It’s time for you to revisit Toy Story

Brett Zimmerman, Staff Writer

Now that Disney+ has descended upon us from the Magic Kingdom above and blessed us with unadulterated access to the happiest shows and movies on earth, there are some things that you should be revisiting if you have a subscription.

 

Some people have chosen Star Wars: The Clone Wars; a respectable choice to be sure. Others have decided to get lost in the 673 episodes of The Simpsons or experience something fresh with The Mandolorian. However, the Pixar section of the Disney zeitgeist is not to be overlooked. Let me put y’all on.

 

Toy Story. 

 

With the fourth installment in the series recently available on the streaming platform, now is the perfect time to reintroduce yourself with Buzz, Woody, and all the other toys you can’t remember the names of.

 

If you are currently thinking that these are just children’s movies with a copious amount of sequels for the purpose of making that Disney dough, you would not be alone in that sentiment. I was right there with you, until this past weekend.

 

I watched every single film, one through four, 384 minutes of cinema. Mind you, I did not plan this out. I was enveloped by the Pixar whirlpool. 

 

Watch the first one, you’re going to want to watch the second. And pretty soon you will be watching them all in chronological succession, sucked in by the renowned creative plot lines, the surprisingly witty dialogue, and the sweet, frog-like voice of Randy Newman in the score. 

 

Still not convinced? Let me give you the rundown:

 

Toy Story (1995)

The first Pixar movie was a groundbreaking and precedent setting film that broke the box office. It is a generational success. For good reason too, the movie established the classic Pixar movie plotline: make a movie about an impossibility every child has imagined and transform it into reality. This installment is chock-full of quotable dialogue and genuinely funny bits. Not to mention the relatable characters and masterfully created settings such as Pizza Planet and Sid’s Room. This has everything you would want, not just from a kid’s movie, but a movie – movie. It’s got a very endearing buddy aspect, an adventure movie feel, hints of a thrilling action film, and quality comedy throughout the film.

 

Toy Story 2 (1999) 

This is the best film in the series by far, it’s incredible sequel and has what is quite possibly a bigger nostalgia factor than the first. The child-like wonder emitted from the settings in the movie is contagious. Pixar expanded the Toy Story universe to a much more accessible and familiar place. We are introduced to new characters that only peak interest in the Toy Story universe. The appeal of the movie is no longer the novelty of Toys coming alive: the story is intoxicating. We are also introduced to a toy villain making that character’s involvement more intimate and sincere. 

 

Toy Story 3 (2010)

This is essentially a prison break movie. A “Toy Story prison break movie” sounds incredible in itself and the film does not disappoint. In the third installment the rose tinted glasses come off. This was a huge risk but creates a substantial pay off for Pixar as the film becomes a process of watching seasoned veteran toys use their experience interacting with the human world in the most exciting ways yet. We are introduced to the largest group of new characters to date, but the large influx of new toys isn’t overwhelming, and is done in a way that keeps the audience engaged. Perhaps the most prolific shift made from past installments is the emotion that is drawn from the coming of age of Andy. This was the most poignant film in the Woody and Andy story arch and the most emotionally charged film overall… until 2019.

 

Toy Story 4 (2019)

As of right now this is said to be the last film and it feels final. Old character’s are back and reinvented in ways that make the story feel less juvenile. New characters are introduced in a way that accentuates the now elder status of the toys introduced to the audience in the first film. The Woody and Buzz comradery has been a staple of each film thus far, but nowhere is it more evident than the last movie. Their interactions are wholesome and while there is limited dialogue between the two, they share center stage at multiple points interacting in ways that imply a long-term, profound friendship. 

 

I understand that watching an animated film about toys seems beneath the average adult or young adult. In fact “an animated film about toys” is one of the most childish things I’ve ever written. But it’s Pixar, so swallow your pride. You won’t regret it.