Bluffers Guide to Toy Story, the first movie

Toy Story was the first movie produced by Pixar and it revolutionised the animated film business. Prior to 1995 animated films were for children. And that was that. As a parent you would watch – and might even enjoy – some of the classic Disney productions, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin.

But with Toy Story, Pixar showed that animated films weren’t just for kids – adults could be genuinely amused too, without putting off the kids.Toy Story overview
The post-Toy Story animated film market is awash with great productions that appeal to both young and not-so-young audiences alike – the Shrek trilogy, the Ice Age movies, Kung Fu Panda. and that’s not to mention the plethora of films that Pixar have continued to churn out – Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Up.

Pixar changed the animated movie business and for that I salute them.

Just in case you haven’t seen the movie (how have you not??) or you last saw it when it was on the big screen 15 years ago, here’s a brief overview of the story.

The Toy Story Story

Toy Story centres around Andy’s toys, led by Woody the pull-string talking cowboy. It is Andy’s 6th birthday and his toys are performing an elaborate reconnaissance mission to spy on his party and see what toys he gets as presents, all praying there won’t be a bigger, newer or shinier toy to replace them in Andy’s affections.Toy Story Woody“>
While it’s good news for most of the toys – Rex the dinosaur, Slinky Dog, Mr Potato Head and Hamm the piggy bank to name but a few, it’s bad news for Woody as one of the toys Andy receives is a Buzz Lightyear space ranger action figure, and this puts Woody’s position as Top Toy in jeopardy.

To Infinity and Beyond!

Toy Story Buzz Lightyear
Once the toys meet Buzz it becomes clear he doesn’t realise he is a toy but believes he really is Buzz Lightyear, stranded space ranger complete with working lasers and wings (he is wrong by the way, just in case you’re wondering).

While all the other toys admire Buzz, Woody is jealous and tries to get rid of Buzz by pushing him down in a gap in the furniture. But he’s much more successful than he ever intended and Buzz falls through the window and down into the garden.

The Evil Boy Next Door

When the other toys realise what Woody has done they are horrified and turn against him, but in the knick of time Andy arrives and takes Woody with him on a trip to Pizza Planet (a restaurant, not a real planet). Buzz stows aboard the car and he and Woody end up stranded at a petrol station. Toy Story Sid Phillips
The intrepid twosome hitch a ride to Pizza Planet where Buzz gets himself in trouble and both he and Woody are captured by Sid Phillips, Andy’s neighbour and one of the scariest bad guys in a film for kids since the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Sid is a torturer of toys, a boy who thinks nothing of decapitating baby dolls or maiming teddy bears.

So Woody and Buzz are trapped in Sid’s house and to make matters worse, it’s moving day, so if they don’t get back to Andy’s room in time they could be Lost Forever. What follows is an excellent and exciting action sequence as they manage to escape Sid’s dastardly plans and make their way back to the rest of the toys by any means possible.

What makes Toy Story so great is not just the cute story with the happily ever after, but the way it’s executed. 15 years on the film might now look a little dated, but the humour is still there in abundance, the characters are still funny and warm and so packed with expression you truly believe in them.

If you haven’t seen Toy Story then you must as it really is a genre defining classic. And each time you watch the film you’ll notice more little details that you hadn’t seen before.