Toy Story 2 (1999)

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Toy Story 2 (1999)

Dan:

It’s difficult to say what Toy Story 2‘s reputation would be if it wasn’t for TS3. I personally know at least four people who have told me that they appreciate 2 more since 3 so movingly closed the trilogy. Before 3, I think the Toy Story movies had faded a little bit thanks to the overwhelming acclaim of later movies like Ratatouille and The Incredibles.

But as it’s played out, Toy Story 2 has rightfully gone down as one of the greatest animated movies of the past quarter century. It’s, at different times, so funny, so exciting, so sad, and so thought-provoking. Above all, it’s a gripping and emotional story with a deeply resonant core. Who knew that childhood toys could be so versatile as thematic figures?

Brian makes many good arguments in favor of Toy Story 2 as the king of the trilogy. I’ve always thought that Pixar never imagined they’d make a TS3 as they made part deux; TS2 reflects on the original so well. Buzz saves Woody, not vice versa. Buzz has to convince Woody that life as Andy’s toy is right, not vice versa. The human posing a threat wants to preserve toys, not blow them up. Potato Head makes lots of dismemberment jokes not… okay, well, some things stayed same.

Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete are fantastic contributions to the Toy Story world, and “When She Loved Me” indicates the studio’s tearjerking muscles it would continually flex in later movies.

In other words, TS2 is a masterpiece that had us dumb motherf***ers eating right out of John Lasseter’s hands.

Verdict: Properly Rated

Favorite moment: The Buzz Lightyear aisle is funny (with some great TS1 references) but has always given me the willies… There’s something surreal about all those Buzz clones.

Kevin:

Was Toy Story 2 really the movie that allowed Pixar to feature talking dogs in Up and still get nominated for Academy Award’s Best Picture? I didn’t think it was until Finding Nemo when Pixar had us by the leash, but it takes more than one great film to build such a reputation. Toy Story 2 is an inseparable piece in the Pixar pantheon and the beloved Toy Story trilogy.

As Dan points out, Toy Story 2 makes some very logical moves to keep this sequel fresh. This story focuses around Woody this time. The human villain is radically different from Sid; there’s even a toy villain surprise in this one.

But Toy Story 2 also adds to the established Toy Story cast. Jessie could have been welcomed solely off of “When She Loved Me,” but I love how she falls for Buzz instead of the more obvious match-up with fellow cowboy Woody. Bulls-eye comes to eventually replace Andy’s dog, who becomes old and fat. Barbies would reappear in Toy Story 3 with even greater comedic effect.

Yet the reason why I love Toy Story 2 is because it tackles the issue of growing up from a toy’s perspective. Anyone who is reading this review can probably relate to Woody who wants to escape the pain of abandonment and be adored forever inside a glass cage. But can true love be achieved without any pain? Who knew that childhood toys could reveal so much of the essential human experience? How is this the Toy Story that doesn’t make IMDb’s top 250?

Verdict: Underrated

Favorite moment: Jessie describes what it feels like to be played with.

Final Grade: A- (91%)—Pixar’s first sequel continues the tradition of brilliant screen-writing.

For the full article: http://earnthis.net/animation-evaluation-pixar-1995-2006/

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