Nearly everyone loves the Toy Story franchise. It’s one of the few series to never go down in quality over three films, in addition to a series of Toy Story shorts that are very entertaining. My favorite is the Halloween themed short Toy Story of Terror! It introduces children to all the traditional horror tropes while also giving an important emotional lesson on how to overcome our fears.
The short starts out with the team going on a trip with Bonnie and her Mom. They are watching a scary movie in the trunk of the car. During this movie within a movie, the short does a great job capturing the feel of the classic Universal Monster Movies. If a parent is concerned with those films being too scary for their kids, this would be a nice way to test their kids. If the kids are scared by this short then they probably aren’t ready for the real scary films.
Eventually the toys get to a small motel where creepy strange things start happening. We get to meet a bunch of fun new characters that are at the hotel. I particularly liked a bunny made out of LEGOs. The way it moved made me wish we could get a Pixar LEGO Movie.
But the best part of this short is Jesse’s journey. We find out that she has a lot of anxiety about being enclosed in a box after her many years boxed with her former owner Emily. The way they animate her panic and Joan Cusack’s performance really ring true for those kind of experiences. Even her heavy breathing reminded me of when I have had a panic attack. It felt authentic and real. The panic was also animated in a very realistic, tense way.
Fortunately we also see her work through and eventually conquer those fears. This would be a great short to watch with your kids if they are feeling fearful. For example, if they are afraid of the dark, then you can show them Jessie’s journey and give them encouragement to overcome their fears.
Toy Story of Terror! is only 20 minutes, so it is the perfect little Halloween tale for this time of year. Enjoy it with your family and let us know what you think!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes