Toy Story has had a good run of animated shorts and movies so far but now it’s time to see if this latest one holds up. This time the heroes have to do battle with some wild toys and the fact that we got some actual action scenes here is quite impressive. The short is held back by a romance subplot which will make you cringe a bit but once you get past that, the rest of the special is on point. It’s a fun little adventure and you should breeze through it.
The story starts with Bonnie being invited to her friend’s place to hang out. When she gets there, she finds out that he has gotten addicted to video games and he quickly gets her on them as well. She tosses her toys aside to have fun here but Woody and friends quickly find out that this place isn’t a very nice area. The Battle Dinosaurs don’t realize that they are actually toys much like Buzz from the first film and so they’ve built a violent arena where they take toys down for the count. The heroes have a dinosaur of their own in Trixie but will she be able to stop these guys?
The standout character as always is Buzz here with how he is quick to fight back and actually does well against the villain. Unfortunately Woody isn’t quite as skilled and ends up holding them back. I was still just surprised at how we had a real action sequence so that was just a lot of fun. It also added to the sense of danger that was present during the special. These dinosaurs were not holding anything back and lived up to their name as the Battlesaurs.
The main fighter on their side was Maximus and he gets a solid role here. He has completely bought into the whole arena atmosphere and seems to have been winning every match for a while now. I doubt any of the heroes could beat him in a straight fight which is why they ultimately need to go for a more emotional approach and to bring in outside help. He’s good as an antagonist but as a hero he can be extremely cheesy. He goes a bit over the top with the whole romance with Trixie.
As mentioned earlier, that’s my main issue with this. The romance isn’t handled well and feels like something out of Scooby Doo. These dinosaurs just met each other and the dialogue is very stilted. Keeping that out of the special would have been a really good idea if you ask me. It’s the only weak point of the special. It also doesn’t let Trixie really get to show her stuff as the lead because this plot is slowing her down. She’s very oblivious to everything during the whole special but in her defense, everyone seems rather oblivious the whole time.
As for the villain mastermind: Cleric. Well he serves his purpose well enough. The guy wants to build his evil empire and has done a really good job of it. He’s hidden the signs that would cause his followers to lose trust in him and has built a rather solid atmosphere for himself all things considered. Considering that the kid could show up at any time and ruin things, the Cleric really showed a lot of guts with this plan. Finally you have Angel Kitty as the mysterious new character here to drop some wisdom on the other toys. She was a fun enough character even if her gimmick gets old a little quickly. One note characters will always need a little something extra to stay interesting so if she ever appears again they’ll probably need to do something more with her.
Not surprisingly, the animation here is as good as ever. You couldn’t really put a big difference between the special and the full movies. Not to say that there is no difference, but it’s close enough where you’re pleased with how the special looks. There isn’t much of a soundtrack to be found here which is too bad but maybe they can squeeze one in next time. A really solid rock theme for the battles is a good opportunity for some music after all. Aside from the romance the writing is on point as well so on a technical level the special is sound. Throw in that I liked the idea of the Battlesaurs and you can see why this is a win.
Overall, That Time Forgot is a bit of an odd title. I feel like it should be “The toys that time forgot” or something like that. As it is, the title just doesn’t feel grammatically correct. Still, it’s a fun special and one that does justice to the Toy Story brand. You’ll have a good time here even as the film feels like it’s over just when it has begun. You could easily make a whole 2 hour film for this premise since Bonnie would probably be playing video games for that long and you could have the toys move their way through the arena by winning some battles. A lot of potential there for sure. Well, we’ll see what Toy Story short comes up next.