Before you ask: no. I’m not going to review Toy Story 4 after I do the first three. You couldn’t get me to watch that movie if you put my dogs at gunpoint. I’m simply doing this little retrospective to remind myself that this was originally a nigh flawless trilogy, and to make myself even more sad that they decided to ruin it by making a forth one.
Because what’s artistic integrity when you can make more money? But I digress.
I’m more than a little sure you guys have all seen Toy Story at least once in your lives. Whether you watched as a kid, with your kids, while babysitting, or on your own on a boring day, you know that you’ve seen this film at some point in your lives. And if you somehow haven’t…
Get your fucking head checked!
Toy Story isn’t just an incredibly solid movie. It’s the film that single handedly changed animation forever! How you ask? Simple! It was the first full length 3D feature film, and it would go on to completely slay big budget 2D animation in Hollywood!
No, Ghibli is not Hollywood. Though with how they treat it, you can’t be scolded for thinking so.
Plot: Toys Have Feelings Too, Bro!
Giving things that don’t have feelings feelings is kind of just the Pixar thing to do, innit? Or at least it was. Before their thing became cranking out sequels by Disney’s command.
Toy Story stars Woody, a cowboy doll dearly beloved by his kid, Andy. Woody enjoys a life of luxury as Andy’s favorite, but all of that begins to fall apart on Andy’s birthday party. On this day, Andy is given a new toy: Buzz Lightyear, a toy convinced that he isn’t a toy. Buzz quickly takes Woody’s spot as Andy’s favorite, and Woody ends up going too far in a jealous rage. When he and Buzz end up separated from Andy, the two must set their differences aside and work together in order to get home.
It’s an incredibly simple story, but that doesn’t mean it’s a poor one. The characters are all very well written, it’s incredibly well paced, and it’s fun from start to end. It’s premise was, before all the sequels and inspired-by films that would come, was highly original for it’s time. It’s an absolute blast from start to end, and it’s still very enjoyable to watch to this day.
A statement that only kind of applies to the next category.
Animation: Everything is a Toy!
For a 3D animated film, I feel that Toy Story has aged fairly well. Most of it still holds up fairly well. However, just as much of it shows it’s age in a glaring way.
While all of the models have definitely aged, I feel like that actually works for most of the characters. Remember: the main characters are all toys. It doesn’t matter that the models look like cheap plastic! These guys are literally made of it! In a way, that actually makes them more charming, if you ask me!
The same cannot be said for the human characters. They, like the toys, have all aged very poorly. However, unlike the toys, which are supposed to look plastic and fake, the human characters have no excuse. They have aged, and they look really bad. It’s as simple as that.
But getting back to the positives, the environments are still actually pretty good. At least by comparison to the other things in the movie. They’re all fairly nice, well rendered and pretty to look at. They suck you right into the world, making the areas the characters are inhabiting feel real.
Or at least as real as age will allow it.
I’d talk about the cinematography, but honestly? I didn’t find much to talk about. It’s perfectly serviceable, but it’s no more dynamic or interesting than your average animated film. Even for the time when it came out. So instead, I’m just going straight into my final thoughts.
Despite my criticisms, as well as my complaints as to the constant milking of this IP through sequels (two of which I like), I still love this movie to death. This, along with Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and the Iron Giant, was a movie that I’d watch on loop as a kid. Going into this, I thought I’d be sick of it, even all these years later. But honestly? I still love it to death!
This movie is a classic. It’s far from flawless, as age has started to kick it in the nuts quite a bit, but it’s still a ton of fun! Check it out if you haven’t (and as I stated earlier, get your head checked) and give it another watch if you have. It’s a historic piece of animation, and it’s still an absolute blast. And no number of sequels will be able to change that!
No matter how much it feels they will…