Tea Pets was a movie I had to watch during the last days of Chinese New Year and it’s one that’s not as well known. The animation house earned its cred with White Snake and its sequel, and it’s odd they would sell the rights of this early effort to a less than ideal international distributor.
These little clay figures trace back to 13th Century China and are used during tea ceremonies. These figurines bring good luck to those who affectionately play with them during tea time. All it takes is to pour some tasty liquid over them and they’ll come to life. The unkilned porous clay transforms the colours into another pigmentation, and it’s amazing to watch.
According to one online source, writer/director Gary Wang saw some for sale at in an antique store in Paris! It reminded him of home. Although I’ve never seen them at Murchie’s Tea & Coffee in Victoria, BC, or any Asian tea houses here in town, I had to wonder. I’d love to have a feline tea pet to keep me smiling on those grey days.
One rule of this fairy tale world must involve why these toys exist. In Toy Story 4, we finally get an explanation–they become self aware so that they can make children happy.
* Spoiler Alert
In Toy Story 4, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang find life with a new playmate generally good. It’s been a few years now, and these days, it’s Jessie (Joan Cusack) whom Bonnie plays with more. The sheriff knows his purpose is to keep the new owner safe. After witnessing her reluctance to go to preschool, he has a new mission.
The new ABC Special, Toy Story of Terror is a fun filled homage to the horror classics by keeping the ideas PG-13.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The new ABC Special, Toy Story of Terror is a fun filled homage to the horror classics by keeping the ideas PG-13. There are a few moments that the well-versed fan of horror will pick out, but for the young ones, there’s nothing absolutely scary about it to make one go hiding under the sheets. Well, maybe the screams, but they are well earned. The humour is right on par with PIXAR’s feature film products,
Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Rex (Wallace Shawn) and Mr. Potato-head (Don Rickles) all return for a nightmare filled romp. The tale seems to continue from where the third Toy Story left off. But when the build ups are wonderfully marginalized by Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), to see his observations come true is just wonderfully hilarious. His understanding of what the horror genre of yesteryear is about is spot on. Writers John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton did a great job at penning this screenplay.
These days, horror does not have to be about visceral terror or in-your-face shocks. Everything done here in Toy Story of Terror is old school—the frights are implied. The question of what true horror is from a toy’s perspective is nicely done. Jessie shows that even she has fears too. Most of it centers deals with how neglected she was back when she was abandoned in Toy Story 2. Her character development defines much of this story’s plot, and if more episodes spotlighting each character are made, the potential for more Toy Story related tales may well be in store in the years to come.
To say too much more about this new product would just spoil the fun that ensues. Hopefully ABC will see to repeating this funhouse filled romp every year. Despite the fact that PIXAR shut down their Vancouver, British Columbia office, which was set to produce more Toy Story shorts, the fate of the franchise seems uncertain. At least the Emeryville headquarters will continue on strong.
Toy Story of Terror makes its debut on October 16th, 8pm EST (5pm PST) on the ABC network.
Pixar’sToy Story of Terror is coming soon to a ABC channel near you. And you and your family to be thrilled as the original voice cast make their return for this Halloween special.
Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the rest of the toys travel with their new owners, Bonnie and her mother, on what is meant to be a fun road trip. A mechanical problem with their car causes an unexpected detour to a roadside motel. But it is during their stay that Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) vanishes and it’s up to the remaining toys to solve the mystery before they meet a similar fate.