Toy Story 2 (1999)

G   |    |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy


Toy Story 2 (1999) Poster

When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends set out on a rescue mission to save Woody before he becomes a museum toy property with his roundup gang Jessie, Prospector, and Bullseye.

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7.9/10
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  • Tim Allen in Toy Story 2 (1999)
  • Tim Allen in Toy Story (1995)
  • Buzz Aldrin at an event for Toy Story 2 (1999)
  • Tom Hanks and Kelsey Grammer in Toy Story 2 (1999)
  • Kirstie Alley at an event for Toy Story 2 (1999)
  • Tom Hanks in Toy Story 2 (1999)

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10 September 2008 | tedg
Battling Films
Shucks, my original comment for this was deleted. Here is a replacement.

My admiration for Pixar to date is significant, on the order of rat filmmakers that seem to care about ideas in film. There aren't enough of these, so if you find one (here a collective) that not only has intelligent notions of cinema but also make successful movies, you have to celebrate.

Overall, I think this is the weakest of the Pixar films, because it is the least visually adventuresome. What they did instead was explore what I call folding and did so in the written bits, following a pattern where films include the dynamics of other films in some way. "Blue Velvet" and "2001" are sort of landmark films along these lines, where film types become actual characters. Here the folding is just as radical, perhaps more so because the story overtly mirrors what they are doing.

Here's the setup. Buzz — actually an army of Buzzes — draws his existence from space movies, specifically "Star Wars." Woody draws his from cowboy movies (actually TeeVee shows) specifically "Howdy Doody." Each prototype "doll" gets pulled into his original cosmology. That's the background, what usually serves as the establishing world for a movie. Pixar even uses this in the first shots where other movies work to introduce us to a world.

Within this movie in the movie context is a foreground story: about the value of "play" which we are reminded is a re-enacting or borrowing of stories. Its what life is, I think and we are reminded in the script. They'd trade one day of human play (meaning recovered movies) for an eternity in a sterile heaven.

I know that there are many in Hollywood who talk about this sort of story dynamic. There are few that would dare to build a film around it, and very, very few who could do it, make it as visible, overt as it is here, and have audiences be happy for such immersion in reflective dynamics.

Interestingly, the original comment was tossed by IMDb along with a couple hundred others of mine because I failed in a similar enterprise. Someone complained because the original included an observation about religion being recovered narrative and increasingly recovered cinematic narrative. That reader at least did not like such baptism.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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