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I am a big fan of the animated movies coming from the Pixar Studios.
They are always looking for the newest technological possibilities to
use in their movies, creating movies that are more than just worth a
watch, even when they were made a decade ago.
The movie is about toys that come to life when their owner is asleep or not in the same room. When the young boy's birthday is coming up, all the toys are nervous. They don't want to be ignored when the new one arrives. Woody the cowboy is their "leader" because he's the most popular one of them all. He's the only one that hasn't got to be afraid, but than a new favorite arrives ... Buzz Lightyear. He hates him and tries everything possible to get rid of him, but as the time passes by they learn to appreciate each other...
When you see Toy Story, you may think that the different human like characters (Woody the cowboy for instance) aren't always as perfect as we are used to see in todays animated movies. Perhaps that's true, but if you keep in mind that all this was done in 1995, when computers weren't yet as strong and the technology for creating such movies was almost unknown, than you can only have a lot of respect for what the creators did. I loved the story and liked the animations a lot. I give it an 8.5/10.
Toy Story is not only the best Disney film because it has the best story and
the best animation, but also because of the excellent actors chosen to
provide the voices of the animals. The casting was perfect from top to
bottom, and the movie provides an excellent adventure story about friendship
and loyalty that keeps you engrossed until the nail-biting climax.
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen provided excellent voices for Woody and Buzz Lightyear -their performances alone are one of the biggest things that made this such a spectacular movie. Besides that, though, you have the excellent story that is not only noteworthy because it has never really been told from this perspective before, but also because it was just told so well. All of the characters in the film are very well developed and all have appropriate and effective actors chosen to provide their voices.
And of course, who could forget the revolutionary animation! The computer animation used for this movie not only made it startlingly realistic but also opened up tons of possibilities, and thankfully the filmmakers chose to explore these possibilities. There are dozens of things that are hidden in the woodwork throughout the film, as well as in the songs note, for example, the subtle playing of the Indiana Jones theme song in the scene where Woody knocks Buzz out the window with the desk lamp.
Toy Story is by far the best Disney film ever made, it's pretty much perfect. It's adventurous, it's exciting, it's entertaining, it's good for the whole family, it's got great characters, story, and plot, and above all, it's fun.
Andy's toys live a reasonable life of fun and peace, their only worries are
birthdays and Christmases, when new toys could easily replace those already
there. One such birthday Andy's top toy, Woody the cowboy, finds himself in
direct competition with Andy's new Buzz Lightyear doll. When rivalries boil
over Woody tries to hide Buzz down the side of the bed but accidentally
pushes him out the window, the other tops expel Woody, and he leaves with no
choice but to find Buzz and return him to the house. But with only two days
before Andy moves house, time is of the essence.
Given how often the same mix of animation, wit, jokes and kids humour has been used since Toy Story (Ice Age, Monsters Inc, Bugs Life) it is easy to forget how refreshing it was when it first came out. I have just watched it again and it is dating a little in comparison to more recent twists on the formula. It seems each one has to be sharper and have more references etc in the background. However it is still very funny and deserves praise for being the first of a successful formula.
The plot is simple but effective and actually has genuine drama and excitement to it. The main story is fun but the degree of character development is what really shores it up. The conflict between Buzz and Woody is taken deeper than this and, when confronted by the truth of his status as a toy, Buzz's turmoil is very real as opposed to him being a cartoon character and nothing more. Despite the two strong leads there is a real depth in the support cast. They may not actually have that many lines, but they have all the funniest lines. Most of the `adult' wit comes from the Potato Head, dinosaur, the pig and slinky dog. They are funny and are very well used. In fact the majority of this humour and plot will go right over kids heads.
Looking back on it, I do feel a cynical edge on it in so much as this film must really have helped sales of the toy companies in the film. It's hard not to see the marketing department standing behind this film rubbing their hands. However the actual product is so wonderfully fun that I forgot this quickly. The voice work is excellent and the characters match the actors. Hanks is good as Woody and Allen has a good B-movie type voice for Buzz. Varney, Ratzenberger, Ermey (doing his usual), Rickles and others are all really good in the support roles and, probably, come out as the favourite characters for adults.
Overall this is a classic film that will appeal to adults as much as to kids (if not more). A good plot and a really sharp script make the already short running time fly by. The only downside is that your kids will want you to go out and buy the damn things!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Toy Story 5/5 stars
Children play with toys. It is a known fact. At one time or another, we all played with toys, whether they were action figures, dolls, little green soldiers, etc But what if toys were real? What if they could talk?
Pixar and Disney serve us this theory in what was the first full-length computer-animated film ever, 'Toy Story,' chronicling the events in the life of a cowboy doll, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks).
Woody is the favorite toy of his owner, a small child named Andy. Andy brings Woody everywhere, and cherishes him, as we see in the beginning of the film. However, this all changes on Andy's birthday when Andy gets a new toy: a Buzz Lightyear doll (voiced by Tim Allen). Woody is suddenly forgotten, left with the rest of his friends: Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Slinky Dog (Jim Varney, better known as Ernest) and Ham (see if you can guess the voice of this one? I'll give you a hint: 'Cheers').
But after Buzz accidentally gets knocked out an upstairs window, Woody is the prime suspect. Now, after Woody and Buzz end up next door, in toy killer Sid's house, Woody must prove his innocence by getting both Buzz and him back to Andy's house safely.
'Toy Story' builds on an element we all shrug off carelessly and thoughtlessly. Much like they did last year with monsters under the bed, Pixar took the theory of live toys to a new level in 'Toy Story,' filling our minds with endless possibilities.
What Pixar does is a strange thing. It doesn't just try to expand our mind, but also out world. I respect and enjoy that. In 'Monsters, Inc.,' Pixar managed to preach to us 'What if monsters under the bed are real, and what if they have a world much like ours, and have feelings like humans,' while never forgetting the equally important formula of humor. Much is the same with their earlier film 'Toy Story.' What if those wooden and plastic toys we all played with as kids are real? What if they have feelings, emotions, voices, and human qualities? An interesting idea by itself, but when mixed with a wicked sense of humor and reality, you've got yourself one of the best films ever.
Tom Hanks is perfect as Woody. Pixar must have modeled the doll's expressions and movements after Hanks, because after a while, I feel like I AM watching Hanks on screen, and NOT a computer-generated image. When you get to the point of not being able to tell animation from reality, you know that the voices are good.
The same goes for Tim Allen, though the body gestures were most likely not modeled after Allen's physical expressions (Buzz is a short, pot-bellied toy).
The rest of the cast is excellent, all very believable and entertaining. You begin to love each character for their distinguishing traits, and that is always refreshing.
I can safely say that I have not enjoyed animated films quite so much over the years as I have enjoyed Pixar films. The only film they made that I named forgettable was 'A Bug's Life,' which was in and of it not horrible, but lacking the sense of humor the other Pixar films have and had.
Pixar makes very refreshing films. In an era of cheap, made-for-video Disney sequels, rip-off cartoons and television babysitters (i.e. 'The Jungle Book 2), Pixar holds true to the values that made Disney films so entertaining back in the 30's-60's: Respect for the audience's intelligence, humor, provocative ideas to base the film upon, and respect for the audience (not the exact same thing as the first element), all of which are forgotten in this day and age of money-makers. I respect Pixar very much, and after hearing how little Disney does in helping with their films, I feel that Disney is just trying to cash in on their ideas by having their name branded on the posters for Pixar films. Shame on you, Disney. Proof that Disney has no respect for audiences is the fact that they will not let another sequel be made something that fans like me would rather have than something like 'Finding Nemo.'
'Toy Story' 1 & 2 are both on my 'favorite films' list. It may sound stupid, but if I made up a top 250 list like IMDb.com, both of those films would be on there; so would 'Monsters Inc.' After an unpromising trailer for Pixar's upcoming film 'Finding Nemo,' I think that after their licensing deal with Disney is disputed (they have to cough up five more ORIGINAL films not sequels by 2005), they should definitely try to make a 'Toy Story 3.' I'll be first in line for it, anyway.
This is a very clever animated story that was a big hit, and
justifiably so. It had a terrific sequel and if a third film came out,
that would probably be a hit, too.
When this came out, computer technology just was beginning to strut its stuff. Man, this looked awesome. Now, it's routine because animation, which took a giant leap with this movie, has made a lot more giant strides.
The humor in here, however, is what made this so popular. There are tons of funny lines, issued by characters voiced by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Jim Varney, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn and John Ratzenberger, among others. As good as Hanks is as "Woody" and Allen as "Buzz Armstrong," I think the supporting characters just about stole the show: Mr. Potato Head, Slinky, Rex the dinosaur, etc.
Multiple viewings don't diminish the entertainment, either. There are so many things to catch, audibly and visually, that you always seem to discover something new. The colors in here are beautiful, too. This is a guaranteed "winner" as is the sequel.
Toy Story is the film that started Pixar Animated Studios into its long string of never ending success. What Pixar does is not just absorb the younger demographic and keep the older ones mildly entertained. It completely absorbs everyone watching no matter the age or the level of maturity, films of Pixar, starting from Toy Story, have kept a certain magical touch around it with an unexpected amount of depth. Everyone as a child imagines their toys will come alive and go on their own adventures. One of the great things Pixar does is that it does not attract audiences with its overloaded superstar casts but rather with its material. The only superstar here is Tom Hanks and Tim Allen is the next most aforementioned voice over. Unlike what most people think their is an actually a method to casting for animated films as there is to a live-action one. As a result of this Pixar stays faithful to its material and creates a great genuine and warm feeling around the film and its characters.
Though I am not a big fan of computer animation,I have to give the folks at Pixar credit.This brand of animation is nothing short of brilliant.The attention to detail,such as eye and body movement is quite remarkable.Computers allow them to make their characters as close to human like as possible,something we have never seen in traditional hand drawn animation,though the latter will always be the closest to my heart.Combine this excellence with a genuinely good story idea and a top notch voice cast and the result is good family entertainment.It's obvious that the people at Pixar are not only caring perfectionists when it comes to film making,but they care about our kids,something rarely seen today.Highly recommended for any home library.
Y'know, I always suspected that my toys were coming to life when I
In Andy's Room, his toys lead lives of noisy desperation come every birthday and Christmas - no one wants to be one-upped by a new addition to the toy box. Nominally led by Cowboy Woody (there's a Brokeback joke in there just waiting to happen), Mr. Potato Head, Rex the Dinosaur, Ham the piggybank, Bo Peep, Slinky the dog and a smattering of other playthings go about their toy business of playing checkers, hanging with the hometoys and "plastic corrosion awareness meetings," until Andy's birthday party, when they gather expectantly around a transistor radio, listening to the reports of their toy soldier troops "in the field" (downstairs watching Andy's gift-opening), hoping that no gift will be exciting enough to cause Andy to neglect *them.* There is. His name is Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger.
Directed by Pixar mainstay John Lasseter, with the voice talents of Tom Hanks (as Woody), Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger (forever Cliff from *Cheers*), R. Lee Ermey, Annie Potts, Jim Varney and Tim Allen (as Buzz), *Toy Story* is that *rara avis* that succeeds on all levels in its animation, storyline, character development, its messages of friendship and self-realization and, most importantly, its entertainment value. The fact that this is a cartoon (or animated feature just what DO we call this new wave of computer-generated movies?) is incidental. Which makes the slightly dodgy animation (of the "real people") irrelevant - it gets the point across with or without the technological finesse.
The "Disney Movie" has become synonymous with maudlin messages, redneck fundamentalism, anachronistic family values, boneheaded parents, smart-mouthing youngsters, too-hip-to-be-smart teens and insufferable pets. Though Disney's tyrannical umbrella overarches this film's production studio, Pixar Animation, *Toy Story* somehow avoided all trace of Disney's craven hand, which is doubly surprising, considering this is Pixar's first feature length film, after years of experimentation. Right outa the gate and right outa the field.
Sure, there are "messages," but they are heartfelt, rather than maudlin (Woody tells Buzz during Buzz's greatest depression that it matters not what Buzz thinks of himself, what makes him important is what his owner, Andy, thinks of him); there are emotional segments, which are truly heartbreaking, rather than cheesy (when Buzz's escape attempt lands him with a broken arm, proving he is Not A Flying Toy, the lyric, "Clearly I will go sailing no more," launches a thousand hankies); and the portrayal of Andy's family was Pixar's triumphal achievement. Boldly contravening Disney's *idée fixe* of the 1950's nuclear family and Norman Rockwell fantasies, one of the many incarnations of a modern-day family is presented: a single mother with two kids, who are neither geniuses nor monsters, just normal children; happy to visit Pizza Planet and disappointed when favorite toys are lost.
Buzz who believes he is a real life space ranger on a mission to save the universe - become Andy's favorite toy over Woody. The funny thing is: though Buzz believes he is real, he still adheres to toy protocol of "playing inert" when humans are in the area. (Maybe it's instinct?) When he mentions saving a toy from Sid, the vicious boy next door, how does he propose to do it if he is to adhere to the inert protocol? Buzz's ingenuousness regarding his role as a toy infuriates Woody to the point of attempted toy-assassination. Through a concatenation of accidents, both he and Buzz become lost and must use teamwork, trust and ingenuity to beat their path back to Andy, which finds them ensconced in scorchingly funny vignettes (Buzz fastening himself in an over-sized seatbelt; both falling in with green, three-eyed aliens; Buzz hyperventilating as "Mrs. Nesbitt"). During a climactic rocket ride, the callback line, "This is not flying - this is falling with style," simply seals this movie's greatness.
At least I now have a plausible explanation as to why my toys always got lost: after going about their toy business, they would just go inert anywhere they happened to be, instead of paying attention to their master's infallible toy filing system .
A very sweet and fun movie. TOY STORY has great computer animation. A simple
yet well told story is also added as well. The voice overs are top notch and
everyone gets a fair share in this movie. PIXAR has done a good job placing
itself on the map.
Set in Andy's room and before the family moves, his mother decides to throw a birthday party for the young lad. Andy's toys all have a conscience and are led by his favorite, Woody. But alas, the big new toy from the party unknowingly takes Woody's mantle.
Envy and jealousy are brought up well. So is the ignorance of Andy's toys and the loss of innocence from Buzz Lightyear. TOY STORY is well packaged exceeded only by its sequel. A good rent.
Just in case you were also wondering what happened to all the toys that
missing when you were a kid, the answer is clear: They
"Toy Story" is the kind of children's movie adults can enjoy just as much, because it very cleverly mines deep deposits of nostalgia from the memory banks. That may be the reason the 1990s bedroom of young Andy is populated by playthings of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. If Andy was a real boy of his time, there would be a computer and a TV/Nintendo, and not much else.
The voicings of the various toys add to the enjoyability. Tom Hanks was the biggest star of the moment when "Toy Story" came out, and he works with that likeability by creating a stable center as Woody the cowboy doll. Don Rickles has the screen role of his career (not that "Kelly's Heroes" was Oscar material) as a prickly Mr. Potato Head, while Jim Varney and R. Lee Ermey are standouts in the supporting cast.
Tim Allen gives the movie's best performance, as a newfangled toy that takes Woody's place in Andy's heart but can't bring himself to accept that he's just a plastic plaything. It's the role of the story that gives him the best lines ("I don't believe that man has ever been to medical school"), but Allen delivers them with real panache. He more than holds his own, and you kind of see where he took off with that note-perfect William Shatner parody he perfected on screen in the underrated "Galaxy Quest."
While this movie's use of computer animation makes it a milestone, it neither represents the most innovative use of the technology or the cleverest Pixar-ated treatment of a story. "A Bug's Life" seems a more worthy apex; that story was funnier, worked better on its own merits, and used the animation to better effect. But given how novel all of this was in 1995, "Toy Story" could have been a lot less thought-through than it was, and still made gobs of money. The fact it is instead invested with real heart, and can be watched and enjoyed today just as easily as when it debuted nearly 10 years ago, is a tribute to the people behind it.
I like Randy Newman's music, just not here, and while the animation textures are surprisingly lifelike, there are places, especially with Scud the dog but also with the baby's drool, where it falls short. The story itself gets kind of rote with repeat viewings, though the transition to Sid's bedroom and its sad mutilated toys is a genius moment. So too are the vending machine aliens, who gape in rapt wonder at the judgment of "the claw." If it reached for pathos a little less often, "Toy Story" would be an undeniable classic.
As it is, it is very, very good, the kind of film that's only good for children, even (especially?) the inner ones.
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