Director: John Lasseter
Writer: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Joe Ranft, Alec Sokolow, Joss Whedon, Joel Cohen, Alec
Time: 81 min.
Genre: Animation / Family / Comedy / Fantasy
“Toy Story” is not only a spectacular technical achievement but also a compelling story full of imagination. It takes the simple little things of a child’s life and use them as the bases for a slam bang adventure. The film’s premise is that when we humans aren’t looking, innocent looking toys bring themselves to life! They talk, they walk around, they do anything people do! The plot that director John Lasseter and his animators cooked up is rather routine, but what’s so special is how places like children bedroom, streets or a fast food restaurant look like a world by itself to the little plastic characters, and how the film gives life to the toys we played with as children. The film mostly takes place in the bedroom of Andy, and it revolves around his favorite toy, cowboy Woody. Voiced by Tom Hanks, Woody is a very fun character, earnest but with a witty sense of humor. We meet his friends, like Mr. Potato Head, who reveals to be a smartass (he’s voiced by Don Rickles!), the flirty Bo Peep, loyal Slinky Dog, Rex the timid plastic dinosaur, an Etch a Sketch board, a bunch of little green plastic soldiers…
And then comes Andy’s birthday, and he receives the latest, coolest toy : Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), a space ranger with plenty of nifty gadgets. Suddenly, Woody is not Andy’s favorite and starts to grow jealous of Buzz. And isn’t it annoying how the guy actually thinks he’s a real space ranger? The movie takes off from there, and has the toys trying to settle their differences while trying not to get blown up by the cruel neighbor kid or eaten by his dog, and not to get lost before Andy and the family move out! This is a nice little story which is the framework for tons of amusing little touches. Kids will love the broad comedy, with Mr. Potato Head who keeps losing his facial parts, or Buzz and Woody’s constant arguing and fighting. But even grown-ups will enjoy it, for the subtler in-jokes, the wonderful score and songs of Randy Newman and the look of it. Those whiz geeks at Pixar sure surprised everyone with Toy Story, the first movie completely animated by computers. And man, it looks good! I mean, those Disney flicks look amazing, but it’s nothing next to the three-dimensional look of this movie and the diversity of the actions, the environments and the characters. “Toy Story” is fast, funny and inventive: you’re gonna love it!