Pixar invited me to their studio in Emeryville last week for an extensive press event for Cars 2 and Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation. While the second day of the junket primarily focused on the Cars sequel, the first day was all about the first Toy Story Toon. The short is one of two that we will be seeing this year, as the second will debut alongside The Muppets in November. We will likely see more after this year, as the Toy Story short does a great job of transitioning to the format of a short film.
Let me preface this by saying that this is not a review. Additionally, you will not find any specific details about the short – at least none that have not already been revealed through the synopsis and the 30-second clip. As a recap, here is the official synopsis and the clip from the film that we have seen:
Set in new owner Bonnie’s bedroom, “Hawaiian Vacation” features Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) and Buzz (voice of Tim Allen) and the rest of the favorite “Toy Story 3” toys as they create the ultimate Hawaiian vacation for Ken (voice of Michael Keaton) and Barbie (voice of Jodi Benson). It seems Ken badly miscalculated their travel arrangements, so the gang has to create a dream getaway in Bonnie’s Midwestern bedroom—in the middle of winter. “Hawaiian Vacation” also features the voices of Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Blake Clark, Bonnie Hunt, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Jeff Garlin and John Ratzenberger.
After watching the entire six minute short, I can say that I really enjoyed it. After watching it the first time, I felt the urge to watch it again several more times to experience everything we saw on the big screen. Sadly, we were only treated to it once, but already I have a feeling it will be a short we all choose to watch often. It is so rich in content that repeat viewings are not only pined for, they are essential.
Closer to June 24, when I have the chance to view it again, I will share an actual review. However, it is rather safe to say that Pixar has another winner in the shorts department on their hands – like we ever doubted the studio to deliver on a film starring Toy Story characters. The feature films have gone on to form one of the most beloved trilogies of all-time, so Pixar knew what it was getting into when it decided to go the shorts route with Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the gang.
Under pressure, it looks like Pixar has delivered yet again! We will have much more coverage of Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation, all the way up to its release with Cars 2 on June 24.