Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)
Costarring: The rest of the gang from Toy Story 3 (2010)
Introducing: Angel Kitty, Reptillus Maximus, The Cleric and Mason
Setting: Mason’s house
Plot: During a Post-Christmas playdate at Bonnie’s friend’s (Mason) house, Trixie is front and center as she must save herself and the rest of the toys from a land of delusional, barbaric dino-humanoid action figures named “Battlesaurs.”
This isn’t technically a “short” but a Made-For-TV Christmas Special. Though, it’s still shorter than a feature length movie.
Bonnie has a framed picture next to her fireplace of the moment she met Andy’s toys in Toy Story 3.
Anyone else put off by how rich and spoiled Mason appears to be??? He lives in a McMansion, has a video game room and a playroom that’s as fully stocked as an FAO Schwarz!
Apropos of nothing… “Mason” is like the boy’s version of “Madison” – two names that otherwise didn’t exist except as last names and have now become ubiquitous as first names in the last five to ten years.
Apparently, this isn’t Bonnie’s toys first rodeo at Mason’s house as evident by them expecting to see their old friends Socky, the Little Wrestlers and the Eagle Force Gang.
Mason has a pet iguana in a terrarium on top of a shelf and it may actually be Mr. Jones from last year’s Halloween Special Toy Story of Terror (2013).
There are almost too many toys to mention at Mason’s house but a few of the more notable ones are Legos, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and variant colours of cars from Cars 2 (2011).
To that end, Mason also has a Pizza Port truck made from Legos.
The Battlesaur boxes bear the pattern of the Luxo Ball and even have the inscription “LUXO” on them.
Reptillus Maximus is voiced by Kevin McKidd of television’s Rome fame. In fact, it was his role as a Roman Centurion in the aforementioned show that inspired Disney to cast him.
The Battlesaurs appear to be inspired, in part, by Sleestaks from Sid and Marty Krofft’s camp favourite, The Land of the Lost (1974-76), and the short-lived Saturday Morning cartoon, Dinosaucers (1987). While the Cleric, specifically, is a near doppelganger for the Dark Crystal (1982) antagonist species, the Skeksis.
The horn that sounds when the Cleric appears and battle begins is from the Sci-Fi classic Planet of the Apes (1968).
The Cleric makes a Star Wars (1977) reference when he says about the toys, “I find their lack of armor disturbing.”
Trixie and Maximus had already been flirting the entire episode so it’s not surprising that when they are lying flat on their backs, longingly gazing at each other after being played with and Maximus proclaims “that was glorious…” that it comes off as almost post coital.
The Toy Story series has always had a complicated relationship with commercialism but never more so than when during its original primetime television premiere that one of the commercial breaks featured an ad for the “All-New Toy Story Action Figures as seen in Toy Story that Time Forgot exclusively at Wal-Mart!”
There are mucho mas “Easter Eggs” but I tried to limit them to the ones you can actually notice upon a few cursory viewings. For the rest, you can go to WWW.THEINTERNETS.COM.
Putting a Bow on It:
In Mason’s world where toys are merely unwrapped, assembled and left to collect dust while the newest video game system gets all the play, who can blame the battle starved Battlesaurs for creating their own “Battleopolis.” Why would they even presume to be toys that are played with when they haven’t ever actually had playtime with their kid much less “given their self over” to one? But, really, it’s mostly a rehash of the themes Buzz faced during his own identity crisis in the original Toy Story (1995)… but on prehistoric steroids and much more combative. Nevertheless, this served as a welcome showcase for Kristin Schaal’s Trixie while Angel Kitty’s debut was also a lot of fun and a monotone breath of fresh air.
Finally, the world of Toy Story lends itself nicely to one-off Holiday Specials where they feature their more underutilized characters like Trixie in this one and last year’s Halloween Special with Jessie and I hope they do many more!