TOY STORY (1995) Movie Review

TOY STORY (1995) Movie Review

On November 22, 1995, Toy Story, a revolutionary film premiered.

I remember seeing that film in theaters and being amazed by the story. It was the first film to be fully computer animated, the beginning of a animation revolution. The story was creative and relate-able. I saw a lot of myself in Andy, an imaginative child who loves his toys.

What child could not relate to Andy and the games he played?

What child hasn’t imagined his/her toys coming to life?

What do they do while their alone?

What child hasn’t suddenly favored a new, gifted toy over an older toy?

Toy Story explores the imaginary world of a group of toys.

  • The rules by which they must abide

  • Their fears of being replaced

  • The jealousy that follows with being replaced

  • The dangers of getting lost or falling into the wrong hands

These are the feelings that Woody, a vintage cowboy doll, experience when he is replaced as Andy’s favorite toy by Buzz Lightyear. Those feelings drive him to make a terrible decision to knock Buzz off the desk, so Andy wouldn’t be able to find him. However, his plan went wrong and instead he knocked Buzz out the window.

Once outside the house both Woody and Buzz embark on an incredible journey to get home during which they learn a series of valuable lessons:

Looking beneath the surface: Buzz comes to the devasting realization that he is not what he thought he was. Having lived under the assumption that he is the real Buzz Lightyear character, the truth of his identity sends him into a deep depression. He loses all sense of purpose, and the task falls on Woody to help him see the importance of being a toy through the joy he brings to Andy.

Accepting change: Woody struggles with his jealousy of Buzz after he takes Woody’s place as the favorite toy. The journey they share not only helps him to let go of his jealousy, but it also helps him to accept the change in his life. He realizes that his relationship with Buzz means more than his spot on Andy’s bed.

Confession: Having acknowledged the truth, he can also let go of his need to save face. He confesses his intent to knock Buzz off the desk and takes responsibility. He offers to stay behind in hostile territory, which would give Buzz the opportunity to save himself. His acceptance of Buzz is so strong he is willing to sacrifice himself.

Friendship: Having received justice and a new sense of purpose, Buzz forgives Woody. It is only when they work together that they are able to escape danger and return to Andy. After they arrive to Andy safe, they begin a new life as friends and equals. Life in Andy’s room improves for all the toys once the power struggle ends.

Even after twenty years, Toy Story hasn’t lost its magic. As long as toys exist (for children to play with) it will remain one of the most relate-able children’s films in Pixar history. Happy Anniversary to Toy Story. May it continue to live in the hearts of children for many more years.

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