Review: Toy Story That Time Forgot

Mama Fisi
Mama Fisi's picture

Pixar's Toy Story franchise continues to impress with its high-quality animation, imaginative plots, and sensitive voice acting.  The latest offering in the series is a Christmas special, "Toy Story That Time Forgot," where the old gang of Woody, Buzz, Trixie, Rex, and Angel Kitty cross paths with a very intense tribe of Battlesaurs during a play date at a neighbor's house.

Part short film, part long commercial, this film is full of dazzling visuals and humor.  Three years in the making, "That Time Forgot" has Trixie the triceratops ruefully wishing that her kid, Bonnie, would play with her "like a dinosaur" for a change, instead of some imaginary thing the little girl cooks up in her fertile imagination.

When Bonnie takes Trixie along with her to a friend's house, Trixie, along with Rex, Buzz, Woody, and the adorable little tree ornament Angel Kitty are left alone in Mason's room with an Aladdin's Cave of new toys and playsets, while Mason and Bonnie are playing a new video game in the adjoining room.  The faithful old toys wander around and enter a breathtaking playset ruled by dramatic armored reptile men, the "Battlesaurs," and meet their commander, Reptilius Maximus, who becomes quite taken with Trixie.

The Battlesaur's cleric--who looks very much like a Skexis from The Dark Crystal--shows disdain for the "unarmored" newcomers.  Rex and Trixie are outfitted by the Battlesaurs' sparky little armourer, while Buzz, Woody, and Angel mysteriously disappear.  Trixie is extraordinarily pleased by the armor and weaponry she receives, while Rex gets a set of long, mechanical arms.

Then a tournament begins in the arena, and to their horror, Rex and Trixie find Reptilius fighting and brutally beating their friends Socky (a sock monkey that fights like King Kong) and two other old toys belonging to Mason, one of which gets decapitated.  Then Woody and Buzz and Angel Kitty are brought in.  They shout that the Battlesaurs have never been played with, and Buzz is astonished that they don't even know they're toys (ba-dum-dum.) Rex and Trixie refuse to fight, but Rex's armaments turn out to be controlled by the evil cleric, who turns him on the old school toys.  When the Battlesaurs discover Bonnie's name written on Trixie's foot, they accuse her of being a slave, having surrendered to this "Bonnie."  The Battlesaurs never surrender, she is told, and Reptillus, who had been interested in her, coldly rejects her.  The cleric orders the newcomers to be dropped into the Pit (the air duct with its whirling fan.)

Trixie realizes it's up to her to save the day, and so she gallops through the bedroom and across the hall, to shut down the video game in the hopes of bringing the two children in to play with the toys.  Reptillus pursues her, but when he encounters the empty box that he came in, he realizes in shock that he is actually a toy.

He chases Trixie under the computer console to stop her from hitting the power switch on the surge protector, but Trixie convinces him that surrendering oneself to the whims of "your kid" is what being a toy is all about.  Reptillus realizes she is right, and uses his weapon to shut off the power, then stands rigidly in anticipation of being picked up and played with by Mason.

The two children then spend a glorious afternoon playing with all the toys, and when it's time for Bonnie to go home, Reptillus admits to Trixie that he had the time of his life.  After she leaves, he stands in the window, vowing that his heart will burn for her until they meet three-thirty on Tuesday.