Monday, November 21, 2011

Toy Story Toon 'Small Fry' a Big Disappointment

That's a pretty shocking headline, am I right? Sadly it's true, at least for me. Small Fry is no Hawaiian Vacation or Air Mater.

My main problem with the Angus MacLane-directed short is that it feels like a rehash of the same issues of toy abandonment that packed a real emotional punch in the trilogy.

Mini Buzz and the other original characters do little to help. They may be funny, but their time on screen is fleeting; they aren’t afforded any time to develop. Mermaid-like toy Neptuna (voiced by Jane Lynch) is devoid of personality.

Small Fry’s best moment is its end credits—and not because it was over. Without giving it away, the design of the titles is top notch and just a bit unexpected. (They were created by Pixar's resident text and titles expert Susan Bradley.)

Despite the foregoing, everyone should see Small Fry in theatres. Why? Because it’s playing with The Muppets, which is a fabulous triumph of a comedy and the best movie of the year so far, period. Read my "Muppetational" review at The Disney Blog.

27 comments:

glazer said...

I don't want to sound weird, but finally something from Pixar you didn't like!

Anonymous said...

I loved The Muppets, I was able to see it at an advanced screening on Saturday. Wonderful movie, much better than I expected. Very funny.

As for Small Fry, I'd say you're just bitter about all the people who hate Cars 2. (yes, I too am a Cars 2 hater) I thought the short was quite funny. Yes, the short didn't pack an emotional punch, but that wasn't the objective. It was to explore the idea of what a fast-food toy would be like in the universe, and I thought Pixar did a pretty solid job. I thought it was funny. You could argue that there were too many characters for a film that short, but if that's the case, you would have to extend that criticism to Hawaiian Vacation, which blasted through with a bunch of characters very quickly. The objective of this film and Hawaiian Vacation are essentially the same. I don't see too much of a difference.

David Kang said...

that is so sad..

Anonymous said...

I saw this short yesterday in front of a screening the Muppets yesterday an was surprised that it was played wth a screening. I didn't not like toy story 3 but really enjoyed the t.s. short along wth the rest of the people @ the screening who lol through out it.

Anonymous said...

I saw this short yesterday in front of a screening the Muppets yesterday an was surprised that it was played wth a screening. I didn't not like toy story 3 but really enjoyed the t.s. short along wth the rest of the people @ the screening who lol through out it.

Anonymous said...

what happened to pixar these day? did they forget how to make classics such as presto?

Angry Bird said...

It's no Hawaiian Vacation or Air Mater? Sounds good to me!
I've been hearing more positive reception about this short than the other one, so I'll just have to see what I think of it myself.
In other news...
...I'm WAY excited for The Muppets :D

Anonymous said...

@mike; maybe it's because you watched it with the muppets, making small fry look bad in front of the muppets.

Darrell said...

Hawaiian Vacation sucked. I don't see how Small Fry could be any worse.

Nate said...

Not to be mean, but I don't go to BSA to hear mike's rambling...

Anonymous said...

Uhhh, Mike? What are you talking about?

It's not a good short because it doesn't pack an emotional punch? Neither did the other two you mentioned, they were just good, silly fun with the characters we all know and love. It sounds like 'Small Fry' is more of the same.

Why does this short suddenly need to have emotional heft to be good?

Bad review...

Anonymous said...

@Darrell

Hawaiian Vacation was good, Cars 2 sucked.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6,
Mike is just wants revenge on all of the people who don't like Cars 2. (which does suck)

The Muppets was awesome, however.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. How could they possibly recreate the genius of Hawaiian Vacation?

Nick R. said...

Hawaiian Vaca was great. Cars 2 was surprisingly good. The only Pixar productions that haven't grown on me are Cars 1, Day & Night, and Ratatouille.

Excited to see this short.

Darrell said...

Anonymous 7: Hawaiian Vacation sucked because all it was was watching some more Barbie & Ken, and I think we've seen enough of them, as good as they were in TS3. And watching those toys go around in the Hawaiian outfits, making a fake getaway for the two? Ew.

And once again, Cars 2 does not suck.

Doug Bowker said...

I thought Air Mater was very weak, and Hawaiin Vacation was a solid B, but nothing special. Think more of Night and Day: genius. Think about Lifted, One Man Band, Presto, or that Cloud one. All really strong pieces, and I've seen most many times. Personally, anything to do with Mater AT ALL at this point is like adding sugar on honey on top of frosting: too much! That well is so dry the only thing coming up is mud.

I am very excited about Brave, but until then I'd say we are seeing a bit of a low point for Pixar; hopefully brief as I love everything right up through TS3.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder if Darrell is a pseudonym for Mike, as they share very similar opinions...

Nini said...

I hope nobody forgot this was the first short to come from outside the Emeryville mothership. Yknow, up north.

Pixar Canada? No? Bueller?

Darrell said...

Mike and I don't always have the same opinions. Example: For a long time he called DreamWorks "CrapWorks," and he still doesn't like them much. I have never held such an opinion of that studio.

When it comes to Cars 2 though... yeah.

Mike Bastoli said...

For the record, I have long since abandoned the term mentioned by Darrell. It's not fair to the artists working there.

Jon R. LaFollette said...

Who cares if the characters don't have time to develop? It's a short. The only purpose these Toy Story shorts serve is that of being cute. I think they should go back to silent shorts. They don't seem as hurried as these Toy Story shorts.

Anonymous said...

Hm, I did enjoy both of the Toy Story Toons thus far. But I'd like to see the upcoming shorts focus on specific characters from here on in. For the fast-food short, the large cast made sense, but for most five-minute shorts, one, two, or three characters works better.

Alexandro Fantino said...

lol!!! CrapWorks... I missed that.

As for the short film, I felt it was just starting when it was about to finish. Everything seemed so hurried, just like Jon R. said. I completely agree with Mike in that "it feels like a rehash of the same issues of toy abandonment that packed a real emotional punch in the trilogy." Not that it should've been an emotional short, but having a Buzz-was-left-behind,-and-tries-to-get-back-at-Molly's plot, would've required a longer timespan on screen. After all, Woody getting back home required 3 movies, every time he [and the gang] got lost, stolen, donated or forgotten.

It all just felt loose and unnecessary.

PixarFan95 said...

Anonymous said@ your a troll you cars hater

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I just wished they'd do a Wall-e short, i'd love to see that little robot again ;____;

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. Its a short film and ur expecting character development and other things a featured film would have. None the less coming from a person who say Muppets is the movie of the year, ur not a very good critic