Toy Story 2 [in 3D] Movie Review

While this film looks terrific in 3D, it doesn't quite stand up over time.

There's an odd sense of dragging in the middle, and some of the action sequences feel like they never quite crank up to high gear.

On the other hand, the film is a series of gorgeously conceived set pieces and terrific character interaction and, unlike newer films, it's not afraid to get a bit grim. Stinky Pete's character is especially well-realised, right through to the anarchic closing-credit outtakes. As with most good sequels, the secret is to create strong new characters, and Stinky Pete certainly does that. It's also great to have Barbie in this world.

Woody (voiced by Hanks) is the one who gets to be delusional this time, as he's kidnapped by a toy collector (Knight) who recognises his value as a classic collectible. He's reunited with the gang from the '50s TV series Woody's Roundup, friends he never knw he had: cowgirl Jesse (Cusack), trusty steed Bullseye and Stinky Pete (Grammer). And he starts to enjoy his celebrity status and the idea that he'll spend the rest of his days on proud display in a Tokyo museum. But his old gang sets out to rescue him and bring him back to earth. Of course it doesn't go terribly smoothly.

Pixar's animators show a continuous stream of visual inventiveness, from the cheese-puff minefield to the witty re-creation of 1950s TV programming. And it all becomes even more involving in 3D, especially since it's not gimmicky at all: only one moment pokes us (literally) in the eye.

The film barrels along, piling on the jokes and sight gags with breathtaking speed that entertains both kids and grown-ups (including some subtle--and hilarious--rude gags). Several sequences brilliantly spoof other films; others create magical moments all their own. The only time it falters is in a couple of painfully soppy (and unnecessary) sequences. And the moralising is a bit weak-- about recognising who you really are and so on. But those are minor complaints; this is a fantastically entertaining adventure crafted and performed with skill and energy.


Toy Story 2 [in 3D] Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: U, 1999


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