It's Scream with playthings. A scream and a hoot, to be precise. And the first real event of the Halloween season, deserving to become an annual family tradition right up there with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — which ABC is holding until Halloween night itself. Disney Pixar's first made-for-TV special, ABC's Toy Story of TERROR! (Wednesday, 8/7c), is a delightful half-hour vignette of gags, action and self-empowerment, couching its never-give-up message in terrific non-stop entertainment. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are back as Woody and Buzz, along with such other iconic fan faves as Don Rickles' Mr. Potato Head and Wallace Shawn's anxious dinosaur Rex, but the focus is on cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack), who has to face her abandonment issues and fear of being boxed up alone when one by one, her pals keep disappearing from a shady roadside motel where their owner Bonnie (and her mom) are staying overnight.
For all the laughs and sweet surprises, the Toy Story franchise can also deliver big frights, from the freaky mutant toys in the 1995 original to the deadly incinerator that nearly claimed the lives of Woody, Buzz and the gang in 2010's Toy Story 3. Now the peeps at Pixar are dishing up more chills with their first-ever Halloween special, Toy Story of TERROR!, a takeoff on the old Agatha Christie chestnut And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians).
"Toy Story has...