Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks) is the leader of a group of toys who come alive when no one is watching. Owned by young Andy (John Morris), they find new toy Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) thrown into the mix, and when Woody's insecurity causes him to try almost anything to get Buzz out of the picture, he almost succeeds with catastrophic effects. Soon, both Woody and Buzz find themselves captives in the next-door home of toy molester Sid (Erik von Detten). Not only must they get out of Sid's place, but the family's moving day is nigh, and no one wants to be left behind.
Hanks brings the apprehensive Woody alive better than most live characters are done. And a gaggle of supporting toys round out the cast, including Don Rickles as a sarcastic Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as a pacifist Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Annie Potts as Woody's love interest Bo Peep, all of whom add another twist to comic happenings. Even questions of identity are brought up without being too silly, as Buzz doesn't understand he's not a real spaceman. Toy Story visually spectacular, but it's downright hilarious.
Nice touches make the film a true delight to watch, with details like water droplets on windows, the detailed underbelly of the moving van, and reflections of the family in Christmas tree ornaments. I'd wager something new could be found every time the movie is seen.
The only problems I had were the corny songs and the fact that the animation, while it works spectacularly well for the stiffly mechanical toys, doesn't translate so easily to human movement. While people aren't the ultimate subject of the piece, it is a bit of a distraction when they're in the focus.
Nonetheless, Toy Story is a visual feast, perfect for the holidays. Director John Lasseter ups the stakes with every scene, the best of which is a nightmarish sequence in Sid's room, whose toy experimentations look straight out of Tim Burton's brain. Highly recommended "for kids of all ages."
The new 10th Anniversary DVD is a great way to revisit the film -- though it looks positively primitive in comparison to more recent computer animated flicks. A full second disc of extras celebrates the film's legacy, with deleted scenes, games, interviews, intros, and much more. Highly recommended, of course.
Run time: 81 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd November 1995
Box Office Worldwide: $362M
Distributed by: Buena Vista
Production compaines: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
IMDB: 8.3 / 10
Director: John Lasseter
Starring: Tom Hanks as Woody (voice), Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear (voice), Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head (voice), Jim Varney as Slinky Dog (voice), Wallace Shawn as Rex (voice), John Ratzenberger as Hamm (voice), Annie Potts as Bo Peep (voice), John Morris as Andy (voice), Erik von Detten as Sid (voice), Laurie Metcalf as Andy's Mom (voice), R. Lee Ermey as Sergeant (voice), Sarah Freeman as Hannah (voice), Penn Jillette as TV Announcer (voice), Jack Angel as Shark / Rocky Gibraltar (voice), Spencer Aste as Additional Voice, Greg Berg as Minesweeper Soldier (voice), Lisa Bradley as Additional Voice, Kendall Cunningham as Additional Voice, Debi Derryberry as Aliens / Troll / Announcer on Intercom at Pizza Planet (voice), Cody Dorkin as Additional Voice, Bill Farmer as Additional Voice, Craig Good as Additional Voice, Gregory Grudt as Additional Voice, Danielle Judovits as Additional Voice, Sam Lasseter as Additional Voice, Brittany Levenbrown as Additional Voice, Sherry Lynn as Additional Voice, Scott McAfee as Additional Voice, Mickie McGowan as Sid's Mom (voice), Ryan O'Donohue as Additional Voice, Jeff Pidgeon as Aliens / Robot / Mr. Spell (voice), Patrick Pinney as Additional Voice, Philip Proctor as Bowling Announcer / Pizza Planet Guard (voice), Jan Rabson as Additional Voice, Joe Ranft as Lenny the Binoculars (voice), Andrew Stanton as Commercial Chorus (voice), Shane Sweet as Additional Voice
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