Written and Illustrated by: Tetsuhiro Koshita
Format: Softcover, B&W, $12.99
Genre: Media Tie-In
Reviewed by Annamarie, Youth Librarian, Westerville Public Library
Disney's Pixar Toy Story 2-in-1 is what you would expect of a Disney manga adaptation of a popular movie franchise, capturing the adventures of Andy’s toys including Sherriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang.
The text sticks closely to the scripts of the movies Toy Story and Toy Story 2, including many of the classic one-liners but also extra exposition to move the story along. This is especially true of moments that show context through music montages in the films; for example, in Toy Story 2, the viewer learns about cowgirl Jesse’s abandonment through scenes depicted during the musical interlude, “When She Loved Me.” The physical book does not include any reference to a majority of the Toy Story soundtrack, so scenes like this are retold through illustrations and exposition.
The manga-style illustrations capture the emotions of the toys as shown through expressive faces and action lines. While manga is traditionally a black-and-white medium, the lack of color in this adaptation is startling, as the reader is going to associate this book with the brightly-colored films. The lack of color makes settings stand out less than they should; the impact of entering Pizza Planet for the first time, for example, is mostly lost in the book. The lack of color and small-panel style of this format also makes some of the action scenes hard to follow, particularly when both Buzz Lightyears are battling Emperor Zurg in the Toy Story 2 section.
Lighthearted and fun, Disney Pixar Toy Story 2-in-1 will appeal to ages 6+ who are fans of the film franchise.