Toy Story (1995)

Movie Title: Toy Story

Year Released: 1995

Rated: G

Runtime: 1h 21min

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Adventure

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik von Detten, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey

Review: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position as Andy's favorite toy jeopardized when his parents buy him a Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) action figure. Even worse, the arrogant Buzz thinks he's a real spaceman on a mission to return to his home planet. When Andy's family moves to a new house, Woody and Buzz must escape the clutches of maladjusted neighbor Sid Phillips (Erik von Detten) and reunite with their boy.

Star Wars and Harry Potter aside, Toy Story and it's three sequels are perhaps the culmination of the greatest film franchise of my childhood and adult life. Spanning 24 years, the Toy Story franchise has had a lasting impact on so many people who grew up in my generation, and the granddaddy of them all, is the original. To put it simply, I literally grew up with this movie. I was basically Andy's age in the original, and have grown up and gone through the same life evolution as his character in this film franchise. There is a deeply emotional connection to these films that is hard to find anywhere else. Toy Story was groundbreaking in so many ways, and I think a big reason why so many hold it near and dear to their hearts. This was the first full-length feature film to be composed of computer-generated animation. At the time of it's release, the animation was visually incredible, and after all these years, the style still holds up. Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, Rex, and all of the other toys are so elaborately and accurately animated, that you can fully immerse yourself into the film and imagine yourself playing with these very toys. I commend this film for being wildly imaginative for children, but offering just as much enjoyment for adults. From a plot standpoint, there is so much heart to this film, as we've all been kids who have felt some level of attachment to the toys we played with. Not to mention the toys themselves and their loving relationships with their kids, and their friendship and sense of community to one another are all storylines that are easy to connect with. With an all-star cast, great script, iconic soundtrack, and a revolutionary animation style, Toy Story is truly a generational film that spawned three sequels that touched the hearts of everyone who came in contact with them. If you haven't seen Toy Story, then what are you waiting for?! Stop delaying your rendezvous with star command, and watch this film with a slice of Pizza Planet ASAP!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: This was the first animated film in Oscar history to be nominated for a Best Screenplay Award - Adapted or Original.


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