Disney fans who enjoyed the free Toy Story book app will enjoy this title that follows the storyline of the first sequel, Toy Story 2. As Andy goes off to 'cowboy camp' the toys are left behind for an adventure that includes trying to save Woody after he is kidnapped by a collector.
The app is packed with extras and nicely made with simple settings, including a young reader mode that allows for arrow rather than swipe-style page turning. High quality music and narration give the app a nice polish. Text highlighting as the story is read, along with recordable narration round out this feature-filled storybook app. There are also small interactive elements on every page (indicated with a sparkle) that provide additional dialogue from the movie.
Toy Story 2 is very similar to the free Toy Story app with a nicely abridged narrative based on the movie by the same name. Unlike the Toy Story 3 app, this one does have a nice assortment of fully animated scenes from the movie on several pages, along with animated inset videos during the the two songs included ("When She Loved Me" and "Woody's Roundup"). There is no 3D feature (like in the Toy Story 3 app) but all the other settings and extras are similar, including three puzzles and coloring pages with different levels of difficulty.
There are also two decent 'mini-games' but many readers will be diappointed to find that they are the exact same games found in the free app. The games are "Parachute Drop" (a GI Joe parachutes down, using motion controls that you tilt to help him avoid obstacles) and "Toy Barn Maze" (a simple maze for you to drag Buzz around to pick up his friends and exit). Overall this is a fun book and much better than most edutainment titles. Disney apps are also solidly made with nice features and settings, making this a must for any digital collection of Disney titles.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications
15 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 4 - 9 +
This little book manages to take the reader through the whole basic plot of Toy Story 2 (abridged significantly, of course, for a picture book version). Here is what Wikipedia says so nicely about the plot of the movie:
"Woody prepares to go to cowboy camp with Andy, but his arm accidentally gets ripped, forcing him to stay home where he is put on a junk shelf. When Woody saves a toy penguin named Wheezy from a yard sale, he gets stolen by a toy collector who Buzz Lightyearand the other toys recognize as Al McWiggin, the owner of a shop named Al's Toy Barn, having seen him in a TV commercial. Buzz,Hamm, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, and Rex then set out to rescue Woody.
In Al's apartment, Woody discovers he is a valuable collectible based on an old, popular TV show called Woody's Roundup, and is set to be sold to a toy museum in Tokyo. The other toys from the show–Jessie the yodeling cowgirl, Woody's horse Bullseye, and Stinky Pete the Prospector, are excited about the trip, but Woody intends to return home because he is still Andy's toy. However, when his arm is repaired, Woody decides to stay when Jessie reveals that she was once the beloved toy of a child named Emily who eventually outgrew and abandoned her, and Stinky Pete pensively warns him the same fate awaits him as Andy grows up.
Meanwhile Buzz and the other toys reach the Al's Toy Barn. While searching the store for Woody, Buzz is captured and imprisoned in a box by a newer Buzz Lightyear action figure after a misunderstanding between the two. The new Buzz then joins the other toys as they make their way to Al's apartment. Buzz escapes and pursues them, accidentally releasing an action figure of his archenemyEmperor Zurg who follows him.
Buzz rejoins the others as soon as they find Woody, who initially refuses to return but when remembering that a toy's true purpose lies in being played by children, he gradually changes his mind and offers the Roundup toys the chance to come with him. However, Stinky Pete prevents their escape and reveals that he wants to go to Japan because he spent his life in a shelf and was never sold, so he took measures to prevent Woody returning home. Al then arrives and takes Woody and the Roundup toys with him, forcing the two Buzzes and the rest of Andy's toys to pursue him. They follow Al to an elevator where they encounter Zurg who fights the new Buzz but is knocked off the elevator by Rex. As they reach the ground floor, the new Buzz remains behind to play with Zurg once he discovers that Zurg is his father (echoing The Empire Strikes Back).
Buzz and the others use a truck to follow Al to the airport where they enter the baggage processing area and find the Roundup toys. Stinky Pete tries to stop them but they capture and stuff him into a little girl's backpack. While Woody and Bullseye are saved, Jessie ends up being loaded onto the airplane to Japan. Woody, Buzz, and Bullseye save her just before the plane lifts off and the toys return home. Andy returns home and accepts Jessie and Bullseye as his new toys. The toys also learn from a TV commercial that Al's business has suffered due to his failure to sell the Roundup toys to Japan. As the new toys delight in having a new owner, Woody tells Buzz that he is not worried about Andy outgrowing him, because when he does, they will always have each other for company "for infinity and beyond"."