|TOY STORY (1995)|
R. Lee Ermey
|"What chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure?"|
|Time: 81 mins.|
Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score, Best Song and Best Original Screenplay.
I'm not ashamed to say that TOY STORY is one of my all-time favorite movies. I had really high expectations when the film was initially released and it not only met them, but exceeded them. Not only is the animation spectacularly sharp, brilliantly directed and beyond anything that had been created before, the script is witty, clever, intelligent and downright funny. This is class A filmmaking that will keep you laughing from start to finish. I've seen this film many times and with each viewing I find something new to marvel at. The wonderful cast truly brings this sweet story about a toy who's afraid of becoming forgotten.
There have been other films about the secret lives of toys, but nothing as fun-filled and fleshed out as this. The characters in this scenario are toys who belong to a young boy named Andy. What makes them instantly endearing is the fact that they are all toys we played with as children Mr. Potato Head, the bucket of soldiers, Slinky-Dog, the Etch-A-Sketch. It's amazing to see them come to life with voices and personalities all their own. The leader in the playroom, and number one in the eyes of Andy, is Woody the Cowboy, voiced by Tom Hanks. Though clearly in charge, Woody is liked by everyone, mainly because he looks out for the group making sure no feels left out. Nervous anticipation fills the playroom on the afternoon of Andy's birthday. All of the toys feel anxious about their place in the pecking order of the playroom and are worried they will be usurped by a newer toy. Woody isn't worried and tries to keep everyone relaxed. It never occurs to him that he's the one who should be worried.
The latest toy turns out to be a Buzz Lightyear fully-posable action figure with wings, retractable helmet and battery-powered "laser". It's instantly clear by the reaction of the other toys that Woody may have some cause for concern. He tries to make friends with Buzz, but he doesn't get very far. Buzz seems to be under the impression that he actually is the real character and not a plastic toy. He believes he's actually on a mission that has taken a wrong turn on a strange planet, being Andy's room. No matter what Woody tries to say, he can't convince Buzz otherwise. He begins to resent Buzz since all the other toys, as well as Andy, seem have taken a strong liking to this space ranger. Woody lets his jealousy get out of hand and things take a disastrous turn for both he and Buzz. Not only does Woody lose the respect of the other toys, he and Buzz may not survive to make the move to Andy's new home. In the end, both Woody and Buzz learn the value of true friendship and of being a valued toy.
What might have been a sappy kid's movie is elevated to a brilliant comedy due to the brilliant dialogue and the talent of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. They are perfect together as the sparring Woody and Buzz. Though this is a film for all ages, the sarcasm that drips from their voices is pure adult fun. Most of the best jokes will be lost on the young, but that just creates a whole new experience for them when they get older. The essence of the film can be summed up in the following exchange:
Woody: Look, we're all very impressed with Andy's new toy.The devastation in Allen's voice when he finally realizes he's nothing but a piece of plastic brings a tear to the eye. It's amazing how an actor can bring a character to life just through their voice. With a deeper storyline than most animated flicks, TOY STORY is an instant classic and a film you can enjoy over and over again. The only problem with the animation is the way it renders people, which is not very clean or believable, but you won't really care. The film isn't about them and the way the toys are created is a marvel to watch. I'm not a big fan of the sequences within the evil neighbor Sid's house, but I understand why the story went there. They needed to create a situation where Woody could redeem himself by saving Buzz's life. However, it goes on a bit long and is more than a little creepy. Of course, the scene where the toys get back at Sid for his years of maliciousness towards them is classic.
TOY STORY is a film that adults and kids alike will love. A must-have for any movie lover.