Pixar’s flagship franchise, and the series that arguably propelled them to international fame and acclaim, Toy Story has finally* made the transition to the four colour universe and the question on every single Buzz and Woody fan’s lips is… Was the wait worth it? And without a moment’s hesitation or doubt, I can honestly say yes. Yes it was. Toy Story Adventures Volume One is a colossal two hundred and fifty page tome that collects more of the adventures of Andy and Bonnie’s favourite toys than it’s possible to begin to count and if you did, you’d probably go all dizzy and collapse in a heap on the floor while muttering “To infinity and beyond” over and over.
While many of the collected tales follow a similar theme that finds the denizens of the toy box venturing out into either Andy, Bonnie or the Daycare centre’s neighbourhood to either save one of their own or solve some sort of pressing conundrum, the exceptions to the rule focus on the various odd bod characters who make up the toy rank and file in short, snappy, heart-warming and more often than not, laugh out loud funny stories. And even though I’m a little older than the target audience for this book, the assembled corps of writers (Tea Orsi, Alessandro Ferrari, Alessandro Sisti and Carlo Panaro) ensure that universal appeal and humour of the franchise is intact in every single story, which guarantees that they’ll appeal to big kids of all ages everywhere. The main selling point of Toy Story Adventures however is the gorgeous art that perfectly captures the likenesses of each and every toy and brings a stunning level of detail to their world. It is truly beautiful to behold and why the team responsible (take a bow Michela Frare, Luca Usai, Valentino Forlini and Gianfranco Florio) aren’t household names and pulling in the big bucks is beyond me.
Granted, Toy Story Adventures isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of Buzz, Slinky, Ham, Rex and company, if their crazy escapades have ever made you crack a smile or stifle a chuckle and if you still believe that there’s a little magic left in the world, then do yourself a favour. Lose yourself in Toy Story Adventures for an hour or two and remember how much fun it was, and still is, to be young in heart and mind. The stories in this book, as Rolly Crump might say, are kinda cute. And you wouldn’t want to argue with Rolly would you? Good. I didn’t think so… Tim Cundle
*I know it’s almost certainly not the first time that the cast of Toy Story has appeared in comics, but it’s the first time that I’ve read that I’ve stumbled across them in this beloved medium.
** I know, I know, I’m paraphrasing, but I’ll bet that Rolly would love this book and I’m also willing to bet that’s what he’d say about it if he saw it. In fact, I’m so certain, I’ll bet you a dole whip that’s what he’d say. And if it isn’t, come and find me at the Tiki Room and I’ll happily pony up for a pineapple treat…