Toy Story (1995) – Movie Review

Toy Story

Opening Thoughts:

Since Toy Story 4 will be coming out soon, I’ll be doing a marathon and review all three Toy Story films. I haven’t reviewed any animated films yet on my film blog or on my LetterBoxd yet, so the first three Toy Story films will be the very first animated films that will be reviewed ever in terms of animated reviews. I always wanted to review the first three Toy Story films as my first three animated reviews because all three of the films are in my top favorite films of all time list. I love the franchise to death and I’m beyond stoked for the fourth film.

The first Toy Story film actually wasn’t the first film I’ve seen in the franchise. It was the second film that I saw in the franchise when I checked it out for the first time. I did grew up watching the movie countless of times though. I’ve seen this movie and the second movie many times during elementary school and I’ve rented this movie along with Toy Story 2 many times from the library as a kid. During the time of second grade, my dad rented both films from the library on a friday and bought me a snack from the Deli so I can eat something while I see both films that night. He would usually rent them for me if I did well on the quizzes/tests that I had on that same friday. The Toy Story films are one of the main reasons why I love films so much.

The Positives:

The main great thing about this movie is the story itself and the concept of the film. I like the idea of toys coming to life when there are no people around and interacting with one another. As I said above, the plot of this film is very unique and original as well because it makes you be invested with the toy characters and it makes you wander how amazing the plot is since the toys have human personality traits. The movie has comedy, drama, character development, iconic lines, and so much more. I have so many favorite scenes and lines from this movie and I’ll be getting to them shortly.  I did not forget about the animation of this film. For a 1995 film, this movie’s animation was mind blowing and it felt like it was light years ahead of it’s time. It felt like a live action movie and an animated movie combined. You guys understand what I mean. This movie was the real big deal back at 1995. I was born at 1995, so obviously I did not see the movie when I was born. I saw it like maybe around 1999-2001.

The songs in this film really gets you in the feels and everytime I watch it, it gives me goosebumps. The voice acting by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Annie Potts, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, etc. were all phenomenal. The scene Mr. Potato Head asks everyone who invited that kid when Sarge tells all of them one of Andy’s friends got him bedsheets for his birthday was hilarious! I still laugh to this day when that scene comes up.

The movie has a few twists and turns here and there. I liked how the toy soldiers thought their mission was accomplished of Andy not getting any new toys but sees there was one last gift remaining which turned out to be a Buzz Lightyear and that was an amazing twist! From that point on that was the base of the plot as Woody became jealous that Buzz was Andy’s new favorite toy. The scene where Sid and his dog was introduced was also cool because we are introduced to the villain and subvillan of the film. In this case the antagonist is a kid named Sid and the sub villain is his ruthless dog Scud. That’s how I look at it. When Woody accidently knocked Buzz out the window made the movie even more interesting because that made Woody a “wanted toy”. When I saw that scene for the first time as a kid, I was really into the movie and wanted to know what would happen next. The scene where Buzz tells Woody at the gas station it’s not the time to panic but Woody says it is the perfect time is also an iconic funny moment.

I especially loved when Buzz told Woody the entire universe was in jeopardy and how his enemy Zurg was building a weapon that could destroy an entire planet. It is no doubt an easter egg reference to Star Wars since the Death Star is the space station that can destroy an entire planet. Woody’s reaction as Buzz was telling him that was pure gold. His face looked really puzzled and I loved how he started to yell at him by trying to make some sense to him. The scene went like this:

Buzz: According to my navi-computer, the…

Woody[quietly] Shut up! Just shut up, you idiot!

Buzz: Sheriff, this is no time to panic!

Woody: This is the perfect time to panic! I’m lost, Andy is gone, they’re gonna move from their house in two days, and it’s all your fault!

Buzz: My fault?! If you hadn’t pushed me out of the window in the first place…

Woody: Oh, yeah?! Well, if you hadn’t shown up inside your stupid little cardboard spaceship and taken away everything that was important to me…

Buzz: Don’t talk to me about importance! Because of you, the security of this entire universe is in jeopardy!

Woody: WHAT?!! What are you talkin’ about?!

Buzz: Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet! I alone have information that reveals his weapon’s only weakness. And you, my friend, are responsible for delaying my rendezvous with Star Command!

Woody: YOU… ARE… A… TOY!!! You aren’t the real Buzz Lightyear! You’re a– Aw, you’re an action figure! You are a child’s plaything!

Buzz: You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity. Farewell. [exits]

Woody: Oh, yeah? Well, good riddance, ya loony! [sarcastically] “Rendezvous with Star Command.”

Everytime I watch this scene I just die of laughter. This shows the comedy of this film is aimed towards everyone of all ages. It’s so amazing. This also shows how delusional Buzz is really is and the type of charcter he was from the first to the middle act of the film.

The scene where they were both inside a crane machine at Pizza Planet was also a hilarious moment and another plot twist occured which was Sid being at Pizza Planet too as he was about to play the crane game. The scene went like this:

BUZZ: This is an intergalactic emergency. I need to commandeer your vessel to Sector 12. Who’s in charge here?

GREEN ALIENS: The Claw! The Claw is our master. The Claw chooses who will go and who will stay.

WOODY: This is ludicrous.

Woody once again made me laugh when he said that. When Buzz and Woody were in Sid’s room and saw the toys he owned, it was hilarious how Buzz said this:

Buzz: I’ve set my laser from stun to kill.
Woody: Oh, great. If anyone attacks we can blink em’ to death.

It is no doubt Woody’s sarcasm and reactions to Buzz’s delusional actions and statements was the highlight of the comedy. However the scene where Buzz sees his own toy commercial at one of the rooms of Sid’s house was a heartbreaking scene since he realized the truth. That was another great plot twist but from that point on, it also led to one of the best character developments I’ve ever seen. Buzz would’ve realized eventually sometime in the movie but it was wise move to have him realize the truth during the middle act of the film. Randy Newman’s I Will go Sailing No More song playing in the background once Buzz realizes the truth makes you feel very sorry for Buzz and you can really understand his situation.

The scene where he is found by Sid’s sister and is being played with as Mrs. Nesbit was also an iconic moment. The scene went like this:

Woody: Buzz! Hey, Buzz! Are you okay?

Buzz: Gone! It’s all go-o-one!
All of it’s gone…Bye-bye! Whoo-hoo!
See ya!

Woody: What happened to you?

Buzz: One minute you’re defending the
whole galaxy…
(pointing at other dolls)
…and suddenly you find yourself
suckin’ down Darjeeling with Marie
Antoinette and her little sisters.

Woody: I think you’ve had enough tea for
today.(helping Buzz up)
Let’s get you out of here, Buzz.

Buzz: (grabbing Woody)
Don’t you get it?!, You see the hat?
I am Mrs. Nesbit!!
(hysterical laughter)

Woody: Snap out of it, Buzz!

Buzz: (sober)
I-I’m sorry, you’re right.
…I’m just a little depressed,
that’s all. I can get through this.
Oh, I’m a sham!!!

Woody: (loud whisper)
Sh-h-h-h-h!! Quiet, Buzz.

Buzz: Look at me! I can’t even fly out
of a window!
(continued)
But — the hat looked good.
Tell me the hat looked good! The apron
is a bit much, it’s not my color…

Woody: Out the window…Buzz, you’re a
genius!
(continued)
Come on, this way!

Buzz: Years of Academy
training…wasted!!

It’s an iconic scene because it’s the scene where Buzz acts “drunk” and talks nonsense and it’s just simply hilarious. But at the same time you can understand why he’s acting like this since he feels decieved after all this time. The scene where Woody asks Buzz to give him a hand was also hilarious too since Buzz gave his loose broken arm to him.

This scene that I’ll be talking about right now is probably my favorite scene from the entire movie. It goes like this:

[Woody is trapped in a box in Sid’s room, whilst Buzz is strapped to a rocket]
Woody: Hey Buzz, get over here and see if you can get this toolbox off me! [Buzz looks away, depressed] Oh, come on Buzz, I… I can’t do this without you. I need your help.
Buzz: [pitiful] I can’t help. I can’t help anyone.
Woody: Sure you can, Buzz, you can get me outta here. And then I’ll get that rocket off you, and we can make a break for Andy’s house!
Buzz: Andy’s house. Sid’s house. What’s the difference?
Woody: Buzz, you’ve had a big fall, you’re must not be thinking clearly…
Buzz: No Woody, for the first time I am thinking clearly. You were right all along. I’m not a Space Ranger, I’m just a toy, a stupid little insignificant toy.
Woody: Whoa, wait a minute. Being a toy is a lot better than being a “Space Ranger.”
Buzz: Yeah, right.
Woody: No, it is. Look, over in that house is a kid who thinks you’re the greatest, and it’s not because you’re a Space Ranger, it’s because you’re a toy. You are his toy.
Buzz: But why would Andy want me?
Woody: [incredulous] Why would Andy want you?! Look at you! You’re a Buzz Lightyear! Any other toy would give up its moving parts just to be you! You’ve got wings! You glow in the dark! You talk! Your helmet does that, that, that whoosh thing! You are a cool toy! As a matter of fact, you’re too cool. I mean, what chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure? All I do is… [yanks his pullstring] Why would Andy ever want to play with me, when he’s got you? I’m the one that should be strapped to that rocket.

I love this scene so much because it was so deep and powerful.

Not only does Woody finally talks sense into Buzz but Woody also developed well as a character in that scene. You see Buzz looking at one of his feet with the word Andy on it and he realized what his true purpose is. While with Woody, he accepts the truth that Buzz is a better toy than him and Buzz deserves to be in the spotlight with Andy instead of him. All this time Woody was being selfish and wanted to continue to have the spotlight with Andy but he realizes that is not right . Even though he’s depressed about it, he learned to let go of his jealousy. So he tells Buzz to leave without him as he looked now depressed but Buzz finally accepts the fact at that same scene that he’s a toy and he decides to remain loyal to Andy. From that point on, Woody and Buzz become best friends. It’s amazing because they both had chemistry in terms of being enemies but their chemistry blossomed once they became best friends. It’s definitely one of my favorite scenes from the entire franchise.

I also liked the fact that John Lasseter taught the viewer of not to judge of how someone looks. I think he included that moral lesson with Sid’s damaged toys. Woody, Buzz, and even us the viewers thought his toys are evil and they eat other toys. But once Woody sees they fixed Buzz, he knew they both had been wrong. Even though they might look frightening from the outside, they have a heart in the inside. I also assumed the damaged toys did not want other stable toys to suffer what they went through with Sid so they probably decided to make a team and rescue and cure(repair) other toys that were victims by Sid. John Lasseter included a great theme involving Sid’s toys and I don’t see how it gets any better than that.

Another iconic scene where all the toys (led by Woody) revolted against Sid in order to save Buzz from being blown up by coming to life was amazing. Out of all the first three movies, Sid is the only human that knows the toys can come to life.

My second favorite scene (also the last iconic scene) was when Buzz managed to get the rocket out of his back as he was holding on to Woody before it it blew up while in the air. It’s iconic because Buzz managed to fly with Woody for real at the end for a couple of seconds since Woody told him in the beginning of the movie he really can’t fly since he’s a toy. The scene went down like this:

Woody: Hey Buzz you’re flying!

Buzz: This isn’t flying, this is falling with style!

Woody: To Infinity and Beyond!

The background theme that played while that was all occurring hits you right in the feels. Also in that scene, the friendship between Woody and Buzz was at its peak.

Those are all my favorite scenes in a nutshell for the first film. The movie is about 1 hour and 21 minutes and I liked how the film went straight to the point in all of its scenes. None of the scenes felt dull and nothing felt slow.

The Negatives:

I got no flaws or nitpicks!

Final Thoughts:

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Overall, the first Toy Story film is no doubt a classic and it’s definitely a movie I can watch countless of times along with the second and third. It’s not my favorite movie of the franchise but it is currently my second favorite of the franchise. The movie has a lot of heart but then again all three movies do. The film no doubt is a masterpiece and I’m going to rate it five out of five stars.

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