'Tiny' video is forerunner of 'Toy Story'


"Toy Story" is such a big hit on video that Disney has just released "Tiny Toy Stories" ($9.99).

It's a collection of five whimsical short subjects -- one an Oscar winner -- from Pixar studios, which created "Toy Story." All are done in the same three-dimensional computer animation style.

Actually, "Tiny Toy Stories" is a sort of history of computer animation. The first film, "The Adventures of Andre & Wally B," is from 1984. It was probably ambitious for its time, but it's only a couple of minutes long and seems slight today. The plot consists of a goofy-looking wide-eyed character being followed through a forest by a persistent bee. That's all, folks!

"Luxo Jr.," from 1986, is a little more ambitious in its story of a mischievous little desk lamp, a bouncing ball and its big papa desk lamp who looks upon junior's antics with annoyance mixed with amusement. It's quite funny.

"Red's Dream," from 1987, is a bittersweet story of an unwanted unicycle, marked down in the corner of a bicycle shop, that dreams of being in a circus where it even juggles balls in the air. When the unicycle's dream is over, it realizes its folly and sheepishly returns to its corner.

The Oscar-winning "Tin Toy," from 1988, is a funny piece about a little one-man-band tin toy, all shiny and fresh out of the box, facing a giant terror -- a curious baby that towers over the toy and threatens to pull it apart. The baby's other toys, having already felt its wrath, cower under a sofa. This sequence, no doubt, was the inspiration for the nasty older boy who loves to pull toys apart in "Toy Story." The ending of "Tin Toy" is a marvel of irony.

Finally, there's "Knick Knack," from 1989, a funny little film about a snow-globe snowman who longs to break free of his watery home and meet one of the other knickknacks on the shelf, a bikini-clad beauty who waves at him.

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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