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  • Writer's pictureValerie A. Higgs

AFI #99: Toy Story (1995)


Turns out toys can come to life and communicate with each other when no humans are around. Andy's favorite doll, a cowboy named Woody, becomes intimidated and envious of a new fancy and modern doll given to Andy on his birthday: Buzz Lightyear, a spaceman who doesn't realize he's a toy.

It took a bit to get myself together to watch this movie. I saw it back in 1995, and it was mildly interesting, but I didn't think it was interesting enough to watch again.

A big part of this challenge is to look at movies I may have already seen with fresh eyes. Turns out I still think that it was mildly interesting, but if I wasn't doing this challenge, I definitely wouldn't have watched it a second time.

When the opening credits began, I said to myself, "I do believe this was my very first Pixar movie." Turns out it was everyone in the world's very first Pixar movie. It was the very first Pixar full-length feature movie ever made.

I did enjoy seeing how Pixar animation started out and thinking about how it has improved in the last 27 years. There have been several Toy Story sequels, and during the end credits, Disney+ advertised the latest Toy Story related movie, a prequel called Lightyear - the origin story of Buzz Lightyear.

A few quibbles, of course: The movie was made in 1995 by Boomers, obviously. The average kid in 1995 wouldn't have a cowboy doll. Instead they'd have...what? Ninja Turtles? Power Rangers? Thomas the Tank Engine? A cowboy doll in the 1960s or 1970s, sure. But 1995?

Also, no woman in her right mind would schedule a kid's birthday party the day before Moving Day. Not gonna happen.

Up sides: I enjoyed Tom Hanks, as always. Tim Allen was good, as usual (my favorite of his was Galaxy Quest). I thought of alternate casting, and Patrick Warburton immediately came to mind. He would have also been a good Buzz Lightyear.

Back in 2007, the American Film Institute called Toy Story one of the greatest movies ever made. I'm pretty confident that the updated list will knock it out of the top 100.

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