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Toy Story

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Toy Story

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
Director: John Lasseter
Rated: G
RunTime: 80 Minutes
Release Date: November 1995
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family, Kids

*Also starring: Laurie Metcalf, Wallace Shawn, John Morris, R. Lee Ermey, John Ratzenberger, Erik von Detten, Jim Varney, Don Rickles

Review by Brian Koller
3½ stars out of 4

"Toy Story" is a landmark in cinema animation, not only for its unique and high-quality "virtual reality" look, but also for the quality of the script and story.

"Toy Story" is about Andy's toys. Andy is a typical kid, perhaps ten years old, and is blessed with an assortment of toys that walk and talk independently when no humans are looking. Andy's favorite toy is a cowboy doll (Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks). However, Woody soon has serious competition from a Space Ranger toy (Buzz, voiced by Tim Allen). Woody's jealousy of Buzz ultimately leads to both toys in the clutches of disturbed neighbor kid Sid, who destroys toys. Can Woody and Buzz find their way back to Andy? Meanwhile, Buzz must learn to accept that he is just a toy.

The animation of "Toy Story" is superb. From a technology standpoint, this is the most important animated film since "Snow White." The toys live in a virtual reality world, where everything is very lifelike, yet clearly animated.

Andy's toys have a very entertaining rapport. Some of the toys are suspicious and cruel, others endearingly earnest. Their petty squabbles and jealousies are funny and very well written. It is interesting to contrast Andy's toys with Sid's. Sid enjoys "operating" on his toys, interchanging parts until they look like worse than one of Dr. Moreau's freaks. It is not an original observation to note that Sid's toys are hideous but gentle, silent yet organized, while Andy's toys are conventional but bicker endlessly.

The quality of "Snow White" was never fully repeated. The prospects are brighter for topping "Toy Story" since the animation techniques may become cheaper and better over time. It will prove more difficult to improve upon the clever dialogue, and the plot which is full of dramatic tension.

Copyright 1995 Brian Koller

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