Ossus Library Index Animated Movie Index


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.



4 stars

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!).  


4 stars

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!  


4 stars

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 again.  


5 stars

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 superbly!

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 time!

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 people.

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.



5 stars

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 Story

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 his behind. 

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.


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