Late yesterday, Disney sent out a release linking to a video message from "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich. There is apparently much reason to celebrate around the Pixar/Disney Animation studios these days, as the 3-D theatrical re-launch of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" in a double feature has been doing very well. So well in fact that the Mouse House has decided to extend the run, which was originally supposed to last for a brief two-week window.
This is great news. The first two "Toy Story" flicks are a lot of fun and all reports indicate that the 3-D upgrades are first rate. If you haven't seen them before, this is the best option for seeing them that's come along in quite some time. And if you have seen them... this is still the best way to watch them. Unkrich also had some news to share on the "Toy Story 3" front, the trailer for which can be seen running in front of the double-feature.
The director revealed that a pair of new names have joined the cast. First is Kristen Schaal, a regular on HBO's "Flight of the Conchords." Unkrich wouldn't specify which character she'll be voicing, but he did say that it will be a total newcomer. Perhaps this little critter.
Also new to the cast is Blake Clark, who will replace the late Jim Varney in the role of Slinky Dog. Aside from Clark and Varney having been good friends, Unkrich is quick to point out that the goal in finding the new voice actor was to get someone who sounded close to Varney. Clark is a veteran character actor who you may remember from his recurring role as Harry on the TV series "Home Improvement."
At the tail end of the message, Unkrich also re-confirms the news that John Morris will be returning to voice Andy, the human owner of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang. Laurie Metcalf will also be returning to voice Andy's mother. Consistency is good. That's how you keep a franchise sailing smooth. And Disney seems to be doing just that with all things "Toy Story."
What do you make of the resurging interest in "Toy Story"? Which do you prefer-- "Toy Story" or "Toy Story 2"? Have you seen the trailer for "Toy Story 3"? Could it possibly improve on both of the movies that came before it?