Throughout the years, Pixar has tackled several different genres, their films often being clever takes that both parody and celebrate classic films. With WALL-E, director Andrew Stanton and the studio went sci-fi, and also maintained a clear focus on the titular character’s story. In their upcoming Christmas special, the studio is returning to honor sci-fi again with a new entry in the Toy Story franchise. It is called Toy Story That Time Forgot and it premieres on TV this holiday season!
At San Diego Comic Con, Pixar held a panel sharing a wealth of new details and concept art for the Toy Story special. Peter Sciretta from /Film was there, and shared quite a few details that sets up the story. The studio is very good at not disclosing potential spoilers, so everything that follows should not be spoilery. Unless you want to avoid all possible details, proceed.
Present at the event were the director of the short, Steve Purcell (co-director of Brave), executive producer Galyn Susman, head of story Derek Thompson, actress Kristen Schaal (voice of Trixie the Triceratops), while it was moderated by composer Michael Giacchino, who is also scoring the special, much as he did the previous one, Toy Story OF TERROR! The main cast, including Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz), and Joan Cusack (Jessie) may not have been there, but they will all be returning once again to voice their characters in the special.
In order to beef up the Toy Story world, the creative team actually developed a new line of characters called the Battlesaurs, dinosaurs in armor, and animated an opening sequence for a fictional animated series starring them. Clearly meant to channel some of the notable toys and animated series from the 1980s, the work done by the team to flesh out the story and give it more depth seems to be incredible.
Peter shared more about the set up for the special:
The story follows the Toy Story characters in “a post-Christmas play date” that puts them “in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional.” And of course, it wouldn’t be a Toy Story tale if it didn’t involve the toys trying to return home (to Bonnie’s room), this time under the leadership of Trixie the Triceratops.
Trixie the Triceratops is the main character of this new story, she even gets her own Battlesaur armor. Voice actor Kristen Schaal describes Trixie as being a dinosaur that survived the ultimate destruction so she has a carefree attitude now. Trixe is a dinosaur but she never gets to play one at Bonnie’s house. So when Bonnie visits her friend Mason’s house, Trixie is eager to play along with other dinosaur-looking toys. But little does she know the Battlesaur toys aren’t playing around, actually believing the toy storyline much in the way Buzz Lightyear did when we first met him.
There appear to be no shortage of references to the sci-fi genre, from classic sci-fi animated series to Godzilla and kaiju monsters, which inspired the addition of a beast character named Goliathan. The character additions don’t stop there either, as we will see the introduction of Angel Kitty, a Christmas ornament that has a halo above her head.
Thankfully, Mattel will be releasing a series of figures inspired by the special during the holidays, which will be music to the ears of those who clamor for merchandise based on Pixar shorts and specials.
Toy Story That Time Forgot will debut on ABC on Dec 2 and there will be BattleSaur toys! #SDCC pic.twitter.com/irMSs88e0x
— Ricky Brigante, Host (@InsideTheMagic) July 24, 2014
Head over to /Film to view more details about the development of the special, more characters that we can expect to see, and more images of the concept art that was shared.
UPDATE (11:55 PM): Disney has shared a still from the special, which we spotted at the Oh My Disney blog:
Toy Story That Time Forgot premieres on December 2 on ABC!