The Toy Story Movies (1995, 1999, 2010)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3 (1995, 1999, 2010) from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios
Rated G. Animated, Comedy, Action, Family Film
3 Academy Awards between the first and the third, including Best Animated Feature Film (Toy Story 3)

Five Gold Stars

Description (from the first film’s case): As six-year-old Andy’s favorite toy, Woody (Tom Hanks), a take-charge, pull-string cowboy, is confident in his role as room leader. But after Andy’s birthday party, newcomer Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), a flashy space ranger with laser action and pop-out wings, crash-lands into Woody’s world. Buzz instantly wins the admiration of Andy’s other toys, igniting a rivalry that lands the duo inside the home of Sid–the toy-torturing boy next door. To escape Sid’s evil plans, Woody and Buzz must work together and realize they’ve got the perfect friend…in each other!

My thoughts: Somebody was thinking outside of the box, here–albeit, perhaps, inside of the toy box–to come up with Toy Story. I’d never read anything like it and had never seen any movie like it before this, but any kid who’s ever had toys has lived and imagined this story, in one way or another, and the three films’ fresh but strangely familiar take on the life of toys is what makes them brilliant, along with their very real themes of friendship and belonging, jealousy, nostalgia for the past, uncertainty about the future, purpose, and self-acceptance.

I know it’s no small task to make a movie sequel that’s on par with its smash-hit predecessor, and it’s even more challenging to keep the excellence going for three films released over a fifteen-year span, but Toy Story 2 and 3 are just as good as the first, the second and third including some pretty heartrending and gut-wrenching stuff that’s just flat-out superb drama.



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