To Infinity and Beyond with all 3 movies!
With the release of “Toy Story 4” approaching soon, I’ve decided to share with you my opinion of the other 3 movies. Over the years, the franchise have won the hearts of millions, because of their powerful imaginations, the illusion of how our toys feel and what they do when we’re not around, and why the masters at Disney and Pixar keep toping each sequel.
These movies aren’t just for kids, but also for adults. In any generation, we can relate to the characters and their stories.
The success began in 1995 when Disney and Pixar released the first-full computer animated movie. Each detail was crafted tremendously, capturing the flexibility and imagination of what toys do when people aren’t around. It was original, it was lively, it was delightful.
We were introduced to such characters as Woody the cowboy doll (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear the space ranger (voiced by Tim Allen), Mr. Potato Head (voiced by the late Don Rickles), Slinky Dog (voiced by the late Jim Varney), Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts), Rex the green dinosaur (voiced by Wallace Shawn), and Hamm the piggy bank (voiced by John. Ratzenberger).
The story involves how Woody and Buzz met, and how their differences placed them in the wrong hands of the wrong kid. It morphs with pure invention and honest consistency, and as a kid, I ate up the adventures that grew inside.
Who could forget the Pizza Plant arcade, the dissembled toys, the music by Randy Newman, the Big One rocket, and the Buzz Lightyear commercial? Nobody could, because they were memorable with how they’re written, designed, and played out.
The voice work from the cast, particularly Hanks and Allen, match their characters and ambitions. The score offers a balance of other genres without them overlapping one another, and keeps things rolling along. This was a fantastic start for the franchise.
“Toy Story 2”
Fun fact: this sequel almost went straight to video. I’m glad it didn’t, cause then, we’d probably wouldn’t get the next two films. But we’ll get to that later.
“Toy Story 2” was just a start in proof that sequels don’t need to always follow the same formulas that made the originals such hits. This offered new characters, including Woody’s cancelled TV show counterparts: the free-spirited Jessie (voiced by Joan Cusack), the box sealed Stinky Pete (voiced by Kelsey Grammer), and the horse Bullseye.
They all meet when Woody gets kidnapped by a greedy toy collector (voiced by Wayne Knight), and his good toy friends begin the journey to rescue him.
The plot also features Jessie reflecting on how her kid left her lust in the dust, Buzz dealing with his original self, Rex looking for cheat codes to defeat Emperor Zurg in the video game, and Stinky Pete at his wits end with being overshadowed by popular toys.
This sequel lives up to the original, because the filmmakers take their chances, and allow the toys to expand their horizons. This is what sequels should do, and “Toy Story 2” is brave.
The heart and humor merge very well with the characters, and the audience is able to resonate with them. Randy Newman’s music still bounces along with the scenes, and the voice actors never cease to amaze me. And girls are able to have fun with the Barbie mania, especially since Jodi Benson of “Little Mermaid” fame voices her.
“Toy Story 3”
11 years since the second film, “Toy Story 3” survived the early 2010s in many ways. It showed their original owner Andy (voiced by John Morris) preparing to put his toys aways before hitting college. That’s a lot for the toys to process, and they’re lost some loved ones along the ways.
One day, a misunderstanding leads them to Sunnyside Daycare, where two toys run the joint when the humans aren’t around. They consist of the strawberry-scented Lotso Hugging Bear (voiced by Ned Beatty) and Barbie’s boyfriend Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton). They’re actually quite abusive towards the toys, as they allow over-energized tots attack them; and so it’s up to Woody to help free them.
This sequel was so wonderful that it was even placed in the Best Picture category at the Oscars in 2011. How many animated movies can do that? It’s very rare, and when that happens, it’s further proof that this was a miracle.
And it also became a start for a new generation. A girl named Bonnie voiced by Emily Hahn) has a toy tribe of her own, including the unicorn Buttercup (voiced by Jeff Garlin), the Shakesperian porcupine Pricklepants (voiced by Timothy Dalton), the triceratops Trixie (voiced by Kristen Schaal), and the purple-haired Dolly (voiced by Bonnie Hunt). Even Totoro is part of them.
There’s something inside these sequels that spark your admiration for them. They have love, consideration, honest humor, professional voice actors, and colorful characters. “Toy Story 3” never condescends.
I’m more than excited to dish on “Toy Story 4,” but for now, I wanted to show you my affection for the last 3 movies. This is probably the greatest animated movie franchise of all time.
All these movies get ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️