Posted on 6/27/13 09:46 AM
In 1995, history was made. Animated studio Pixar, a small company who were famous for making computer-animated shorts, released the first computer animated film of all-time. The stakes were high, and many thought the new animation process was not going to work. In the end, the film was a ginormous hit, a critical smash, and the new animation paved the way for more CG films and is used as the current use of animation today. The first CG film was Toy Story.
In Toy Story, we discover the interesting, and original, premise that when a kid, like Andy, leaves the room, his toys come to life. We meet Woody (Tom Hanks), a cowboy doll, and he's Andy's favorite toy, and wants to keep it that way. He faces some competition when Andy gets a popular space toy named Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) for his birthday. Buzz is convinced that he is actually a real space ranger, and that, plus Andy starting to play with him more, makes Woody angry. He attempts to eliminate Buzz, but a crazy mishap causes both toys to end up in the home of Sid, a child "psychopath" who loves to destroy toys and turn others into creepy "mutants". Woody and Buzz have to put aside their differences to escape Sid's house and return back to Andy before his family moves.
Some of Andy's other toys include Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), a Slinky Dog (Jim Varney), Rex the dinosaur (Wallace Shawn), Bo Peep (Annie Potts), Hamm the piggy bank (John Ratzenberger, who was done voice roles in every Pixar film), and a group of toy soldiers, led by Sergeant (R. Lee Ermey).
Let me make one thing clear; Toy Story is one of the greatest CG animated films of all-time, and I'm not a ginormous fan of CG animation. I can watch CG animation, but compared to the traditional hand-drawn, I don't like it as much. For the first CG film, Toy Story is fantastic.
The CG animation is incredible to watch. The designs for the toys make the CG stand out. Although the human characters look a little creepy, that's OK, because the film is told in the toys point of view. That's why it's called Toy Story.
Toy Story features some great humor as well, with humor appealing for all ages. Kids will love the slapstick humor between Woody and Buzz. Adults will love the hidden jokes spread in the film (Mr. Potato Head doing a kiss my butt insult, for instance, but still appropriate for a G-rated film).
Also, the voice cast is a treat. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen nailed their roles as Woody and Buzz, and make one of the best collaborations in an animated film. My other favorite acting roles include Don Rickles as Potato Head, Jim Varney as Slinky ("I CAN'T HOLD ON MUCH LONGER!"), and Wallace Shawn as the hilarious dinosaur Rex.
I loved the human characters as well. Andy is dedicated to caring for his toys, while Sid is dedicated to destroying his toys. Some people will appeal to Sid cause they destroyed toys as well. Others, like me, would appeal to Andy cause we loved our toys real well.
Last thing I have to mention is Randy Newman's score. It's fantastic. The themes shine out, and the song he sings in the film, "You've Got a Friend in Me," is touching while catchy. Well done.
With a story with heart, a great voice cast, some fun humor, and a fantastic Randy Newman score, Toy Story is a great beginning to Pixar and CG animation. It's still one of their best films after 18 years.