To be fair, I guess I am being a little misleading. This isn’t about “Toy Story 4” or “Tangled 2,” but it is about the continuing adventures of the characters we love. Next week, “The Muppets” return to the silver screen in a movie that I am highly anticipating. If you are going to go see it and you are a fan of Woody and gang, make sure you get there early, because there is a brand new “Toy Story” short showing before the main feature. The short, called “Small Fry,” tells the story of a happy meal version of Buzz Lightyear that gets jealous of all the play time that the real Buzz gets. In a jealous rage, he kidnaps big Buzz and tries to replace him, but of course Woody and the gang immediately notice the difference. Big Buzz, meanwhile, is forced to go to a support group for discarded fast food toys, lead by a toy voiced by “Glee’s” Jane Lynch. The short sounds hilarious and it will be good to see Andy’s toys again. I hope they keep this tradition up in lieu of “Toy Story 4” – I’d be happy if they just had a short a year featuring our favorite toys.
In a surprising move. Disney is going to do the same thing with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, the characters from their recent smash hit “Tangled.” On January 13, Disney is re-releasing their classic fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast” in 3D, and before that movie there will be a short film titled “Tangled Ever After.” The short takes place after the movie ends, with the royal wedding of Flynn and Rapunzel. Everything is ready for their big day, but their loyal pets, Pascal and Maximus, lose the wedding bands and have to locate them before the wedding of the century is ruined.
I think it is great that they are doing this. Back in the day, Disney was all about the direct-to-DVD sequel (“Pocahontas 2,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2,” “101 Dalmations 2,” even “Lady and the Tramp 2”) and they were rushed and generally not good. Once John Lasseter took over, he put a stop to those smudges on the Disney name. I love seeing more stories about these characters, and I think having shorts before other films is a great way to continue their stories without tarnishing their good reputations. I would love to see a short for “The Princess and the Frog,” (a film that I think is FAR superior to “Tangled,” but apparently I am the only one) and even shorts for movies that don’t necessarily need a sequel (like “Wall-E,” “Ratatouille,” “A Bug’s Life,” even “Aladdin,” and other classics). Will Disney keep up this trend? Only time will tell… I am glad to see that they finally know what to do with their characters again.