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Toy Story

a film review by Peter Knapp

Rating: 4 out of 4

Both Toy Story and Jumanji are effects-laden movies. The former is the first full-length computer- generated animated movie; the latter uses computer animation to mix real and fantastical animals with live human actors. While both movies make extensive use of special effects, the end results differ drastically.

Toy Story is the first Pixar/Disney joint venture. The result is a computer-animated buddy story. Woody, the most favored toy in a young boy's collection, is threatened by the addition of Buzz Lightyear, a cocky electronic toy who thinks he's real. The movie revolves around their misadventures as they learn to live and work together. Woody and Buzz are joined by other toys, many from our own childhood experiences (Mr. Potato Head and Slinky Dog, to name two).

While the story revolves around the toys, human characters occasionally appear. I think the producers wisely chose not to attempt to create realistically-animated humans, as it wouldnot have fooled anyone. Instead, the human characters blend into the world of toys. In turn, the overall effect (computer-generated animation) blends into the background, and the viewer can concentrate on the story.

Pixar has always produced wonderful animated shorts. Remember the Academy Award-winning Tin Toy? Pixar did it. Until Toy Story, though, they never used dialog to tell a story. Disney, on the other hand, long ago mastered telling stories through animation and dialog. The marriage between the two studios, utilizing the best of both, produced a gem. I highly recommend Toy Story and look forward to the next Pixar/Disney joint venture!

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