Just in case you were also wondering what happened to all the toys thatwentmissing when you were a kid, the answer is clear: Theyescaped.
"Toy Story" is the kind of children's movie adults can enjoy just as much,because it very cleverly mines deep deposits of nostalgia from the memorybanks. That may be the reason the 1990s bedroom of young Andy is populatedby playthings of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. If Andy was a real boy ofhistime, there would be a computer and a TV/Nintendo, and not muchelse.
The voicings of the various toys add to the enjoyability. Tom Hanks wasthebiggest star of the moment when "Toy Story" came out, and he works withthatlikeability by creating a stable center as Woody the cowboy doll. DonRickles has the screen role of his career (not that "Kelly's Heroes" wasOscar material) as a prickly Mr. Potato Head, while Jim Varney and R. LeeErmey are standouts in the supporting cast.
Tim Allen gives the movie's best performance, as a newfangled toy thattakesWoody's place in Andy's heart but can't bring himself to accept that he'sjust a plastic plaything. It's the role of the story that gives him thebestlines ("I don't believe that man has ever been to medical school"), butAllen delivers them with real panache. He more than holds his own, and youkind of see where he took off with that note-perfect William Shatnerparodyhe perfected on screen in the underrated "Galaxy Quest."
While this movie's use of computer animation makes it a milestone, itneither represents the most innovative use of the technology or thecleverest Pixar-ated treatment of a story. "A Bug's Life" seems a moreworthy apex; that story was funnier, worked better on its own merits, andused the animation to better effect. But given how novel all of this wasin1995, "Toy Story" could have been a lot less thought-through than it was,and still made gobs of money. The fact it is instead invested with realheart, and can be watched and enjoyed today just as easily as when itdebuted nearly 10 years ago, is a tribute to the people behindit.
I like Randy Newman's music, just not here, and while the animationtexturesare surprisingly lifelike, there are places, especially with Scud the dogbut also with the baby's drool, where it falls short. The story itselfgetskind of rote with repeat viewings, though the transition to Sid's bedroomand its sad mutilated toys is a genius moment. So too are the vendingmachine aliens, who gape in rapt wonder at the judgment of "the claw." Ifitreached for pathos a little less often, "Toy Story" would be an undeniableclassic.
As it is, it is very, very good, the kind of film that's only good forchildren, even (especially?) the inner ones.
As I mentioned above, Westerns have an easily identifiable aesthetic (or ‘look’). The cowboy hat, horse, revolver and spurs are shorthand for a familiar, trustworthy character. In the Pixar children’s movie Toy Story, the writers use Woody the cowboy doll to support and introduce an outlandish world in which toys come to life. Dropped into this strange setting, children are greeted by the familiar and orientating presence of the dependable, recognizable cowboy.