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Toy Story of Terror!

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Toy Story of Terror!
The ABC World Premiere release poster
GenreComedy horror
Written byAngus MacLane
Directed byAngus MacLane
Voices of
Music byMichael Giacchino
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
ProducerGalyn Susman
EditorAxel Geddes
Running time21 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseOctober 16, 2013 (2013-10-16)

Toy Story of Terror! is an American animated Halloween television special produced by Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Television Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the Toy Story franchise. It is set after the events of Toy Story 3, and premiered on the American television network ABC on October 16, 2013.[1][2] It was written and directed by Angus MacLane, produced by Galyn Susman, with Joan Cusack, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Timothy Dalton, and Kristen Schaal reprising their roles of Jessie, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head, Rex, Mr. Pricklepants, and Trixie with Carl Weathers as Combat Carl and Stephen Tobolowsky as the motel manager.[2] Michael Giacchino composed the music for the special.[3] The film's soundtrack was released on October 15, 2013, on Amazon.com and iTunes in digital format.[4]

The special follows the toys on a road trip, when a flat tire leads Bonnie and her mother to spend the night in a roadside motel. After Mr. Potato Head goes missing, the others begin to search for him, but they find themselves caught up in a mysterious sequence of events that leads them to a big conspiracy.


Bonnie and her mother are on a road trip to visit Bonnie's grandmother; Bonnie has brought Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Rex, Mr. Pricklepants, Mr. Potato Head, and Trixie with her. In the trunk of the vehicle, the toys are watching a horror film on a portable DVD player. When the car gets a flat tire, Bonnie and her mother must spend the night at the Sleep Well roadside motel, as a tow truck cannot be sent out until the next morning.

Once Bonnie and her mother are asleep, her toys exit Bonnie's bag to explore the motel room, but Mr. Potato Head goes missing. At this point, Mr. Pricklepants begins to narrate ongoing events as if it were part of an actual horror film, considering himself an expert. The toys search through the motel for Mr. Potato Head, but several are taken by an iguana named Mr. Jones, leaving only Jessie. In a bathroom, Jessie meets an action figure named Combat Carl, who was separated from his owner, Billy. Combat Carl urges Jessie to flee to her owner for safety, but she insists on trying to rescue her friends. The iguana returns to take Combat Carl, then Jessie. The iguana is revealed to be owned by the motel's manager, Ron, who has trained Mr. Jones to steal unattended toys and other items from motel guests so he can sell them in online auctions. Ron puts Jessie in the back room of his office, in a glass cabinet containing her friends, Combat Carl, and other stolen toys.

As morning approaches, a buyer purchases Woody online and Ron packs him into a box. Jessie is sold soon after, but Ron is distracted by the arrival of the tow truck and Jessie is left on the counter. A delivery lady takes Woody's box out to her truck, and Combat Carl tells Jessie that their only hope to rescue Woody and escape is for Jessie to travel to the truck in a box. Terrified, Jessie insists that she cannot enter a box, but Combat Carl helps her gain confidence. Once inside the truck, she frees herself and Woody. They return to the office, where Bonnie and her mother are checking out. Mr. Jones attacks Jessie, but Mr. Potato Head's hand manages to open a curtain, revealing the stolen toys to Bonnie and her mother, who threatens to turn Ron over to the police. Bonnie retrieves her toys, and the trip is resumed.

During the credits, Combat Carl boards the delivery truck with the remaining toys in hopes of returning to their owner, Billy. Two police officers later arrive to interrogate Ron, who attempts to escape by hijacking their police car, but is forced to flee on foot after immediately crashing it into the motel sign; the officers initiate a manhunt for him.



Toy Story of Terror!
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedOctober 15, 2013 (2013-10-15)
GenreFilm score
LabelWalt Disney
Michael Giacchino film scores chronology
Star Trek Into Darkness
Toy Story of Terror!
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The film's score was composed by Michael Giacchino. The soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on October 15, 2013.[5][6]

Track listing

All music is composed by Michael Giacchino

1."The Suspension Is Killing Me"0:44
2."Thinking Inside the Box"1:40
3."Motel Me a Scary Story"1:07
4."I've Got a Bag Feeling About This"1:45
5."Why'd It Have to Be Crawl Spaces?"1:15
6."The Ballad of Combat Carl"2:33
7."Iguana Be Kidding Me"4:03
8."Nobody Puts Jessie in the Box"1:33
9."Rock 'Em Box 'Em Robots"1:31
10."Pink Peanut Panic"1:23
11."World's Worst Curtain Call"2:31
12."FedExit (End Credits)"0:53
Total length:20:58



The special has received critical acclaim. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 94% of critics have given the special a positive review based on 16 reviews, with an average rating of 8.04/10.[7] At Metacritic, the special has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100 based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8] Matt Roush of TV Guide said, "ABC's Toy Story of Terror! is a delightful half-hour vignette of gags, action and self-empowerment, couching its never-give-up message in terrific non-stop entertainment."[9] Brian Lowry of Variety said, "Toy Story of Terror! is about a quarter the length of the average animated feature, but everything else here could easily be mistaken for the bigscreen version, from the pacing and humor to Michael Giacchino's score."[10] Rob Owen of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, "It's a small adventure befitting the 30-minute running time but it's also clever in the way it ultimately puts the "Toy Story" characters in a recognizable situation, which is similar to the big-screen movies."[11] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times said, "Once the annual avalanche of Halloween-themed episodes, specials and movies overtakes TV, you probably don't expect to be using the word 'charming' very often. But charming perfectly describes one such entry, Toy Story of Terror!"[12] Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club said, "The Toy Story franchise has always operated best with a note of existential panic, and there's some of that here, but it feels like the special leans awfully hard on the films that gave rise to it."[13] Robert Lloyd of Los Angeles Times said, "Themes from earlier Toy Story movies are also recycled, which should bother no one. Although Woody and Buzz get their screen time–with Jessie, they are the 'Jules et Jim' of computer-animated cartoons about sentient playthings—it is the plucky cowgirl, facing her fears, whose story this is."[14]

Home media[edit]

Toy Story of Terror! was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 19, 2014. It includes the three Toy Story Toons shorts: Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, and Partysaurus Rex.[15] On October 23, 2020, the special made a surprise release onto Disney+.[16][17]


  1. ^ "D23 Expo: New Art From the Upcoming Disney, Pixar and Disneytoon Movies". ComingSoon.net. August 9, 2013. Archived from the original on August 11, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 14, 2013). "ABC 2013-14 Schedule: Rebel Wilson Gets Post-'Modern Family' Slot, 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' On Tuesday, 'Dancing' Shrinks To One Night". Deadline. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Michael Giacchino to Score Pixar's 'Toy Story of Terror'". Film Music Reporter. June 27, 2013. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Bryko (October 4, 2013). "'Toy Story of Terror' Gets a Soundtrack Release". Upcoming Pixar. Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  5. ^ "'Toy Story of Terror' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "Toy Story of Terror!: Michael Giacchino: MP3 Downloads". Amazon. October 15, 2013. Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "Toy Story of Terror!". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  8. ^ "Toy Story of Terror!". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  9. ^ "The Wednesday Playlist: A Toy Story Special, Burton and Taylor, EPIX Gets Schooled - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. October 16, 2013. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  10. ^ Brian Lowry (October 13, 2013). ""Toy Story of Terror!" Review: Pixar, ABC Make Delightful Special". Variety. Archived from the original on January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  11. ^ "TV review: 'Toy Story OF TERROR!'". Communityvoices.post-gazette.com. October 15, 2013. Archived from the original on January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  12. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (October 16, 2013). "In 'Toy Story of Terror' a Road Trip Goes Awry". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 4, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  13. ^ "Toy Story Of Terror · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. October 15, 2013. Archived from the original on July 21, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  14. ^ Lloyd, Robert (October 16, 2013). "Review: 'Toy Story of Terror' kicks off Halloween on ABC". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  15. ^ "Toy Story of Terror! Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. May 16, 2014. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  16. ^ Palmer, Roger (October 23, 2020). "What's New on Disney+ (US) | Once Upon a Snowman | What's On Disney Plus". whatsondisneyplus.com. Archived from the original on October 30, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  17. ^ ""Watch Toy Story of Terror! | Full Movie | Disney+ - Disney Plus"". Disney+. October 23, 2020. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.

External links[edit]