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Toy Story [Tim Allen, Tom Hanks]

Toy Story starring Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, by  John Lasseter

Synopsis of Toy Story

Woody, a cowboy doll, is Andy’s favorite. But when Buzz Lightyear arrives the space hero takes Andy’s room by storm! Their rivalry leaves them lost and in a nightmare with Sid, a toy-torturing boy next door. To escape they need to work together.

Editorial review of Toy Story courtesy of Amazon.com

Toy Story starring Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, by John LasseterThere is greatness in film that can be discussed, dissected, and talked about late into the night. Then there is genius that is right in front of our faces–we smile at the spell it puts us into and are refreshed, and nary a word needs to be spoken. This kind of entertainment is what they used to call “movie magic,” and there is loads of it in this irresistible computer animation feature. Just a picture of these bright toys reawaken the kid in us. Filmmaker John Lasseter thinks of himself as a storyteller first and an animator second, much like another film innovator, Walt Disney.

Lasseter’s story is universal and magical: what do toys do when they’re not played with? Cowboy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Andy’s favorite bedroom toy, tries to calm the other toys (some original, some classic) during a wrenching time of year–the birthday party, when newer toys may replace them. Sure enough, Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is the new toy that takes over the throne. Buzz has a crucial flaw, though–he believes he’s the real Buzz Lightyear, not a toy. Lasseter further scores with perfect voice casting, including Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head and Wallace Shawn as a meek dinosaur. The director-animator won a special Oscar for “the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film.” In other words, the movie is great. –Doug Thomas