Posted: 03/22/2010

 

Toy Story and Toy Story 2

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen




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Toy Story is the ultimate, timeless, endearing, funny story of toys. A classic story in which children of all ages from now until eternity can find such delight, and it’s hard to believe that I was having so much fun watching it.

Toy Story made history in 1995 as the first feature-length, computer-animated film, and it, along with the sequel Toy Story 2, is available March 23 on DVD and Blu-Ray discs in a combined double pack, with both featuring previews of the upcoming Disney Toy Story 3.
Toy Story follows toys that belong to Andy, and the toys that are so spooked out that they think they are real. Led by Sheriff Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, and Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen, as the new toy in the house, Toy Story and Toy Story 2 launched the Disney-Pixar label and “sent audiences to the infinity of family entertainment and beyond.”

Andy’s family is planning to move at the end of the week, but before the move they plan Andy’s birthday party, and with it chaos erupts in the household. Woody, Mr. Potato Head, voiced by Don Rickles, Little Bo Beep, toy soldiers and others brace themselves for the new toys that they think Andy will like better.
As they scheme and plan, Buzz, along with a spaceship, is the best toy in the bunch of those brought by Andy’s playmates, and it’s time for the rest of the toys to take a break. But they gang up on Buzz to do all they can to stay in Andy’s favor.

But there’s more! Buzz doesn’t believe he’s a toy; he believes he’s the real thing—an actual space ranger. While Woody connives against Buzz, one day he accidentally knocks Buzz out the window, and the other toys accuse him of evildoing.
For some reason on the way to the pizza parlor with Andy, Buzz and Woody end up trapped in Sid’s house, the neighbor kid who will probably grow up to hurt and kill animals. Now it’s Buzz and Woody against Sid, and they have to help one another out in order that they both survive.
After they make it back to the house, the family moves and Christmas brings with it another anxious time as the bunch of toys wonders what toy might be the best this time—until they hear a dog bark. Now, they have to share Andy with a four legged canine.

Toy Story 2 picks up the tale, with Woody being toynapped by the local toy collector who needs Andy’s favorite toy to complete his “Woody’s Roundup” collection. Together with Jessie, voiced by Joan Cusack, Bullseye and the Prospector, Woody is on his way to a museum where he’ll spend the rest of his life behind glass. It’s up to Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex and Slinky Dog to rescue their friend and remind him what being a toy is all about.
Both films are great family entertainment with a simple story that covers a realistic issue—the feeling of being replaced by the new kid on the block.

Kids all around and of all ages will delight in this combo pack, just in time for the theater premiere of Toy Story 3 that begins June 18, 2010.
From Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, visit DisneyBluray.com.

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Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.



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