Toy Story 2 Reviews
Toy Story 2's focus may not be singular, but its cast is sincere and the story is even deeper than the first movie.
I love you, Toy. One day I'll find you and you'll be on my nightstand forever. Promised.
But from my standpoint, I think TOY STORY 2 is even better than the original! It does everything that made the first one so good and pushes it to the next level. A similar concept but with a whole new twist, very interesting dilemmas, more fun and memorable characters, better animation, a lot of great jokes, and a very fun adventure. And all of it seems to work perfectly. All of our favorite characters are back and they still have their charming personalities, but they also introduce new characters who are just as likable and even more interesting.
After Woody gets stolen from a toy store owner, he meets and befriends a group of toys: Jessie, Bullseye, and the Prospector. They are a part of a collection that Woody is meant to be a part of. Learning about this, Woody is now in a predicament about whether he should return to his owner, or if he should be a part of the Roundup Gang and be displayed in a museum where children can adore him forever. That's a very tough decision. The Prospector makes valid points that he shouldn't go back to his owner because Andy is in fact growing up and will eventually stop playing with him and be forgotten. We also learn that Jessie as well had an owner who played with her all the time, just like Andy, and has forgotten about her overtime and was eventually donated. And this emotional scene is only done with visuals and music. The line that Jessie says after that scene really gets me, "You never forget kids like Emily or Andy... but they forget you." I almost want to cry at that scene. By the way, it's very rare for me to cry in a movie.
Even the surprise twist that (SPOILER ALERT) the Prospector is the villain isn't a needless plot device. Yeah, we've seen this cliché done a million times, but here, it makes sense. He doesn't know what it feels like to be played with, he never had that experience. So it makes perfect sense for him to enforce the other toys into going to the museum. That desire to be adored by children forever is so strong with him, and he's not going to let that taken away from him. I've been wondering why people see this movie as their least favorite of the franchise, the writing in here is absolutely ingenious.
But this is not just a character driven movie that deals with Woody's predicament, the adventure that all the toys go through is relentlessly entertaining. They have all of these creatively fun ways to find their way to Woody. They cross the street by hiding under traffic cones causing a traffic jam, going through various aisles is the toy store where Buzz meets another Buzz (everything with him is hilarious), climbing up the elevator shaft, going down the elevator shaft where they encounter the evil Emperor Zurg, driving in a Pizza Planet truck, going through a luggage handling system, and escaping a plane that's taking off. It's a ton of fun to watch. Also, the animation has already gotten a lot better since the last movie. Most of the textures and the movements work off really well and still look good to this day.
Really, everything about this movie is done perfectly... literally up until the very last minute. It's not the moral they give, I love that. They say even though you will have to face the inevitable, just enjoy the fun while it lasts. That's a great message. What I don't love is why the little toy Wheezy sings "You Got a Friend In Me", and in a completely different voice. I mean, it's a nice way for them to end the film with a happy musical number for us to have a good feeling as we leave the theater. It just felt very contrived as this movie was in no way a musical. But it's a nitpick.
This movie could've easily been a cheap cash grab as we thought they couldn't possibly top the original. If you didn't know, this was originally meant to be a direct-to-video film, but then later decided to release it in theaters. But the creators knew people loved the first TOY STORY and they put all of their effort into this movie to make it as good as they can, and it really paid off. Another childhood favorite of mine and easily one of Pixar's best films.