"Toy Story 2"
Directed by John Lasseter.
Written by Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin and Chris
Starring the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.
Release Year: 1999
Review Date: 11/30/99
Because this review is mainly for my kid
sisters, Cate and Sydney, there will be no profanity in this
review...but, for "Opening Weekend" reviews, I don't need to curse
That's right--this movie is the first
Opening Weekend-rated movie of the fall for me. Wow, wow, wow.
Even though this movie made more than $80 million in its first five
days of business from a large 12-and-under fan base, this is a
mature, very adult, very sophisticated drama at many points during
its quick-like-rabbit 85 minutes. The evidence? I heard more
adults laughing during many of its scenes than children, although
there is enough wackiness to keep the kiddies in line.
The main plot of this movie, like its
predecessor "Toy Story", involves two main characters, Woody (voiced
by Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) who are the most
popular toys of their owner, a young boy named Andy. In the sequel,
Woody is snatched by a dirty toy collector (Wayne Knight, Newman
from “Seinfeld” for easier reference--no one does this type of
character better) who plans on selling Woody to a Tokyo-based toy
collector. It's up to Buzz and Andy's other toys, amongst them Mr.
Potato Head, the Slinky Dog, Tyrannosaurus and the piggy bank, to
get Woody back.
The one thing that I loved about the first
movie was how human the filmmakers made the toys seem in describing
their situation as playthings for children. This is much expanded
upon in the sequel, and there is a sequence that--and, I'm about to
say this in front of a lot of people, so bear with me--had me a
DID YOU CRY, YOU LITTLE...
No! I didn't cry; I was just getting a
YOU CRIED, DIDN'T YOU?? SAY IT! SAY IT!
Look, I'm not gonna take this from you! I
didn't cry! The point is that there is a sequence where one of the
new characters, Jessie (like Woody, a toy based on a cancelled 50's
western show) is describing how her owner, a child named Emily, just
left her one day and moved on to other things in her life (shown to
the audience as talking on the phone, doing her nails, etc.) and you
just feel for these toys like they were your best friends! All I
could think about was my Optimus Prime (for you real losers, the red
semi from the Transformers!) toy, sitting in a box somewhere with my
Snake Eyes, Scarlet, and Duke GI Joes, and, and my brother Dave's
Cabbage Patch Kid and all of the other things that I took with me
whenever I went away to camp, or grade school, or church...totally
inseparable...until I bought the Atari 5200.
Then, there was only video games.
But, the toys were still in good shape and I
never played with them. And that one scene is just so genius, so
spot-on, that it sums up everything about the dramatic elements of
this movie. Sure, all of the voices in this movie are very good,
the computer-animated characters are gorgeous, the script is full of
witty pop references and sly dialogue to keep parents awake during
the more childish sequences. The first five minutes of the movie,
when Buzz takes on the evil Zurg in Sector 4 of Buzz's fake
universe, was really cool. Everything about this movie is
good...but, this is the rare sequel that actual improves on the
original and I think the main reason for that is how far the film
goes to describe to us what a toy might feel like if it really does
have emotions. I don't know if kids will pick up on all of
this--then again, most 10-year-olds I know can program their own web
pages--but, maybe this isn't just meant for kids, it's meant for
This isn't my favorite movie of the year (if
you, by some act of GOD, have still not seen "The Matrix", let me
know so that I can take you off of this mailing list), but it is the
DUDE, YOU WERE CRYING, WEREN'T YOU?
Oh man. Anyway, I gotta go find my Megatron
Transformer (for those who aren't in the know, the leader of the
Decepticons) before I lose this great vibe.
Rating: Opening Weekend
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard