Directed by John
Lasseter and Ash Brannon (1999, Pixar)
Featuring voices by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey
Grammer, Don Rickles, and Wallace Shawn
Woody is kidnapped by a toy collector, and the other toys go into
the city to rescue him.
July 9th, 2016 on
DVD for the 5th time
I love watching old classics like this with my kids,
who are just really discovering the magic of movies. Instead of just
watching the visuals, they are asking questions. There are a lot of
questions to ask about this movie, but mainly it's about leaving a
legacy, a very adult emotion. And it does this through tears (Jessie's
song), and huge amounts of laughter (I liked the way the villain
complained about going all the way to work on a Saturday, when it's just
across the street!).
March 27th, 2009 on
DVD for the 4th time
As with the first Toy Story, this movie gets a
different feel when watching it with your own children. I think it's
even more powerful, though of course the kids don't understand half the
references that make adults like it so much!
February 17th, 2006
on DVD for the 3rd time
I still think this is the better of the two Toy Story
movies. Watching it on DVD gives it a lot of visual power, and I liked
the characters a lot. It was really funny, and well-worth watching over
November 5th, 2000 on Video
for the 2nd time
The true test of a comedy, as far as I'm concerned, is how well it
stands up not only on second viewing, but best of all, when that second
viewing occurs when I'm extremely tired. And Toy Story 2 passed
I don't think I laughed quite as hard as the last time, but it
was close. And the out-takes during the credits made up for it, anyway.
Starting at the end, it was hilarious to see how Mrs. Potato Head kept
"ad-libbing" (as far as it can be called that, when these are preconceived
actions) while packing the Mr.'s "trunk". The best was the play-doh
(or was it bubble gum), which she squashes in there, and he gags as it
comes spewing out of his holes, kind of like that play-doh hair salon that
I used to have. But the unlimited space in his trunk was hilarious,
as we kept coming back to the packing, and she would add more and more
stuff! Another great out-take concerned the small part that two Bug's
Life characters have in the movie -though I didn't go back to check
out if you can actually see them during that scene. It would be really
funny if you could. But all the out-takes were really funny.
Flipping back to the beginning, I still say that lamp is human.
Both of them. Pixar's first animated short has to be a classic.
Looking back at what I wrote the first time I saw the movie,
I'm not sure that I can add anything more. The characters were realized
perfectly, and they had so much character to them! My favourite is
still Potato Head, especially when he loses a foot. His arm comes
out from under the cone, and it reminded me so much of my cat, hunting
blind, with just a claw searching for what he missed. But one of
the funniest moments had to be Hamm’s TV remote control. As he scans
for the Toy Store ad, he passes it, and is going so fast that he is forced
to go back around the channels to find it again!
One movie spoof that I missed the first time around was Jurassic
Park, when Potato Head looks in the rear view mirror of the car, and sees
a dinosaur running after the it. I can't believe I missed it last
One thing that I could have done without was the Zurg/Buzz father/son
thing. It was supposed to be funny and slapstick, but it appeared
as a cheap rip-off of Empire.
It did, however, make for a great baseball/catch scene near the end.
Originally, I thought Jessie's song story brought the comedy to a halt, but
this time, I was moved near to tears by it. The song itself is wonderful; add the visuals to it and it becomes incredibly
powerful. I also didn't find Jessie to be as annoying as I did last
time. And Kelsey Grammer was terrific as the grumpy Prospector.
There were so many jokes targeted solely at adults that it could
have left the kids out of it! One especially adult moment was when
Potato Head loses his "luggage" (or load), because he's so scared.
Another, and I wondered if it was appropriate for a young kids movie, even
if they would likely miss it, was Buzz's spring-loaded wings popping up
when Jessie does a loop-to-loop on the race-car track.
After this movie was over, we were so emotionally revved up that
we went to the stuffed animals that are perpetually lying on the bed (as
decorations, these days) and started animating them like we used to, long
ago. This movie is that powerful.
One of the reasons that I liked this movie better than the original
is that there is no mean person here (except, perhaps, the Prospector).
There is no kid threatening to blow up toys, or take them apart and reassemble
them in hideous ways. There is also no animosity between the toys.
The bad guy is an obsessed collector, who can't control himself, because
he knows how priceless these toys are (and knows that he can become filthy
rich because of it). Once Woody is stolen, the rest of the movie
deals with the toys, their dedication, and their emotions. These are real
I also loved the cameo made by the chess guy from the short that
preceded A Bug's Life. His care to detail
was amazing, as was the detail paid to his character.
...I had mentioned how Buzz is so Tim-Allen-like, but Woody is
also Tom Hanks. There is one scene in particular, where Woody encounters
some merchandise, and his whole demeanor is pure Tom Hanks, his tone is
something we've heard countless times before ("I get it... a snake in his
boot") that the character suddenly becomes transformed. The same
can be said of Buzz with the utility belt.
This movie aged very well. I'd watch it again in a minute.
The animation was the best I've ever seen, the characters were fleshed
out so well that this could have been an original movie with original characters,
and the jokes were funny even though I'd remembered half of them from the
last time. Terrific watch, and highly recommended.
November 30th, 1999 in the Theatre
Wow! That was superb! I don't think I've laughed so hard
in… well, I can't remember when I laughed so hard.
Starting with the short that preceded the movie, those lamps
were hilarious and cute. Now we finally know why Pixar uses the hopping
lamp in the logo. They were so human.
Toy Story 2 starts off by spoofing just about every movie I love,
and many more. There were undoubtedly references to many other movies,
but I caught the obvious one from the lightsaber battle in Empire,
Jabba's door robot in Jedi, the spiked
room from Indiana Jones and the Temple
of Doom, the music from 2001, and I was laughing so hard that I must
have missed more obvious ones.
The movie itself is about friendship and family. If there
is any message there, it is that you should be loyal to your friends and
family. Message aside, the writers played this for all it's worth.
After Woody gets ripped, he is left behind when Andy goes to
cowboy camp. He is put on a shelf with another broken toy, Wheezy.
But Wheezy ends up in a yard sale, so Woody resolves to rescue him.
The rescue is successful, in a very cute scene with the household dog.
But Woody ends up being picked up by a toy collector, who then steals him.
Needless to say, the toys are not happy about this, and since
"mom" didn't see it, it is up to the toys to save him. After all,
Woody went after Buzz in the last movie.
So they cross town to a toy store, and find the thief.
The scenes through the city, including the hilarious one where Potato head
loses his foot in gum (which was seen on the commercials) are terrific.
The outdoor shots are perfectly real. The toy store brings out more
comedy aimed at the adults in the crowd. Rex finds a game manual
and notes that "they make the game so that you have to buy the book to
be able to win!" And the guys end up watching a Barbie beach party,
then get driven around the store by tourguide Barbie.
Meanwhile, Buzz, in a real Home Improvement scene, sees that
the latest Buzz Lightyear toys have new utility belts. Of course,
he needs one. Which leads to a conflict with another Buzz toy, and
one of the best lines of the show: "Was I ever that deluded?"
This one takes numerous jabs at the original Toy
And, of course, there's Woody. Turns out he is part of
an ensemble that was produced for a TV puppet show of the 1950s.
There is so much merchandise, but the collector was missing the Woody doll.
Now he can sell the collection to a museum in Japan. Woody, of course,
doesn't want to go, only to get back to Andy, but is convinced that he
could get eternal life and admiration from kids in the museum. It's
a real heartbreaking scene when the cowgirl part of the ensemble relates
how she came to be given away to charity.
Needless to say, the toys arrive just in time to convince Woody
to go back to Andy, but circumstances dictate that they all end up at the
airport (by car: "I don't think he gets THIS kind of mileage" the pig says,
reading the driver's manual!). Heroics through the baggage compartments
are just hilarious, such as when Buzz gets a travel tag "Butte" stuck on
And when they showed Andy getting home from camp early, I was
worried that the toys couldn't get back in time. After all, it took
them two days to get to the toy store and airport. How could they
get back by tonight? That is left behind the scenes, but when they
showed the mode of transportation out the window, I couldn't stop rolling
in my chair, laughing.
This movie made me nearly die laughing. It was definitely
better than the last one, which I loved anyway. But I had started
with doubts when I had heard somebody else say it was the better of the
two. Wow! I'd see that one again in the theatre in a moment.