Nov. 14, 2011 at 3:07 PM ET
"Toy Story" and "Tangled" may not be in theaters these days, but their characters are making brief big-screen comebacks.
A new seven-minute "Toy Story" short will run before showings of "The Muppets," which opens Nov. 23, and it sounds awesome. You know those display cases in fast-food joints showing all the toys available in their kids' meals? (Uh, not that I would know since I only feed my kid vegan gluten-free granola that I mine from my backyard quarry by hand and -- oh, never mind.)
This short focuses on those tiny toys, USA Today reports, and a Happy Meal-size version of Buzz Lightyear who kidnaps the real Buzz and tries to take over his life.
Apparently the real Buzz ends up at a support group for fast-food toys, which sounds hilarious. Of course they're going to have issues, what with some characters being more popular than others, and some toy groups having longer runs in the restaurants than others. Naturally, the short features the voices of Tim Allen as Buzz, Tom Hanks as Woody, John Ratzenberger as Hamm the piggy bank, and Joan Cusack as cowgirl Jessie.
The awesome Yahoo! Projector blog reminds us that another "Toy Story" short, in which Ken and Barbie think they're going on a Hawaiian vacation, ran before "Cars 2."
And just today, Disney announced that when "Beauty and the Beast 3D" hits theaters in January, it will come with a short called "Tangled Ever After," featuring preparations for Rapunzel and Flynn's wedding. And it includes one of my favorite characters -- Maximus, the personality-filled horse from the Palace Guard.
The press release says "when Pascal and Maximus, as flower chameleon and ring bearer, respectively, lose the gold bands, a frenzied search and recovery mission gets underway. As the desperate duo tries to find the rings before anyone discovers that they’re missing, they leave behind a trail of comical chaos that includes flying lanterns, a flock of doves, a wine barrel barricade and a very sticky finale. Will Maximus and Pascal save the day and make it to the church in time? And will they ever get Flynn’s nose right?"
Is it wrong that I'm considering going to "Beauty and the Beast 3D" just for the short?
Most of us who are parents today didn't grow up with movies that featured shorts, newsreels and all the other goodies that generations before us often saw along with their films. I can remember a few shorts popping up in the 1970s -- I have a strong recollection of some live-action skiing short before a "Cinderella" re-release -- but they certainly weren't regular happenings. I welcome this trend, and perhaps it's a little bit of a trade-off for all the commercials we now have to sit through at the theaters.
What do you think about some movies running animated shorts with popular characters before new films? Tell us in the comments.