tscp_tv2.publicity_new16G.1.8_1_copy_editWatching a movie in the cinema that is nearly 10 years old may seem a bit odd but when it comes to Toy Story, I’ll take any chance I can get to see it on the big screen, especially if it’s screened at the world famous, Oscar winning digital effects company, FrameStore!

You may have caught the original movie back in October when it was released in 3D and the good news is that Toy Story 2 will be back in the cinema from 22nd January 2010 ahead of the 3rd installment, which is released July 23rd 2010.

Earlier this week, Disney UK sent us to watch Toy Story 2 in 3d. This was the first time in a few years that I’ve seen the movie and I think that’s probably a good thing just so that Toy Story 2it wasn’t completely fresh in my mind. Toy Story 2 reunites the cast of the original movie (made back in 1995 believe it or not!) which includes Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn and includes Joan Cusack and Kelsey Grammer in the 2nd installment.

I thought everyone on the planet had seen Toy Story 1&2 but from the laughs that jokes got in the cinema, it was quite apparent than in a room full of movie critics, there were still a lot of Toy Story virgins out there!

Toy Story 2 for me was the perfect sequel to the original movie. The only thing I didn’t like was that the little soldiers weren’t in it enough! I think the reason I like them the most is that I wish they were real. Having my own little plastic box full of tiny soldiers would be so handy for so many things and watching them complete each mission I set them (and there would be many!) would be glorious! Anyway, back into the real world…

The 3d in the movie really does add another dimension to the story making you feel like you’re actually in there with the characters rather than just watching a screen. Seeing Zurg fire his rubber balls at Buzz Lightyear and have them firing into your face was great!

a41_etchcard.publicity16.1_copy_editHere’s a bit of blurb from the production notes which tells you how Pixar have gone about converting the original source material into 3d. I was going to try and explain it but the words written here will be much more concise than anything I can produce! This is techie so sorry for geeking out!

Bob Whitehill, the lead stereographer for the “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” conversions as well as stereoscopic supervisor for “Up,” says the filmmakers’ top priorities were to make the films’ 3D versions “comfortable, consistent and captivating.”

“First and foremost, our focus was to make films that are graceful and easy to watch,” Whitehill explains. “We also wanted to be consistent to the original intent of the film’s visuals in composition, lens choices and elements of that nature. And finally, we wanted the experience to engender a robust and dimensional visual experience that draws the viewers into the toys’ world, ultimately enhancing and strengthening the effect of the story. Story is always the main focus here at Pixar.”

The filmmakers had to adapt the images for modern software and re-render them as if they had just finished creating them. “Through a technical process we dubbed ‘triage,’ we were able to bring the shots up to modern software fluency,” explains Whitehill. “We then re-created every single frame using two different cameras—one for the left-eye view and one for the right. The films are thereby a perfectly true representation of the world created in 3D.”

Other recent 3D conversions have taken a slightly different tack, notes Whitehill. “Some take the final frames of the original 2D movie and split that image apart to create the stereo effect. Our process does not estimate what the 3D would look like; it captures the original compositions exactly.”

Toy Story 2John Lasseter is a pure genius when it comes to making these movies. Although he isn’t directing the third installment (that honour falls to Lee Unkrich), Lasseter will still be massively involved as Creative Director for Disney and let’s face it, this is his baby so he’ll make sure it’s steered in the right direction.

So check out Toy Story 2 in 3d at your local cinema in January so that you’ll all up to date for the 3rd installment in July. We here at HeyUGuys can’t wait!