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Toy Story (1995)

  Directed by: John Lasseter
Written by: Joel Cohen, Peter Docter, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Alec Sokolow, Andrew Stanton, Joss Whedon
Starring: Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, John Morris, Annie Potts, John Ratzenberger, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Jim Varney
Links: Toy Story on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 9.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Toy Story (1995) is also mentioned in mino's review of A Bug's Life (1998), mino's review of Finding Nemo (2003), citizenjoe's review of Finding Nemo (2003), mino's review of Ice Age (2002), mino's review of Love Tricycle (2003), pearly's review of Monsters, Inc. (2001), citizenjoe's review of The Incredibles (2004), em_fiction's review of The Incredibles (2004), pearly's review of Tin Toy (1988) and pearly's review of Toy Story 2 (1999).

"The original and still the best" - a review by pearly

Toy Story is a classic. Pretty much single-handedly starting the 3-D animation revolution, it's a fantastic concept, executed brilliantly. It's hard to deny the awesome super-powers of Pixar, who deliver the goods again and again.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and this being the case, it's not surprising that for just about every Pixar film, there has soon followed a very similar animated film. With Toy Story, it was Small Soldiers (1998). For A Bug's Life (1998), there was Antz (1998) (these were dubiously close, but I'll assume that A Bug's Life came first). And now, with Finding Nemo (2003), the copycat is Shark Tale (2004). Whether one or the other of each of these pairings is better is irrelevant; the fact remains that the good folk at Pixar are coming up with some brilliant ideas for animated kid's flicks - ideas that work, and that are innovative and fun.

And this one, Toy Story, is certainly no exception. Set in the bedroom of Andy (John Morris), instead of focusing on the goings-on in the young boy's life, the story is about Andy's toys. Woody (Tom Hanks), a fairly old-fashioned cowboy doll, has been Andy's favourite for as long as anyone can remember, having the ultimate mark of respect being given to him in the form of Andy's name being textaed onto his foot. But as the film begins, it is Andy's birthday, and he receives a special gift: a brand new Buzz Lightyear doll (Tim Allen). Despairing about his new position in the toy hierarchy, the normally kind and popular Woody devises a plan to get rid of Lightyear, and hopefully put himself back to the top of Andy's mind.

Whilst containing a moral and a whole bunch of wholesome messages for the kids watching, Toy Story manages not to shove this stuff down the viewer's throats, remaining interesting and fun throughout. I remember watching it for the first time and being amazed by how good looking it was; the novelty has since worn off a bit, what with the flooding of the market and all, but Toy Story still looks great, and is a good example of Pixar's ability to create a timeless film in a medium that is not necessarily timeless. Despite technological advances, the film still looks pretty damned slick.

But it's the story that I enjoy the most with Toy Story. Watching these toys come to life and have their own adventures is great fun, and it is handled in superb fashion: each toy has its own distinct personality, with flaws that they must do their best to live with or better, and depth often not found in "real life" movies. There's not a hint of a patronising nature in what could easily have become so, either.

Unless you think kid's films are beneath you (in which case, you're really missing out on some top times), you'll love Toy Story just like every other person I know does.

pearly gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 4 Oct 2004

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