TOY STORY – Small Movie World | #1

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  • Woody and Buzz are perfectly polar opposites within the context of the film and develop a legitimately believable partnership, where they have a tight chemistry in terms of writing and the voice acting from Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, who are equally spot on.
  • We get an excellent and unforgettable side cast, every one of the characters coming with a distinct design and personality; major credit to both the animators and the actors in that respect.
  • It’s subtly clever how Andy and Sid are treated as different sides of the same coin, representing the two halves of children with toys; one utilising them to make up imaginative stories, the other to produce these creepy yet creative concepts.
  • Randy Newman’s soundtrack is terrific; a damn nice accompanying score that sticks in your head and a small yet fantastic collection of songs with strong albeit maybe too on-the-nose lyrics.
  • The comedy is hilarious and perfectly balanced for a family audience; simple jokes for kids and cracking adult humour for parents – “Buzz, will you get up here and give me a hand?” is a golden moment – it’s among the earliest family films to really nail that aspect, becoming template for future ones to follow.
  • Despite the early age CGI, the plastic-esque textures really make the toys feel lifelike, and they are animated to suit. However, there are stiff, dated designs and animations in the human characters and Scud the dog, plus there’s even one point in finale where the drivers are basic unrendered 3D models if you look closely.
  • Superb lighting matches each of the environments to a tee, being bright and vivid in Andy’s, dark and dank in Sid’s, and radiantly luminous at the awesome Pizza Planet.
  • There’s such a specific attention to detail covering the likes of locations, toys and even background jokes; all of which are fun to discover upon repeated viewings.
  • The film has a great flow and consistent pace, being constantly entertaining whether there’s a lot happening or during the slower moments.
  • It’s all capped off by a fun two-part climax loaded with energy and linked by a cleverly handled dilemma in the middle.

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