October 1, 2009


I don’t understand anyone who wouldn’t want to go back and watch “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” on the big screen especially when it only costs $15.  Not each.  Combined.  And forget about the 3D or even the digital projection.  These are two of the greatest movies in the past twenty years and even if you don’t have kids (because if you’re a parent with a kid 12 or under, this is mandatory) why not revisit them on a big screen?  They have not aged.  They are as vibrant, funny, clever, and heart-warming as you remember.  But if you need more convincing (and if so, I think you might be a hopeless case), read on.

toy_story_2_cast_01.jpgThere’s no need for me to re-iterate the plots of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story”.  Want to know the plot?  Here it is:  They’re great.  The end.  The tale of Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is one of the best stories of friendship cinema has ever seen.  There’s slapstick, banter, and most importantly, an emotional core which above anything else, has been the trademark of a Pixar film and it’s why all of their movies (with the exception of “Cars”) are instant classics.

“But I already own both of them on DVD!  Why should I pay $15 to see what I already own!  Waaah!”  I don’t care how well they make TVs these days; your television is not the size of a movie screen.  “I saw them when they were in the theaters!  I don’t need to see them again!  Waaah!”  No, you don’t need to but by that logic, you don’t need to do a lot of things other than eat, sleep, and not die of exposure.  But you never saw these films digitally projected and since they come from a digital source, they look (unsurprisingly) amazing.  Additionally, the big screen and digital projection don’t really hurt the films in terms of showing their age.  Even at almost 15 years old, the original “Toy Story” still looks good and the only real wear I saw was in the look of Scud, Sid’s bull terrier because Pixar couldn’t animate fur yet.  Four years later, they made that animation detail look easy in the design of Andy’s new dog Buster.  Pixar never rests on their laurels and when I think of what they have accomplished in the ten years since “Toy Story 2” it’s difficult to wrap my mind around what we’ll see in “Toy Story 3”.

As for the 3D upgrade, it functions like it did with “Up” in that it provides depth of field rather than going for a “Hey!  It’s 3D cominattcha!”-effect.  The 3D is even more impressive when combined with the big-screen, digital presentation-two qualities you never would have thought these films would have back in 1999.  Still, if you’re like me, then your eyes will feel the work-out.  I know that some people don’t have this problem but for those that do, try to take a rest when you get home after the double feature.

The double feature does provide an intermission but at only 10 minutes, it needs to be longer.  At my screening, the full theater had only filled to half capacity by the time “Toy Story 2” began.  You may just want to pass on that big gulp or grabbing some food from the snack bar during the intermission and just enjoy the ten minutes of jokes, trivia, and antics from the “Toy Story” gang.

“Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” remain perfect.  With only a two-week engagement, I can’t recommend enough that you go out and re-experience these movies again because this is not the home version.  You will get your money’s worth and you’ll gain an even better appreciation of Pixar, their legacy, and that we’ll see the third adventure of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of the gang from Andy’s room on June 18th, 2010.

Rating for “Toy Story”: A+ ; Rating for “Toy Story 2”: A+



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