By Fraser Simpson (England)
You’re going to hate me for this but Toy Story, the firstborn of the highly acclaimed Pixar Studios, who would go on to create amazing animated films like Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, is ok. Not bad, but not good or great either. I’m not saying it’s overrated as I can understand why many, many others like the film. But this film serves for me as a film that I would have loved, but was ultimately disappointed. And I’m serious by saying I was disappointed when I watched it when I was younger, and still am when I re-watched it recently. But before I get death threats and angry toys with mini pitchforks coming my way, let me explain why I feel this way Even though I can’t agree with a lot of things on why this film is so called fantastic, I can agree that the technical innovation in this film is outstanding.
The computer animation is top notch and has aged incredibly well for a film released over 20 years ago. The best thing about the animation was how innovative it was. Graphics chip makers desired to compute imagery similar to the film’s animation for personal computers; game developers wanted to learn how to replicate the animation for video games; and robotics researchers were interested in building artificial intelligence into their machines that compared to the film’s lifelike characters. That’s arguably the best thing about Toy Story, how innovative it was. That’s not to say there aren’t any other good parts. The character, and the film cast who voice them, are all great. Except Mr. Potato Head, I don’t like him, he’s weird.
Buzz and Woody, played by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen respectively, are two good leads, and the other toys are all good, especially Slinky the Dog. There is some genuine wit to this film and the internet has found many a meme in this film, so as Woody says, ‘Play Nice’. What I like about the Toy Story films is that all of them are different. This one is a comedy, Toy Story 2 is an action film and Toy Story 3 is something. However, I have problems with this film, as with most films. One of my main problems with this film is the under usage of some characters. As much as I like Bo Peep’s character, I don’t feel she is in it for long enough and doesn’t really contribute aside from caring about both Buzz and Woody. The same can be said for Sid’s toys, lab projects, whatever you want to call them. They’re basically the opposite of Andy’s toys and I like that, my only thing is I wished they included more time with them and made them slightly darker.
Yeah, I’m a sucker for dark moments in kids films. Ah well, the time when animated films didn’t go over 1 and a half hours long. This doesn’t apply to the other two films, but it does to this one because I feel it’s just not long enough to fit what it wants to fit. I love Pixar and their depth of emotionalness most of their films go to, but I don’t feel it here. Really, the only Toy Story film I feel sad was Toy Story 3’s furnace scene and the ending. If this could have been more emotional, I would have thought that this film is great. But it’s simply a case of what could’ve been.
In conclusion, I don’t hate this film, not at all. I think it’s funny, graphically amazing and the voice cast put a lot of effort into the characters, but with some underuse of characters, and a lack of emotional depth. I’m going straight down the middle for this one. Thankfully, the series does get better with the next two Toy Story’s and there is a fourth one coming out later this year, which I’ll definitely see. But for people who claim this is the best of the bunch, the best of Pixar’s, and one of the best animated films ever, I can’t agree with you.