Once upon a time, there was a little company called Pixar. They were just starting out and looking for a good concept to make a kids movie out of. The concept they picked was a somewhat ridiculous one (sentient toys) but it worked and boy did it put them on the map. Toy Story is not only one of the best kids movies I have ever seen, its one of the best movies I have ever seen. It has secured its place in cinematic history, spawning two sequels (one of which I will review soon, one of which I still need to see). This also kick-started Pixar's string of wonderful classics that will be loved for generations to come.
If you haven't seen Toy Story, you really should because its awesome. Anyway, its about a bunch of toys that belong to a little boy named Andy. Out of all those toys, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), a pull-string cowboy doll has the benefit of being Andy's favourite. That is until Andy's birthday comes along and he gets Buzz Lightyear, a spaceman action figure. Buzz is an instant hit with the other toys and he instantly becomes Andy's new favourite, much to Woody's chagrin. Woody and Buzz continue a rivarly of sorts until they accidentally fall into the hands of Sid, the sadistic little boy who tortures toys next door to Andy.
They also happen to be moving and Woody and Buzz have to make it home before moving day. They initially get lost at Pizza Planet and Sid pulls them out of the claw machine. The residents of the Claw Machine are aliens who believe the claw is some sort of god-like being who choses aliens to go to a better place. The scene with the aliens is easily the funniest in the movie. Anyway, I won't tell you anything more about the plot just in case you haven't seen it and you want to. Toy Story 2 is much sadder than this one, but this isn't without its emotional context. In fact, among other things, this got Pixar's emotionally connected movies started.
The movie also has some terrific memorable characters. Of course there's Woody and Buzz, the toys with the most emotional context, but there's a bunch of other wonderful toys too. Most of the other toys exist for comedic relief, and oh how they succeed in comic relief. There's Rex, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Slinky (RIP Jim Varney), and Hamm. Pretty much all the characters (toy and human alike) are incredibly memorable and beloved by me. The voice actors who play the characters are talented too like Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz.
Lastly, the animation is wonderful and would have actually looked good in 3D. I wish I caught the double feature because that would have been really cool. Anyway, I love the quality of Pixar's animation and Toy Story set the standard for the films to come. In fact, the animation in this film is so good that I find it hard to believe it was made in the mid-nineties. Needless to say, the animation was beautiful.
If you haven't seen Toy Story, I feel terribly sorry for you because it truly is a wonderful movie. You should watch this, and then watch the sequels, because TS2 was awesome and I expect TS3 will be just as great. These movies were a great part of my childhood and i have greatly regretted not being able to see Toy Story 3 in theatres, but I will get it on DVD as soon as I can. All in all, one of the best kids movies I have ever seen.
This is the movie that started it all in so many ways -- for the series, for Pixar, and for advancements in computer animation, and for me personally, one of the very first movies I had ever seen in theaters. Nearly two decades later, I still can't get enough of it, and I love what the third installment became (check out my review of Toy Story 3!).
In 1995 Pixar released their first film. A movie about toys that came to life whenever you left the room. At the time it was ambitious because there hadn't really been a movie done that was made entirely out of CGI. Granted, several movies made use of the effect, but Toy Story was, at the time, truly astonishing to look at. Nowadays the CGI looks rather dated, but for me, I never grew out of that, "It's totally computer animated," stage. I suppose … more
This isn't just one of Pixar's best movies... it is, perhaps, one of the best animated movies of all time. It's one of the few movies that manages to get just about everything right without making the audience feel like they missed something and can reach out and appeal to just about everyone.
There is greatness in film that can be discussed, dissected, and talked about late into the night. Then there is genius that is right in front of our faces--we smile at the spell it puts us into and are refreshed, and nary a word needs to be spoken. This kind of entertainment is what they used to call "movie magic," and there is loads of it in this irresistible computer animation feature. Just a picture of these bright toys reawaken the kid in us. Filmmaker John Lasseter thinks of himself as a storyteller first and an animator second, much like another film innovator, Walt Disney.
Lasseter's story is universal and magical: what do toys do when they're not played with? Cowboy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Andy's favorite bedroom toy, tries to calm the other toys (some original, some classic) during a wrenching time of year--the birthday party, when newer toys may replace them. Sure enough, Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is the new toy that takes over the throne. Buzz has a crucial flaw, though--he believes he's the real Buzz Lightyear, not a toy. Lasseter further scores with perfect voice casting, including Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head and Wallace Shawn as a meek dinosaur. The director-animator won a special Oscar for "the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film." In other words, the movie is great.--Doug Thomas