Film: Toy Story 2

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Toy Story 2

Director: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon
Distributor: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

While Andy is away at summer camp, Woody is toynapped by Al, a greedy collector who needs Andy’s favorite toy to complete his Roundup Gang collection. Together with Jessie, 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.


John Lasseter and his gang of high-tech creators at Pixar create another entertainment for the ages. Like the few great movie sequels, Toy Story 2 comments on why the first one was so wonderful while finding a fresh angle worthy of a new film. The craze of toy collecting becomes the focus here, as we find out Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) is not only a beloved toy to Andy but also a rare doll from a popular ‘60s children’s show. When a greedy collector takes Woody, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) launches a rescue mission with Andy’s other toys. To say more would be a crime because this is one of the most creative and smile-inducing films since, well, the first Toy Story.

Although the toys look the same as in the 1994 feature, Pixar shows how much technology has advanced: the human characters look more human, backgrounds are superior, and two action sequences that book-end the film are dazzling. And it’s a hoot for kids and adults. The film is packed with spoofs, easily accessible in-jokes, and inspired voice casting (with newcomer Joan Cusack especially a delight as Cowgirl Jessie). But as the Pixar canon of films illustrates, the filmmakers are storytellers first. Woody’s heart-tugging predicament can easily be translated into the eternal debate of living a good life versus living forever. Toy Story 2 also achieved something in the U.S. two other outstanding 1999 animated features (The Iron Giant, Princess Mononoke) could not: it became a huge box-office hit. —Doug Thomas

Barnes and Noble

The eagerly awaited computer-animated sequel to the landmark 1995 Oscar-winning instant classic is the best family film since, well, Toy Story. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their signature roles as Andy’s favorite toys: cowboy doll Woody and straight-arrow space ranger Buzz Lightyear. When Woody is toy-napped by Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), greedy collector and owner of Al’s Toy Barn, it is up to Buzz to lead the rest of Andy’s toys—ever-anxious dinosaur Rex (Wallace Shawn), Slinky Dog (Jim Varney), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), and Hamm (John Ratzenberger)—on a daring rescue mission. At Al’s, Woody learns that he was once the star of a 1950s TV puppet show, Woody’s Roundup when he meets fellow collectibles Stinky Pete the Prospector (Kelsey Grammer), Bullseye the horse, and Jessie the cowgirl (a rollicking performance by the magnificent Joan Cusack). Will he choose to spend his life behind glass at a Tokyo toy museum or return with Buzz to Andy’s room? Randy Newman composed the film’s Oscar-nominated score, which includes the hear-it-and-weep ballad “When Somebody Loved Me.” Like The Godfather Part II, Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that surpasses the original. Donald Liebenson

Related Works

Album:Toy Story 2: Original Soundtrack

Toy Story 2: Original Soundtrack

Randy Newman

For those who loved Randy Newman’s score to the first Toy Story (but maybe not the singer-songwriter’s gruff voice), check out Toy Story 2. Here, we get a handful of memorable vocal numbers: Sarah McLachlan sings the breathy “When She Loved Me,” Riders in the Sky give their retro-swing treatment to “Woody’s Roundup,” and Robert Goulet croons Toy Story’s anthem “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” The soundtrack’s orchestrations are pure Newman—sometimes sweeping, sometimes whimsical, and always fitting for this fantasy story of toys coming to life.…

Film:Toy Story

Toy Story

John Lasseter

There is greatness in film that can be discussed, dissected, and talked about late into the night. Then there is genius that is right in front of our faces—you smile at the spell it puts you into and are refreshed, and not a word needs to be spoken. This kind of entertainment is what they used to call “movie magic” and there is loads of it in this irresistible computer animation feature. Just a picture of these bright toys on the cover of Toy Story looks intriguing as it reawakens the kid in us. Filmmaker John Lasseter’s shorts (namely Knickknack

Film:Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

Lee Unkrich

The creative minds behind Disney•Pixar’s groundbreaking animated blockbusters invite you back inside the toy box for a heartwarming and hilarious High Definition movie experience you’ll never forget. In Toy Story 3, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) and the rest of the Toy Story gang return for an all-new adventure, along with a few new faces. It’s “the biggest, best, most exciting Toy Story of them all,” raves Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz.

As Andy prepares to depart for college, Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the rest of Andy’s faithful toys wonder what will become of them.

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