Released: 11/22/1995 Rated: G
This is such a cool concept! I challenge anybody to tell me that after first seeing this movie they didn’t think their toys came to life when they weren’t looking. They even gave sentience to certain toys you wouldn’t normally consider to have a brain, like the Etch A Sketch, or Mr. Spell. Watching this again I noticed some of the secondary toys in Andy’s room that I used to play with, and all I’m thinking is: Do they even make those anymore? Kids these days have probably never seen them. That’s slightly depressing to think about.
I love that despite the fact that this is a movie about children’s toys, there’s actually some complicated stuff in here. I mean, these are adults dealing with jealousy, hierarchy, reality, friendship, and survival. This film isn’t loved just because it’s the first computer-animated movie, it’s because these are endearing, relatable characters in familiar situations. The some-what grouchy Mr. Potato Head, loyal Slinky-dog, nervous Rex, confident Buzz, and (for the most part) level-headed Woody. Buzz and Woody go through so many transformations it’s crazy. Pixar really did a good job. How many filmmakers can you say created their animated characters so well rounded?
I also really love how our two main characters are polar opposites in terms of the era they come from. We have Sheriff Woody from the old west, and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger from modern day/the future. In terms of time periods the two don’t mix well, but by the end of the movie these two characters learn that they can work together. And Andy isn’t hampered by their differences, he plays with them both simultaneously.
I could probably quote this whole movie. It was more my brother’s favorite growing up, but re-watching it again has sparked my appreciation for how well done this film is.
Four years later Pixar releases its first sequel, and it’s awesome. I loved this one instantly. There are a lot of allusions to Toy Story, (my favorite being when Buzz interacts with another Buzz Lightyear who still thinks he’s a part of the Galactic Alliance. “Tell me I wasn’t this delusional.”) as well as other movie references such as Jurassic Park and Star Wars, and it’s the first time I picked up on Buzz doing the Vulcan salute from Star Trek, but he also did it in the first film.
Here we meet Jesse and Bullseye, two more fantastic characters to add to our hearts. Jesse’s backstory scene: Oh the feels! That gets me every time. It even got Allen and Hanks, so you can’t tell me it didn’t get you too. Kids and adults both getting their heart strings tugged on by toys!
This films focuses more on Woody and him finding out he’s essentially a superstar, whereas last time it was about Buzz coming to grips with the reality that he is not the Buzz Lightyear but a toy. I love the fact that we find out that Woody was a thing. That’s like my little Pikachu from Burger King that said its name when you squeezed it (you better believe I still have that and it still works!) finding out about the trading cards, tv show, video games, clothing, and a whole plethora of other merchandise centered around it. This gives Woody a chance to shine, and we get to see where he came from.
Normally sequels aren’t as awesome as their previous movies, but Toy Story 2 shines just as much as the original. And it’s probably one of the only few sequels that does.
Toy Story 3
Released 06/18/2010 Rated: G
In our most recent installment we see the toys dealing with the fact that Andy is going off to college, and the toys just want to be played with again. They soon find themselves in a daycare center, but it’s not quite what they were expecting. Preschool is evil.
I love how this time we actually see what’s going through Andy’s head when he’s playing with his toys. In the last two film we saw Andy physically playing with his toys, but here we get an insight into how it all unfolds in Andy’s head. And just from remembering my own play times, that’s totally how it works.
I never really thought baby dolls were creepy until this movie; now I have to agree with everyone else: baby dolls are generally creepy. Tortilla-head was awesome. I could have done without zuccini-head, but whoever thought up tortilla-head did a great job. And I loved the Spanish mode on Buzz. That was really a nice touch. It helped the Buzz & Jesse thing develop a little. Originally I felt there was too much Barbie & Ken going on. There could be a little less, but it’s not as bas as I thought.
The ending kills me every time. I’m one of those people who had a “Woody” growing up. (If I’m honest I still have it.) So [SPOILER ALERT] seeing Andy give his toys to Bonnie cuts me deep, even though they are going to a good home and are going to get played with, it still hurts. It’s like giving away your pet. But it really is a good ending to the film. There are talks about Toy Story 4, but that won’t hit theaters until 2017. This series is a winner in my book!