#11- Toy Story (1995)

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Who's List Was This On
- Adam Kaplan: #8
- Daniel Bennett: #8
- David "MVP" Eckstein: #10

Directed By: John Lasseter
Written By: Josh Wheedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, and Alec Sokolow
Voices Of: Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Don Rickles, and John Ratzenberger

The Plot

In a world where toys can talk, a young boy named Andy has a favorite toy- a cowboy doll named Woody (Hanks). Andy's world is consumed by Woody and loves all things cowboys. However, when Andy gets a spaceman action figure named Buzz Lightyear (Allen), the balance of Andy and his toys shifts towards spaceman and Buzz and away from cowboys and Woody. Threatened and jealous of the new Buzz Lightyear action figure, Woody exacts his revenge on Buzz Lightyear. However, things go incredibly wrong when he does so.

Why This Movie Is Great

Toy Story is the only animated movie to make Game Of Inches' top 25 list and for my money, there's no greater animated movie within the past quarter century- or even ever. There have been some great animated flicks (The Lion King, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, and Beauty and the Beast just to name a few) but none quite like Toy Story. No movie has been so influential on animated children's films since Steamboat Mickey. Pixar studios revolutionized animated movies as we know it. Not just in terms of the quality of the animation (which holy crap did it bring animated movies into another, better dimension), but in terms of the quality of the movie itself. Pixar's first film, Toy Story, helped pave the way for animated movies as we know it today.

Animated and Disney movies have always had layers. There's the outer shell layer of a great a great comic romp for little children. Little kids just enjoy seeing toys talking and interacting with each other. It's great fun for them. Then there's the under-the-surface layer. The layer that has a deeper hidden meaning behind it. Most Disney movies are based off of fairy tales which mean they all have a hidden meaning. That meaning tends to be, "Be yourself" or "You can do anything as long as you are good" or "Be nice to others". Essentially the moral of every animated/Disney movie was a cliche. But Pixar choose to go deeper with their morals. There are deeper thematic elements in throughout the Toy Story trilogy and Pixar movies in general (at least the better ones). It was Pixar's ability to throw out cliches and nonesense dribble that made them the powerhouse they are today.

The thematic elements of envy and jealousy. The idea of being tossed to side like, well, a used up toy. Sure, there's that idea of "Be yourself" that centers around the Buzz Lightyear plot line because he thinks that he is an actual space ranger, but Toy Story has just done it so much more effectively than any animated movie before it. It was Toy Story's ability to dig deeper as well as it's groundbreaking and breathtaking visuals that made it literally a great movie for all ages.