promptly abandoned it in favor of his actual toys.
That is the hidden lesson there, gentlemen and ladies. In an era that is well and truly earning its title of Electronic Age, we of the older generations must remember the times of the past and that yes, the electronic toys of today are fun and incredibly enjoyable, we must not forget the absolute fun that can be had exercising our own imagination with toys that don’t play for themselves but are played with by a child’s own hands.
Overall, while I can’t say that Toy Story That Time Forgot is necessarily a Christmas special or one that focuses on the toys we know and love, it is one well worth watching and then some. In point of fact, I shall go on further to say that any and all Disney or Pixar employees who happen to stumble upon my humble blog, please heed these words.
Two years of work went into the creation of the Battlesaurs and while it shined in an animated short, I have absolutely no doubt that they’d continue on to greater heights if given their own television series in a glorious corona to make the likes of the sun seem dark by comparison. If even the barest whisper is made to the toys being made real and the cartoon series set to air, you can be assured that I will not only be camped out in front of my local toy store but will have my eyes firmly glue to a television screen. Thus I end this review in the ever-wise words of a certain space trekking captain:
Make it so.