Flickering Myth’s writing team countdown to the UK release of Monsters University by picking their favourite Pixar Movies; first up is Anthony Stokes with Toy Story…
There aren’t a whole lot of “kids” movies that are widely accepted as being on par with the very best “adult” movies. Some of them may be appreciated by older audiences, but it’s rare for a kid’s movie – and especially an animated movie – to transcend it’s genre and be held amongst the very best. Other then The Godfather, I can’t think of another movie that shows up on more favorites list than Pixar’s Toy Story. The fact that I just compared Toy Story to one of the most acclaimed movies ever made and most people wouldn’t question it, is a testament to its quality and timelessness.
In essence Toy Story is a movie about loyalty, friendship, and identity. Granted this is a common theme in animated features nowadays and it may have even been at the time, but if Toy Story didn’t invent the formula then it certainly perfected it. Buzz Lightyear and Woody’s relationship is perfectly handled, never taking the spotlight or focus of the movie, but coming instead in just in the right spots. It’s also about childhood and placing sentimental value on inanimate objects. I actually appreciate it more as an adult because it makes me nostalgic for a time when being unable to find my favorite toy meant the end of the world.
But really it’s the characters that make the movie and they are all amazing, well thought-out, and with tonnes of personality. Andy’s toys rival The Avengers and The Fellowship of the Ring for best ensemble. The design holds up to this day and I still want Buzz and Woody action figures.
If I could describe Toy Story in one world it’d be “iconic”. Every single moment, line of dialogue, and frame is burned into my subconsciousness. Instead of deja vu I feel a sense of awe. It’s magical how something 20 years old can still resonate with people as if it was their first time seeing it. I plan on revisiting Toy Story more often, and I guarantee anybody else who watches will wonder just what became of their old toys.
Anthony Stokes is a blogger and independent filmmaker.