Toy Story 2: Special Edition John Lasseter

It's a rarity in cinema when a sequel even comes within firing range of matching its predecessor, but when a film can not only equal the original but also better it, you know it's special. This shouldn't be much of a surprise coming from the likes of the almighty Pixar, who has yet to produce a stinker. Hot on the heels of the tenth anniversary of Toy Story comes the "special edition" of its sequel. Where the original film introduced the toys and the concepts of jealousy, competition and "reality," TS2 finds the toys discovering that good old Andy can't stay young and play with his toys forever. Sure, the idea of toys struggling with the idea of their own mortality might seem a little heavy for kids, but Lasseter and the Pixar crew pull it off with a context that gratifies both adults and kids alike. With an amazing adventure, likeable new characters and a hilarious Star Wars spoof concerning the famous Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker paternal revelation featuring Buzz and his nemesis, Evil Emperor Zurg, Toy Story 2 follows the second Godfather and Rocky as champions of their franchises. Though the extras are no different from the 2003 edition, with the exception of the "Which Toy Are You?" survey (I'm "Rex," by the way), the fact that it was originally a limited release makes this a valuable grab for those who missed out the first time. And the extras are plentiful, with a number of "behind the scenes" featurettes that cover Lasseter, the characters and the technical, literary and musical sides of the film. Another featurette, "Who's the Coolest Toy?," interviews Hanks and Allen, among others, to determine who is cooler: Woody or Buzz? Of course, the outtakes and deleted scenes are some of the most worthwhile you'll find on DVD, especially the former, which as always features amusing bloopers that were obviously designed to be included as an extra. (Buena Vista/Pixar)