When Disney and Pixar announced plans for a re-release of “Finding Nemo,” excitement grew. That excitement grew even faster when the companies announced that they would show a special animated short called “Partysaurus Rex,” featuring some of the top characters from the “Toy Story” franchise. The short is the third in a special series called Toy Story Toons, which aired before certain Disney and Pixar releases.
Mark Walsh directed the short, which runs for just 45 seconds. The short follows Rex (voiced by Wallace Shawn, “Clueless”) as he plays in the bathroom with his friends. When the other toys leave him behind, he makes friends with the new toys he finds in the bathroom. As the dinosaur is taller than the other toys, he agrees to turn on the faucet and get the party going. They wind up making a huge mess in the bathtub and splashing water all over the floor before Rex makes several new friends and decides to stick around the bathtub.
The animated short features voice work from some well-known and talented actors. Tom Hanks (“The Da Vinci Code”) and Tim Allen (“The Santa Clause”) return as Woody and Buzz Lightyear at the beginning of the short. Don Rickles (“The Aristocrats”) and Estelle Harris (“Seinfeld”) reprise their roles as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. The short also features the talented voice work of John Ratzenberger (“Cheers”) as Hamm, the toy piggy bank from the “Toy Story” films.
“Partysaurus Rex” also features other actors voicing new characters in the short. Tony Cox (“Disaster Movie”) pops up as Chuck the Rubber Duck, while Corey Burton (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) turns up as Captain Suds. Director Walsh makes an appearance as the character Drips, and Sherry Lynn (Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax”) plays Cuddles the Alligator. Other actors who appear in the short include Emily Hahn (“Hawaiian Vacation”), Lori Richardson (“The Incredibles”), and Lori Alan (“Family Guy”).
“Partysaurus Rex” premiered on September 14, 2012. Fans attending the re-release of “Finding Nemo” in 3D could see the short prior to the start of the film. The short also ran before screenings of “Finding Nemo” at theaters that lacked the technology for 3D screenings. Early reports indicate that the animated short will also appear as a bonus feature on DVD copies of “Finding Nemo” when it comes out in 2013.
One of the reasons for the success of the short comes from the musical score. BT, an electronic artist, handled the score of the film. In some interviews, the musician indicated that the director wanted electronic music that sounded like something guests might hear in a nightclub. The music was quite different from usual score heard in full-length films, and featured songs from award-winning composer Randy Newman. The loud music and interesting beats set the stage for Rex’s wild party with his new friends.
Fans of the “Toy Story” films primarily know Rex as the fearful one of the group, the one who seldom wants to do anything that might get him in trouble. Despite that reputation, the character sometimes shows his fun side. Who can forget the scenes of Rex bouncing across a video game controller, hoping to beat the last level of his favorite game? “Partysaurus Rex” shows yet another side of the lovable dinosaur.
The animated short shows Rex’s friends leaving him behind because he doesn’t enjoy having as much fun as they do. When he finds himself surrounded by new toys, he gives in to temptation and helps them with the bathtub. The fun part of the short comes when bath time turns into a huge party filled with music and laughter. The bright lights bouncing around in the background and the loud beats set the stage for one amazing party, with Rex taking center stage.
“Partysaurus Rex” also gives Disney and Pixar a chance to show the lives of the characters. “Toy Story 3” ended with the iconic character of Andy going away to college and passing along his favorite toys to a little girl named Bonnie. Bonnie and her mother both appear in the short, showing that the toys are still in her care. Some fans of the films were a little upset at how the last one ended, but this short shows that everything worked out in the end.
The animated short essentially serves as a miniature sequel to the “Toy Story” franchise. Fans get a chance to see all their favorite characters, including Buzz and Woody, before the film begins focusing on Rex. Though the toy dinosaur was a minor character in the earlier films, “Partysaurus Rex” turns him into a leading man. This might make some fans hope that he gets a standalone film of his own.