Toy Story (1995) / Animation-Fantasy
MPAA Rated: G, suitable for all audiences
Running time: 81 min.
Cast (voices): Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik von Detten, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Penn Jillette
Director: John Lasseter
Screenplay: Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow
Review published November 22, 2000
The fact that Toy Story is the first full-length feature film done entirely in computer graphics would have made this interesting enough. The fact that it is also immensely enjoyable makes this one of the greatest cinematic delights of the 90s.
In Toy Story, there's a world that exists unseen by human imagination. Toys come to life when humans aren't present, walking and talking just like their real-life counterparts. Although enjoying their roles as a child's beloved playthings, conflicts arise when Andy, the boy who owns most of the toys in the film, gets a new, spiffy toy named Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen, Galaxy Quest) for his birthday. This doesn't sit well with Woody (Tom Hanks, Apollo 13), Andy's previous favorite toy, who begins to see the quality time he spends with Andy wane to almost nil. Now there's competition between the two toys and it may prove the undoing of both of them when they take their fight outside in a world that's not so friendly to toys.
"Awesome" is about the only word that might accurately describe the feeling of watching Toy Story for the first time. It's a terrific tale mixed with beautifully rendered computer graphics, making this one of the most uniquely pleasurable films to come out in a while. The cast of voice actors is perfect, while John Lasseter's (A Bug's Life) direction and the script provide excitement and inspiration, culminating in a film that will be loved by all ages. It's always a joy when I have to say that the only complaint I have is that the film is too short (About an hour and 15 minutes). For a computer generated film about non-living objects, Toy Story still has far more humanity than most films with human casts.
©2000 Vince Leo