Reviews of Toy Story (1995) and related work
- Sequel: Toy Story 2 (1999)
Toy Story (1995)
A boy in the uchronian USA owns real and fictional toys from all over the 20th century, but no video games or the like. He has a birthday coming up, which worries his existing toys. They feel as though they might be replaced, but it is only their confident cowboy leader who actually risks that fate. When his new competitor suddenly takes a spill out the window, the cowboy is ostracized, seeking to clear his name out in the real world.
Early all-CGI blockbuster comedy, it was still looking a little better than mainstream real-time desktop CGI as of 2007, but it’s intentionally unrealistic in all sorts of ways. Fundamentally, this is the gruelling rebirth of Disney’s “family magic” antirealism in a new kind of animation, trying to attract parents through jokes (puns), indifferent live-action celebrities and the creepy nostalgia of generations born into mature consumerism. It is not quite so morally patronizing as classic Disney. Its creators have gravitated towards a little more mature stuff later on, perhaps gaining courage.
‣ Toy Story 2 (1999)
The cowboy finds out that he is valuable as the potential centrepiece of a collection of merchandise from an early TV show, so he has to choose between watching his owner grow up or spending eternity in some Japanese museum.
In every way a sequel. Surprisingly competent moments of mono no aware.