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1999 Films in Review "Toy Story 2" ~ The last classic on the 20th Century. - CinemaDave

Jun. 21st, 2010 09:00 am 1999 Films in Review "Toy Story 2" ~ The last classic on the 20th Century.

The mark of a good motion picture is when you have no desire to see a particular
movie and end up loving it. Such is the case with Toy Story 2, a rare sequel that
surpasses the original.

The first "Toy Story" introduced us to the toys of a boy in suburban America. It was
technically impressive and cute with a so-so story line. The new movie, "Toy Story 2" is more emotionally engaging than the first movie with mythic themes about mortality
and loyalty.
 
The plot is simple as a good, old-fashioned John Wayne western. Woody is
kidnapped, and his friends come to rescue him. The movie is a whole series of rescue
missions, each more creative than the last. There are many mini moments of levity and
humor that work at both a child’s and adult’s level.

One such feature our heroes on an "Animal-House" inspired road trip through Al’s toy
barn. There is a tense moment involving Mr. Potato Head (voiced by insult comedian
Don Rickles), and his efforts to cross the street. Unlike the nightmare visions of last
year’s "A Bug’s Life," a spirit of fun and goodwill prevails throughout "Toy Story 2."
While this movie is a visual feast for the eyes, the audio elements enchant this
last classic of the twentieth century.

The Walt Disney/Pixar computer-animated feature reunites the same cast and crew from the original. Leading men Tom Hanks and Tim Allen return as the voices of Woody and Buzz Lightyear, respectively. Pine Crest graduate Kelsey Grammer voices Stinky Pete, an envious toy left on a shelf too long. Most well-known for playing the psychiatrist on the TV show Frasier, Grammer is an inspired voice-casting as a Gabby Hayes look-alike character who devils the Roy Rogers-like Woody. Joan Cusack voices a Dale Evans doll who, along with Stinky Pete and Woody, were members of the original 1950s marionette TV show, Woody’s Roundup. An inspiring musical score by Randy Newman and the eclectic vocal mix of Sarah McLachlan, Robert Goulet, and Riders of the Sky give the audience a totally positive movie experience.

A child sees a toy as something alive. A teenager sees it as an embarrassing
artifact of their not-to-cool days. A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books ended when
Christopher Robin went off to his first day of school. Puff the Magic Dragon suffered
a similar fate when little Jackie Paper stopped visiting him.

"Toy Story 2" is not bleak and suggests that our toys never die but are reborn again with our future children. Perhaps the theme of rescue is about saving the inner child within ourselves. "Toy Story 2" should appeal to anybody who has ever had a favorite toy.

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