Get ready for ‘Toy Story 3’

Added 3-D effects are one good reason to see the new re-released double feature of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” in theaters today for a two-week engagement.

Getting prepped for the 2010 release of “Toy Story 3” is another reason. Pixar and Disney know a thing or two about marketing family entertainment.

But the best reason is simply because the animated adventures of Woody the cowboy, Buzz Lightyear the action figure and their plaything pals are always worth experiencing on the big screen in a theater filled with parents and kids of all ages.

At a recent screening in The City, the audience of mostly children was rapt throughout both movies — a testament to their fun, excitement, smarts and beauty.

Many viewers even stayed to enjoy the amusing, enlightening trivia offered up on the 15-minute intermission reel. Of particular note is rough animation of Woody and Buzz without Tom Hanks and Tim Allen’s appealing voices and not as nearly as cute as they are in the movies’ final versions.

Youngsters and geeks may appreciate the 3-D, used mostly when characters are falling, but fans of good storytelling won’t be bowled over by the extra technology these re-releases display.

Despite a society in which tricks, gimmickry and pumped-up effects are increasingly popular, the foundation of what makes a classic happily remains: There’s nothing like a tale of human spirit told with intelligence, heart and humor — Pixar knows that.

IF YOU GO

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 (four stars)

Starring Voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger

Written by Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin, Chris Webb

Directed by John Lasseter

Rated G

Running time 3 hours 8 minutes (includes intermission)

 

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