#40 – Toy Story
The Plot In Brief: When humans are not around, toys are real and come to life, just as we have always suspected. Human Andy receives a new action figure for his birthday, a spaceman named Buzz Lightyear. The toy immediately becomes his favorite. Woody, a cowboy doll, was Andy’s favorite toy for most of his young life. Woody tries to swallow his jealousy and welcome Buzz to Andy’s bedroom, but there is a problem. Buzz does not understand that he is a toy. Buzz believes that he is a real spaceman.
Beyond the groundbreaking animation, the literate scripts, and the top-flight voice talent, Pixar is to be commended for the messages that their movies impart to small children. Many children’s films seem to be about farts and burps and pee-pee and poo-poo. It is easy to get a laugh from small children with those topics, believe me; I do it all the time. Witness the trailer for the upcoming Angry Birds movie, which features an extended sequence of a bald eagle micturating.
Inside Out gives children a whole new metaphoric way to discuss their own emotions. A Bug’s Life demonstrates that a viable children’s film can be adapted from Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai.
We should all be thankful that our children are learning these important things from Pixar film. I know I am.
Don’t get me started about Toy Story 2. I have always had a love/hate relationship with Toy Story 2. On the one hand, it brings back the beloved characters from the first movie and introduces us to a brand-new character, Jesse the cowgirl. It contains the wonderful message that toys should be played with and are not to be kept “mint in box” or stored away as investments. I agree with that wholeheartedly. But Toy Story 2 features a villain, Al the Toy Collector, who looks exactly like me.
In nomine Patrice, et Toys R Us, y spiritu Pixar, Amen!