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Toy Story 2

A movie directed by John Lasseter

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"Woody's Roundup..."

  • Jul 7, 2010
Everyone knows about the runaway success of the first Toy Story film in 1995.  When it first dropped down it instantly became one of Disney/Pixars best known classics.  When the idea of a sequel emerged, Disney was pretty sure it was going to be a straight to video affair.  This was in part because it was always how Disney had done their sequels and also because the track record of Disney sequels wasn't exactly something to be proud of.  Upon hearing this Tom Hanks and Tim Allen said they wouldn't come back unless Toy Story 2 got a theatrical release.  And lo and behold it did.  Not only proving to be a very successful sequel, but willing to go a little further than the first Toy Story in terms of story.  Is it the best of the Toy Story trilogy?  Indeed not.  It doesn't have all the charm of the original, and doesn't have the absurd emotional pull of the third.  That doesn't make Toy Story 2 bad in anyway.  It's still among Pixar's best productions out there. 

The movie begins with Buzz going to a planet to battle the evil emperor Zurg.  After battling millions of robots to get this far and facing the perils of Zurg's fortress, Buzz finally confronts Zurg... and is immediately killed.  The words "Game Over" flash on the screen and it is revealed that Rex is playing a video game.  A game he apparently isn't very good at.  Meanwhile, Andy is going to cowboy camp and Woody has lost his hat and needs to find it.  Once he does Andy has about five minutes before he has to go.  So what is a boy who has five minutes before they leave do?  Why, play with his toys of course!  Except in the midst of playing with them, Woody's arm rips and Andy decides not to take him to cowboy camp as a result.  Woody gets put on the shelf where he meets a long lost toy named Wheezy who doesn't have a squeaker anymore.  That was also put on the shelf... and never fixed.

When Andy is finally gone, his mother comes into her room and grabs a few toys for the garage sale out front.  One of the toys she happens to grab is Wheezy.  It's one thing to see a broken toy get shelved... it's another to watch them get carried away as a result.  Broken arm and all, Woody decides that it's up to him to save Wheezy and so he hitches a ride on Andy's dog Buster to go to the garage sale down below.  The other toys, unaware of why Woody would do such a thing, wonder if it's because he's crazy or stupid... or both.  When they watch him below and see he's saving Wheezy they cheer him on.  Once Woody grabs Wheezy he hooks him to Buster's collar and they ride back to Andy's room... at least they would be together if Woody didn't get knocked off.  With people swarming the garage sale all over, and Woody going into his "toy" state, it's only a matter of time before a child decides she wants him.  Andy's Mom, like any mother, knows her kid and decides Woody isn't for sale.  This isn't exactly something very fitting for a guy named Al, who happens to be at the garage sale.  He's a toy collector and when he hears Woody's voice box, he knows it's him.  And he wants him.  As much as Andy's mom tells him he isn't for sale (even going so far as to put Woody in a lock box) it becomes clear he won't take no for an answer.  At this point Al causes a ruckus at the garage sale, cracks open the lock box and steals Woody.  It's not up to Buzz to lead the toys on a rescue mission.  To save Woody.

There's a lot to Toy Story 2.  As with the first one it has its charming moments.  Particularly when Woody is in the confines of Al's possession.  There are even little references thrown into the first one.  When Woody discovers he was once a famous icon and that eventually the show was cancelled because people became interested in "space men," Woody remarks that he knows what that's like.  More than that, Woody being famous works in a way for the audience as well.  Certainly he's famous to us as well.  The dolls from "Woody's Roundup," are famous.  But the most famous of them all are Prospector Pete, Bullseye, and Jessie the cowgirl.  These are also the new characters in Toy Story 2.  And they're a lot of fun.

Toy Story 2 does have its emotional moments.  When we learn of Jessie's backstory... it's hard not to be a little moved when we realized what happened to her.  It's not enough to get you bawling or anything like that (certainly not like the emotional moments in Toy Story 3) but it definitely tugs at your heart strings. 

The story in Toy Story 2 is as simple as the first one and the characters are just as lovable.  The reason I say it's not as good as that first one is mostly based on the fact that there's a bit that we could probably go without.  The whole intro with Rex playing the game, for example, might've been better off not being there.  Likewise, there's a moment where Buzz meets another Buzz that's a throw back to the first film.  That's not what's annoying about it, however... what's annoying is when they meet an evil Zurg action figure.  It's actually a little too much at times.  These don't necessarily make Toy Story 2 unenjoyable.  And some of those moments are quite comedic in their own way... but they seem to serve more so as a distraction than anything else.

The twists and turns found in Toy Story 2 are not things we're unfamiliar with, but what makes them special is how well they're done here.  And in spite of everything  you're still getting an adventure.  The characters remain likable and charming... and the new ones are lovable in their own way.  It may not be as good as the first one, but that's mostly due to the fact that we've seen most of these characters before and that we've been exposed to them before.  Yet we're glad to be back with them because they're so likable.  Woody, Buzz, Rex, Mr. Potato Head etc. are characters we all love a remarkably great deal.  Toy Story 2 keeps things light but it keeps the laughs and joys coming all around.  It's also the rare Disney sequel that isn't all around terrible.  It's not integral to see the first Toy Story to enjoy it... but it's better if you do because some of the jokes and references are only enhanced by this.

Toy Story 2 may not be the best of the trilogy, but it's still among the best of what Pixar has to offer and it's a very good movie all around.  It became a classic in 1999 and has remained a classic ever since.  It's just an enjoyable affair overall.  Even in spite of some of the more distracting moments.

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July 08, 2010
Ok. Sean you are on a Toy-ish drive. LOL! I really appreciate the effort you've put in reviewing the TS movies for our community! Thanks!
July 07, 2010
Wow, Sean, you're really Toy Story-ing it up this week! No complaints here though. Great review as always! Woo needs to create a Toy Story badge. You would've unlocked it

*paging Woo*

July 08, 2010
Actually I am on it--it'll be cool.
More Toy Story 2 reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
I don't think Toy Story 2 was as great as its predecessor, but I still think it is a wonderful movie and one of the best sequels ever made. This is sadder than the first one, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have all the heart, character, and humour that the first one had. The movie also introduced some great new characters like Jessie, Bullseye, and the Happy Prospector. It also keeps the standard of stellar animation, voice acting, and memorable characters as the first film.   …
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Good movie the first one was the best though in my opinion
review by . January 24, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Here is a sequel that equals its predecessor in sheer enjoyment. Wonderful new characters make the story fresh. Loved all the references to Star Wars. I will be one of the first to purchase the video when it comes out. Hope that this is only the first in a long line of sequels or possible television series.
review by . February 04, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Better than the first     Cons: none     The Bottom Line: make it a family movie night and definitely veiw this movie for yourself.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. That would explain how it went when we took our daughter to see this film. It was so funny the entire theatre, young and old were laughing through almost the entire film.      The first Toy Story I found to …
review by . January 10, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Animation, funny, lighthearted     Cons: None     Toy Story 2 takes off right where Toy Story left off. More adventures for Woody and Buuzz and the rest of the gang. The animation is wonderful and draws you right in. The beauty of this movie is that it appeals to a very wide audience. Children will love it yet the plot, dialogue and humor is sophisticated enough for adults to really enjoy it too. My big complaint about children's movies is that they …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this movie


In this dazzling sequel to the 1995 blockbuster, Andy heads off to summer camp, leaving the toys behind to fend for themselves. In much the same way Buzz discovered he is a mass-produced product in the first installment, Woody discovers that he is a valuable collectible spawned by a popular 1950s kiddie-puppet TV show, "Woody's Roundup Gang," when he is kidnapped by an evil toy collector, Al McWhiggin. Through Al, who plans to sell him to a Japanese toy museum, Woody is reunited with the toy versions of his TV cohorts--plucky cowgirl Jessie (Cusack), prospector Stinky Pete (Grammer), and trusty horse Bullseye. Woody must choose between seeing Andy grow up and forsake him and living a sterile but eternal life behind glass being admired--but not played with. Meanwhile, the rest of the original toy troupe undergoes a thrilling crosstown adventure to locate their kidnapped friend and restore him his rightful owner. Extremely entertaining, surprisingly touching, endlessly thrilling eye candy for anyone of any...
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Director: John Lasseter
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: November 24, 1999
MPAA Rating: G
Screen Writer: Andrew Stanton
DVD Release Date: Walt Disney Home Video (March 23, 2010)
Runtime: 1hr 32min
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Studios
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