"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