The Toy Story CD-ROM (Disney Interactive/Pixar – ages 4-9) is every bit as astounding, technically, as the movie which provided inspiration; this is glitz elevated to art. In terms of heart, however, the interactive storybook is a bit lacking. It weighs in at 15 pages and, as a result, much of the action takes places off-screen, with the narrator (Cheers alumnus and voice-of-Hamm-the piggy-bank John Ratzenberg) taking huge narrative leaps to prepare you for the next page. Except for this not-so-slight drawback, the disc is memorable and completely successful; it is certainly one of the best interactive storybooks ever created. The story is basically the same as the film’s, and many of the voices have been provided by the same actors, or at least by a close relative (Tom Hanks’ brother plays Woody). Every few pages the story breaks down into an interactive game. Return the toys to their shelves before a human enters the room, catch the moving van without being caught by the dog Scud, or pick up the little aliens with an arcade-style claw. Shield your eyes every once awhile or you’ll be blinded by the beautiful animation, which has been done by Pixar specifically for the CD-ROM. If the pressure of a game ever gets to be too much, the program lets you skip ahead without winning. Pointing-and-clicking results in a wealth of multiple animations, many of which end up in different positions than they began. Instead of changing the old interactive storybook rules, Disney and Pixar have played by them, and they’ve played to win.
– July 1996, Storybook