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MouseStation 354 - The Toys Are Back, With a New Dimension

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On today's show, Steven Ng joins Mark to discuss the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature and the upcoming Toy Story 3.

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Feature: The Toys Are Back, With a New Dimension

Steven joins Mark to discuss the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature and the upcoming Toy Story 3.

On Monday, it was announced that the reaction to the re-release of the first two movies was so positive that its run has been extended, so if you haven't caught it yet, it's not too late.

Disney-Pixar did a nice job of creating the introductions and intermission entertainment.Since Mark waited until the second week of release, he was able to ask folks who had seen it the first weekend when is the best time to make a run to the restroom between movies. Armed with that knowledge, he and The Kid ran to the restroom during the closing credits of the first movie, and were back in time to watch all of the intermission. Many of the short takes shown during the intermission were originally interstitials shown during ABC's 1 Saturday Morning back in 1995, and also appeared as bonus features on the Ultimate Toy Box DVD set. Mark particularly got a kick out of the "Word Scramble" during the intermission.

Mark was really surprised by how many in the audience were reacting as if they had never seen it before. One person sitting behind his wife thought something that had always been in the movie was brand new.

Mark's wife compared the "re-release the movies in 3-D before the release of the new movie" tactic was very similar to what George Lucas did with the re-release of the original 3 Star Wars movies as "Special Editions" before launching the second trilogy. Mark and Steven then detoured into a discussion of the Star Wars series. Mark also noted that the marathon of Star Wars episodes 4, 5 and 6 during the re-release cycle reminded him of the Sci-Fi Marathon back when he was at Case Western Reserve University.

Mark felt that the re-release of the first two Toy Story movies – aside from being a promotional bonanza – was also a way to do a rendering test for the Toy Story universe. Considering the fact that the movies were not designed with 3-D in mind, they came out really well. Mark and Steven discussed some of what worked and didn't work in the conversion to 3-D.

The discussion also covered the aim of using 3-D and the difference between how to best use it in a theatrical release as opposed to theme park 3-D movies.

Mark and Steven then talked about some of the casting and new character info for Toy Story 3. You can see Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich's video announcing some of this here. To be among the first to hear more news from Lee, you can follow him on Twitter. You can also see the trailer for Toy Story 3 here.

Mark and Steven discussed the cast of the third movie. With the exception of the late Jim Varney, all of the original voices are back, including John Morris as Andy and Laurie Metcalf as Andy's mother. Steven talked about some of the information that John Lasseter discussed and revealed at his talk at the D23 Expo. Michael Keaton as Ken (to the returning Jodi Benson's Barbie) and Timothy Dalton's Mr. Pricklepants were especially notable, as were Whoopi Goldberg and Bonnie Hunt. Blake Clark (who was actually friends with Jim Varney) has taken over the role of Slinky Dog.

In talking about some of the other returning voices, Steven and Mark both couldn't avoid doing their Wallace Shawn imitations. They wrapped it up with some more chat about the movies.

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng and to announcer Andrew Rich.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).