By Evan McMillin
Rewind to 1995. Many of us were beginning the process of exiting our toddler years to enter the new and exciting world of childhood. Our parents were beginning to grant us a small amount of freedom, small being the keyword. On Nov. 22, one movie opened in theaters nationwide and took the box office by storm, becoming the highest grossing film of 1995. I am, of course, talking about “Toy Story.”
“Toy Story,” directed by John Lasseter, was Pixar’s first feature film and the first-ever feature film to be made entirely in CGI. The movie stars Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.
Woody, voiced by Hanks, is Andy Davis’ favorite toy. As the favorite toy, Woody is the de facto leader of the toys of Andy’s room, who come to life after Andy leaves. Andy gets a new toy, Buzz Lightyear, the intergalactic space ranger, voiced by Tim Allen. Woody soon gets side-lined as Buzz takes over as Andy’s favorite toy. After a series of events, Woody and Buzz Lightyear become separated from Andy’s room and must put aside their differences to work together to get back to Andy before his family moves away.
As a child, I remember “Toy Story” being my favorite movie at the time. I didn’t watch movies for plot, acting or theme. I watched for action, which “Toy Story” had. Watching Buzz Lightyear “fly” across Andy’s room never got old.
As an adult, I find myself still enjoying “Toy Story.” While I still like the action scenes, I now appreciate the smart humor, like Mr. Potato Head using his detachable eyes as a periscope. As an adult, I also find several significant themes in “Toy Story,” like jealousy, abandonment and finding purpose in life.
I also appreciate the film’s use of symbolism. Buzz’s arm breaks off after an attempt to fly out of an open window goes awry, symbolizing his broken spirit. To further symbolize this break, Buzz has a mental breakdown, also adding to the humor of the movie.
One of the many great things about “Toy Story” is the voice work. Don Rickles as the cynical and pessimistic Mr. Potato Head, R. Lee Ermy as Sarge, the leader of the Army men, and Jim Varney as Slinky all did phenomenal jobs. All the characters were well-developed and lovable, thanks to the excellent voice cast.
Another great element of the film is the animation. While we may take computer-generated imagery (CGI) for granted nowadays, it was a major innovation in 1995. As the first film made entirely in CGI, it had audiences enchanted by the cutting-edge special effects and beauty.
“Toy Story” is still an excellent film all ages can enjoy. The animation is fantastic and the voice acting is remarkable. I highly recommend this movie as a nostalgia bomb that will have you shouting, “To infinity and beyond!”