Ah, the movie that put Pixar on the map. And then everything they made after that was the next best kids movie ever! Well, at least until they made Cars… but I think that was made on a bet. Anyway, this is the first of their best-kids-movies-ever with a great story, amazing animation, and some of the best visual comedy in any movie.
I think it’s great that movies like this can be made. As kids, I think most people who had a toy probably wondered what it would be like if those toys were actually alive and what they would do while people weren’t watching them. This movie brings that idea to life. I guess the name should imply that. Well whatever.
I like the adventure in this movie, showing a fish-out-of-water character and the established favorite toy go on an adventure and learn a bit about themselves and each other in the process. It’s more or less The Odyssey but in toy form and modern day, and a buddy film as worst enemies become best friends for who knows how many sequels to come.
There’s a few things to complain about with this one though, first off the first act is just a bit long. I do like seeing how the life of a toy is like before the adventure begins but how long this movie meanders on the birthday party is a bit ridiculous before Buzz is introduced and the story really starts. Also, it could have been a single scene of Andy’s mom bringing home a new toy from the store and we would have gotten the exact same amoundt of information. It does have a cool bit with the Army guys but they could have done that with discovering what toy Andy’s mom brought home.
Also, the transition into the 2nd act, when Woody, in a fit of jealousy, shoves Buzz out of the window, is the biggest thing he’d ever done that goes against his character. True, he was trying to just shove him off the desk but Woody, in every other instance of every other scene in every other movie (and this one) is the most level headed and quickest thinking of the characters. I mean, he’s a cowboy and jealousy, at least not jealousy so petty, just isn’t part of being a cowboy. I guess it does set certain things up for later, like all the other toys being suspicious of him, but a movie should have consistent characters along with telling a well-crafted story. This isn’t too much to ask. And this feels like a case of people around the writers room not having a good reason to get Buzz out of the house so someone shouts “Just have Woody push him out the window!” and that’s what they went with. I mean, like I said, it does set up things for later in terms of this movie and having the side story of Woody and Buzz having to resolve their differences, and I know we, as an audience, don’t know what kind of person Woody is yet, but that doesn’t mean he’s a different person, you know? It would have made more sense, I think, to have another toy, who’s secretly evil or something, to frame Woody for doing it, or Rex could have done it by accident but it made it look like Woody did it. Both of these didn’t need much in extra story or scenes and kept the characters consistent.
This doesn’t lose points but some of the visual effects are a bit dated but not enough that’ll you’ll notice more than a couple of times. It was 1995 though, so you’ll have to forgive it.
Why you should watch it before you die: Outside of that, everything else is great with some of the best visual comedy in any Pixar film.
+10: a great kids movie and start to Pixar’s career as feature-length-film animators
-0.5: first act a bit too long
-1: Woody goes against his character for plot reasons