Jul 19, 2010

Days of toys' lives: Toy Story

Toy Story 1 & 2 (1995 & 1999)

Directed by John Lasseter. Voices by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen.

Long story short: Andy's toys have a life of their own whenever the owner isn't around.

I don't know what the people at Pixar have for breakfast, but they must be some sort of super humans. I've seen no bad Pixar film. None! And most of them aren't just good, they are brilliant. Both Toy Stories belong to that category. I liked these movies growing up, but I dare say I like them even more now. The stories might be about toys, but there's no reason why adults couldn't relate to the plastic action figures and other childhood favourites.

The Toy Story movies are probably the most popular of Pixar animations. All the films are on IMDb's Top 250 list, the third one is currently #8 (and Inception is #3... Exciting, exciting... I don't know which one I'm looking forward to more, Inception or Toy Story 3...). And I can totally see why! I mean, they are just damn good movies, not only for animated/kids' movies, but generally speaking.

The concept of the movies is ingenious. There's something very appealing and fascinating about toys being alive and having a secret life behind our backs. While watching the second movie today I glanced at my dear old teddy (who still has a steady place in my room) and thought about things it might've been doing all these years. Then I thought I should dig out all of my old toys from the back of the closet and other places they've been stored away and give them all a big hug and tell them how much I loved to play with them. Well. I didn't. I should, though.

Overall the movies have very simple plots. The first one is about a new toy, Buzz, who threaths the position of Andy's favourite toy, Woody. The second one is about rescuing Woody from being shipped off to Japan. Simply, nothing fancy. And it works!

Much of the movies' charm, for me, comes from the little details - the wonderful personalities of the various toys, the little gags that the youngest viewers might not get ("How do you spell FBI?" and the Star Wars references in TS2) and all the genious, imaginative ways they've put the possibilities of the toy world to use (I love the tour guide Barbie, for example).

Buzz has to be my favourite toy. He's awesome especially in the second one. I love how he and Woody have become such a good buddies. And all the scenes with the other Buzz... "Tell me I wasn't this deluded." Haha. Slinky the dog is very sympathetic. And oh that poor Rex with those little hands... Jessie the cowgirl is a bit annoying. Otherwise everyone is very cool.

... It'd be funny to think of personalities to all of your own toys, too! What they would be like if they actually were alive... I mean, eh, they are, aren't they! I think my old teddy would be a gambler. He'd play poker and cheat just a little and win all the buttons and hair pins they'd be playing for. He'd wear my sunglasses and look super cool and all the Barbies would cheer for him.

... Anyway. Toy Story teaches a valuable lesson: hold on to your toys, be loyal to your friends, don't be prejudiced against new acquaintances, and always pack your angry eyes. And that it doesn't matter if you can't fly - falling with style is just as cool.

I can't wait till next week. It'll be awesome.

"Here's your list of things to do while I'm gone: batteries need to be changed. Toys at the bottom of the chest need to be rotated. Oh, and make sure everyone attends Mr. Spell's seminar on what to do if you or part of you is swallowed."

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