'Toy Story of Terror': Combat Carl Never Gives Up, Combat Carl Finds a Way

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'Toy Story of Terror': Combat Carl Never Gives Up, Combat Carl Finds a Way

By Howie Decker | TV Reviews | October 17, 2013 | Comments ()


The Toy Story creative team continues to find a way as well, a way to keep the characters fresh and the fans engaged.

One of the things I love about the Toy Story franchise is PIXAR’s proven ability to introduce new characters (ie. toys) that fit in with the group and ultimately bring something new to the narrative. It’s not just “The Woody and Buzz Show” anymore, and I’d argue it hasn’t been since the first Toy Story.

Toy Story 2 introduced us to Jessie and Bullseye, and while Jessie’s backstory is the second saddest thing ever set to a Sarah McLachlan song, her character really shines in Toy Story of Terror. All of the main voice talent is back for this 30 minute special; IMDB even credits Michael Keaton with an appearance, which had me patiently waiting for a Ken cameo. Perhaps in the DVD release.

Toy Story of Terror pays homage to 80s era toys more than ever before, as Combat Carl (Carl Weathers) and his 1/3 scale friend (Combat Carl Jr.) are clearly inspired by Hasbro’s 12 inch and 3 3/4 inch G.I. Joe figures. There is a clear nod to Transformers and Voltron when the oversized robot Transitron emerges and then separates Devastator-style into 5 separate vehicles, a great moment for a current generation of parents that loved toys like these as kids. The LEGO staircase/ladder and Pez Cat were fantastic additions as well, and Mr. Pricklepants’ impressive knowledge of horror movie tropes serves as a great backdrop for the adventure.

The special pays further tribute to adult toy collectors when the antagonist is revealed to be a dishonest toy scalper, listing stolen toys for auction on “eBid” (under the seller name ‘iguanalover75’ -beware!). Woody’s ‘Buy It Now’ value is proof that PIXAR’s continuity team is at the top of their game, his $2000 sale price harkening back to his storyline in Toy Story 2.

Toy Story of Terror has every right to become an annual Halloween tradition, based on its family orientation and entertainment value for parents and kids alike. I’ll be expecting (and gladly tuning in to) a Combat Carl-Charlie Brown animated block on ABC next Halloween.

(Toy Story of Terror replays on ABC Family this weekend.)

Howie Decker is the chief blogger and editor of UnderScoopFire, a site that admittedly takes Garbage Pail Kids and M.U.S.C.L.E. figures way too seriously.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Dana Rouse

    Waiting patiently for Toy Story of Terror in the UK - another 8 days to go.

    Reading this has just increased my anticipation - strangely enough I am getting facebook messages that on the eBid auction site there is a username of Iguanalover75 who is selling Woody toys! Hilarious.

    Is the bad guy still on the loose?

  • Joey.blowey

    My only complaint was the Hamm the Piggy bank wasn't there. What the hell?

  • which is odd, because Ratzenberger is credited on IMDB as voicing Hamm in this special. As with Keaton, I wonder if the DVD release will have extra footage.

  • I loved the special and can't wait until it's available on DVD. I thought the snappy pace was derailed somewhat by the commercial interruptions. Necessary, I know. But it kind of killed some of the suspense in parts.

    Pixar's plotting is so tight, it should really all be viewed in one sitting.

  • crispin

    If this ever airs again, it shouldn't be dubbed as a Halloween special. It had absolutely nothing to do with it and I was greatly disappointed as a result. You could change the title, air this at any time of the year and no one would know the difference.

    Besides the fake-out that this was a Halloween-centric story, as a whole I thought it was pretty uninspired. Take a few of the story points from all of the movies, toss'em together, and "Toy Story of Terror" is what you get. We've seen it all before and done much, much better.

  • jollies

    You were greatly disappointed as a result? Really?

  • Thoroughly enjoyed this last night. Pixar nailed both the overall story and the details (the scared Pez dispenser throwing up a Pez; Potato Head removing his ears as the hedgehog kept blathering). Solid half-hour of TV.

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