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'Toy Story' is Back! Better Get Your Wallets Ready

Disney plans to re-release "Toy Story" and its 1999 sequel, reformatted in 3-D.

Now that we’re getting used to Disney acquiring the Marvel franchise, what else can the Mouse House create to shore the budget bottom line?


Mickey has already freaked out Marvel fans by the possibility of de-gendering Thor and his lightning bolt. What else could be thrust upon the fawning public eager to pay big bucks to see a possible train-wreck?


I know! The powers-that-be (Disney and its Pixar Animation) have cynically decided to bring back two decade-old movies ("Toy Story" and its sequel) so a new crop of mini-consumers can badger their parents to buy more stuff for the holidays.


In a transparent ploy to shore up Christmas sales, the powers-that-squeak plan to release in theaters 1995's "Toy Story" and its 1999 sequel, reformatted in 3-D and packaged as a double feature.


They better not make patrons cough up two admission costs, there might be a roaring backlash. "Toy Story" was cute, but it was no "Sleeping Beauty" or even "Fantasia," and the sequel...better left unsaid.


But a proliferation of "Toy Story" souvenirs were made available just in time for the holidays and for-no-reason gifts! Good marketing, guys!


With any luck, next year’s "Toy Story 3" will debut even more new dolls and toys and paraphernalia. Smart move, Mickey! And don’t expect any blue-light specials, either.


These toys have long legs and will no doubt have adults queuing up in the pre-dawn hours in front of those big-box toy stores to secure a Woody doll for their kid.


Remember the Power Rangers’ frenzy? Yeah, I was the one slipping an employee a wink-wink sweetener to obtain the Green Ranger.


But Disney’s brilliantly conceived plan to re-tread old cash-cows has an unequivocally economic slant. For lo’ and behold, a third "Toy Story" is in the works, set for a 2011 release.


And lest the kids are confused by this “new” tale, the two previous movies’ re-releases should explain the back-story without confounding newbies. And think of the bonus money this move will provide! Ten dollar tickets, $12 popcorn and $5 drinks should keep their accountants happy.


Is this brilliant marketing, or what? Maybe Disney execs are worried about the Marvel-acquisition backlash and are acting pro-actively by reminding kids (and their parents) that Disney can still churn-out original stories and then ruin them with sequels.


As for the possible tinkering with Marvel stars, I don’t want to see Wonder Woman modestly covered up, her powers diverted to preparing wonderful repasts for her fellow Marvelites. The possible disasters haunt like the Ghost of Christmas Past.


But let’s not panic before we see the cinematic interpretation of the merger. Perhaps fans of both Disney’s magical-thinking land, and those who like their cartoons dangerous and violent, will be sated.


Wishful thinking perhaps. And let’s hope Broadway doesn’t take advantage by vetting a Toy Story for the stage. It might ruin Toy Story 4.

Naomi Serviss has covered Broadway, celebrities, lavish resorts and high-end spas. Based in New York City, she's still hooked on Hollywood.