Reviews: Toy Story

The appreciation and gratitude of being a '90s kid.

I was about three when Toy Story came into theaters, so I don't remember when I first saw it, nor my reactions to it. But as my parents, brothers and I loved it so much, Pixar has since then been a part of our household favorites.

The first movie is arguably aged, though it depends on how you look at it. Graphics-wise, yes, in some parts it is rather aged, but with story, dialogue and characters, it is timeless. That is where the charm is today. We can overlook it because of its old graphics, but you can't judge the movie by its cover. It's a perfect example of Pixar's talent for story-telling. Sure, this is the movie that changed animation history forever, and when you understand and have a love for animation, you have to admire Toy Story. But the kids of the '90s have held the first movie close to their hearts for reasons other than because it's a historic animated film.

And that is why I love Pixar. They have this love of story-telling and bringing these fictional characters, specifically for this review inanimate objects, to life. They understand their audiences, and that knowledge was what made Toy Story so successful. Sure, the ground-breaking graphics of the time helped tremendously, but as for the kids who grew up with and waited very patiently for the third installment that unexpectedly sent us off to adulthood, it goes deeper than that.

We had given them our hearts, and they handled each and every one with care.

Toy Story 3 is a love letter that may unfortunately be lost in future generations, as they may never understand just how meaningful it truly is in its depths.

But to those who do... let us thank Pixar and Toy Story for going to infinity and beyond.

A trilogy of Life, change, and the lasting power of Friendship

The main theme of the Toy Story Trilogy is about childhood: and the memories we create during those times. As children, our imaginations are boundless, not tied down by one single minded process, but a myriad of fanciful thoughts. Andy, is the embodiment that very essense we all shared at one point; a kid and his treasure trove of toys.

The film tell a simple, though harsh life lesson: that life is all about change. But that even with the sorrow and heartache that may come from sudden shifts in our reality, it's up to us to take those changes in stride and move forward. This core philosophy is played with in the films.

Toy Story 1 is the concept in it's basic form. With Woody being unable to accept the idea of being possibly replaced by the fancier Buzz Lightyear toy. Only through nearly being left behind, and learning to understand that friendship should be shared, does Woody come to accept Buzz and that Andy will still love him regardless of whatever new toys may come along.

Toy Story 2 then delves deeper into the concept with the character of Jessie and her tragic past with her kid; Emily. While the main plot is strictly about Woody needing to be save from an obsessive collector, the undlying theme is that while friends can grow apart, you should cherish the love and memories you shared no matter what happens.

Finally, Toy Story 3 brings us to the harshest part about change. This is characterized in many ways. Lotso is opposite of Woody, one who has refused to accept the change in his life and instead resents the "loss" of his kid (despite the clear misunderstanding that really took place). Woody on the other hand, is gradually learning to accept the fact that Andy may never play with him again, but still clings to the belief that above all else, he and the remaining toys should stay in Andy's care so that they may at least one day be played with by any children of Andy's.

In the end, Woody and the others are handed over to a new child, Bonnie. And in one last playtime, Andy bids farewell to the friends he has known for years. And in much the same way, so do we. Toys have come and gone, as have friends and other loved one. But one things remains certain: Our friendships will never die. No matter how many years go by, no matter what seperates us, true friendship; love, will last forever.

To Infinity, and Beyond.

Toy Story trilogy

It's always easier to feel something from a film when you know exactly how it feels to be in the situation yourself. For that reason, young adults who have been following the Toy Story trilogy since the first film will have done well not to feel a great deal during this film.

What makes the complete trilogy an emotional success is that the owner of the toys, Andy, is essentially a representation of the viewer. In Toy Story, his toys are everything, displayed in his exhiliarition upon receiving a Buzz Lightyear for his birthday, and the world he creates with his toys. I was a kid at the time and I loved toys too. Of course, the attraction to the film is the idea of toys coming to life which is a simple concept but had never been done so superbly until 1995. However, by the third film, it isn't the toys being alive that proves to be the bigger picture.

Following on the idea of Andy and the viewer being almost one in the same, Toy Story 3 is where it all hits home. It isn't idealistic and it isn't a cliche. Andy is now an adult and he's going away to college. Unfortunately, we're not kids forever and he has no use for his toys. What will have you close to tears—if not in full flow—is how closely we relate to growing up when we saw Andy going through the same thing. I challenge anybody who watched the first two films not to be fighting back the tears when the third film draws to a close. It isn't melodramatic and it isn't over-the-top. In fact it's incredibly simple and minimalistic. But watch that film and you'll find yourself feeling exactly what Andy does.

Pixar haven't just lumped on a sequel with this film like many franchises have done so recently. They waited the right length of time for this conclusion to the story, and I'm glad they did.