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While Pixar is arguably no longer the dominant imaginative force that the company once was, the team could probably just keep pumping out Toy Story-related material and you wouldn’t find me complaining. As such, I cannot wait for ABC’s upcoming Toy Story of Terror, which released the first trailer for the spooky half-hour special through Huffpost TV. This is the same trailer that was shown to the crowds at D23 earlier this year, so if you were part of the lucky group that got to see trailer, you probably won’t be as impressed as the rest of us by today's release.
It’s discouraging that the preview doesn't really say much about the plot in this clip, just offering up a bunch of gags--some of which work better than others. It’s a shame to see potty humor being used twice here, putting it in the same camp as the godawful Chipmunks movies, but having Rex stepping in something gross isn’t so terrible (I guess). I’m quite partial to vomit gags over poop ones, so watching a Pez dispenser silently “throw up” worked for me. But I’d rather see some of the special’s horror influences rather than out-of-context jokes.
The producers reportedly have drawn from such classic genre films as Psycho, Aliens and Predator while managing to keep the special kid-friendly and avoid polarizing audiences. Somehow I doubt cowgirl Jessie is going to get killed in the shower, though. Toy Story of Terror will follow the events after the third film, with young Bonnie on a road trip with her mom, going to see her grandmother. Their car gets a flat tire, so they’re forced to pull over for the night at what will probably be a spooky motel. And that’s when all sorts of madcap shenanigans will ensue. One of the toys goes missing, and the rest of the bunch will have to figure out what’s happened in order to save it.
All of the fan favorite characters will be there, including Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) and the aforementioned Rex (Wallace Shawn). Jessie (Joan Cusack) is supposed to be central to the story here, joining Woody and Buzz on their hunt for…whoever. Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton) and Trixie (Kristen Schaal) are also featured, joined for the first time by Combat Carl (Carl Weathers), a character that was blown up in the first film.
Mark your calendars and DVRs for October 16, when Toy Story of Terror will premiere. And soak it up, since this and the next Toy Story special (planned to air next spring) will be the last things you see from Pixar until 2015, which is almost as scary to think about as the creepy motel in the special.