Toy Story of TERROR!

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Toy Story of TERROR! Movie Poster Image
Horror film-themed TV special is sweet treat for families.
  • G
  • 2014
  • 22 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 5 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids see the characters solve problems with creative, out-of-the-box thinking.

Positive Messages

Along with familiar threads of teamwork and perseverance so indicative of this crew's adventures, viewers also see Jessie face and overcome a long-held fear to save her friends. Even the most hopeless situations can be changed by a positive outlook and some quick thinking. Justice is served when the bad guy gets his due and friends are reunited.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The toys' "all for one" mentality is laudable, and, as usual, it saves their hides. Conversely, he-who-has-shady-motives suffers the consequences. The toys are equipped with unique features, which makes each indispensable to the team.

Violence & Scariness

A few surprises that make the characters (and viewers) jump, and some Halloween-themed scenes in a movie show a vampire chasing a frightened woman. One character comes face to face with her deepest fear, and it's easy to sympathize with her emotions. Falls, bumps, and one wake-up smack to a toy's face aren't likely to worry kids; nor will the fact that some toys' body parts are dismembered.

Sexy Stuff

One snide jab from Mr. Potato Head when he admonishes a friend, "Shut your worry hole." 


This Pixar franchise is a lucrative collection of apparel, games, books, food items, and accessories bearing the characters' names. This TV special follows three blockbuster feature-length films, so if your kids don't know the characters' backstories, they'll likely want to after enjoying this one.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toy Story of TERROR! marks Pixar's phenomenally successful Toy Story franchise's jump to the TV market, and the result is just as remarkable as all three of the feature-length films. This one is intentionally reminiscent of a horror film in its plot development, and there are some scares that will make you –- not to mention your little ones –- jump, so if kids aren't ready for that kind of adrenaline rush, you might want to wait on this one. Similarly, Jessie's struggles with a long-held fear might worry some younger kids. Fortunately these troubles are mostly short-lived and quickly forgotten in light of the story's many gags, running jokes, and cast of comical new characters, and ultimately it's the feel-good messages about friendship, perseverance, and creative problem-solving –- as well as the fact that cheaters never prosper -– that kids will remember.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLoveyJack7 November 19, 2020

Spooky fun!

I love this movie! It featured fun vintage toys like old timer.
Adult Written bytytttytytyty October 17, 2020


The toys are watching a scary movie in the beginning, which will scare kids. That is pretty scary movie they were watching, I say 8 and up.
Teen, 13 years old Written byABCand123 September 29, 2014
Teen, 14 years old Written byTommyhead November 2, 2013

Horror Cartoon

babies and little children under 8 will be scared

What's the story?

It's a dark and stormy night, and Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the rest of the gang are passing the time in the trunk of the car during a family road trip with their new owner, Bonnie (Emily Hahn). When car trouble forces an unplanned overnighter at a roadside motel, the gang settles in for the night, but then one of their own goes missing, and it's off to the races to bring him back in time to leave in the morning. A new adversary, a motley crew of new friends, and an unexpected heroine who must conquer her fears to save her friends make this spooky tale a real treat.

Is it any good?

This movie is a hauntingly hilarious TV special starring a select few of Pixar's timeless characters. Besides Woody and Buzz, only Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), and Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton) make an appearance in this half-hour story, an unfortunate necessity of the truncated time frame. Happily, though, the story doesn't shirk on creative newcomers, and fans will love getting to know all the new faces, particularly a somewhat familiar one from a Toy Story past.

The Toy Story franchise's success isn't surprising, especially given what they manage to do with a core of only seven characters in Toy Story of TERROR!'s mere 22 minutes. Just when you've settled on a favorite personality, another emerges to challenge your loyalty with a priceless performance. And then there's all the fun it has with horror film tropes like shower scenes, monsters, and, yes, even body dismemberment. Truly, fans' only beef with this new addition to the Toy Story family may be that its shortened format leaves you wanting more from this sensational crew.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Jessie overcomes her fear. How did her fear stand in the way of her ability to save her friends? Kids: What are some of your fears? Do they ever interfere with you doing something you want to? How do you cope with your fears?

  • Another theme in this story is that some things' value can't be measured with money. What are your most prized possessions? Why are they so important to you? Would you ever part with them?

  • Kids: Where have you seen the Toy Story characters' images besides the movies? Do you own products that bear their faces? Why is it fun to wear clothes or play games with our favorite characters on them?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Pixar and holidays

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

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