Disney (Wednes)Day: Toy Story

It’s time for the third movie from Disney to be¬†released in 1995, what a busy year. I saw Toy Story at my friends house back in the day way after its theatrical release. It was the same friend I watched Pocahontas with not that she will make any further appearance on this blog because we haven’t been close since 9th grade or so. Anyway.

Let me dump some info on the film before we dive into the recap. Toy Story was the first feature length film released by Pixar and remember The Brave Little Toaster? Yes, people that worked on said film ended up working for Pixar. Knowing this will come in handy later but may have also tainted my watching of this a little bit. Maybe not. Onto the movie then.

Toy Story opens in a bedroom where a boy we don’t get to see fully, plays with his toys. There are a whole bunch of them, apparently his Cowboy Doll is his prized possession. There is also a dinosaur and a Mr. Potatoehead and many more. It’s 1995 so I will refrain from mentioning how clunky this looks. Lots and lots of work must have gone into this and it’s almost been ten years since but especially the little boy who’s name is Andy btw, looks like the figures I had to work with in my ergonomics program at uni. I’m not sure if this is considered a compliment to Ramsis or not.

It seems today will be Andy’s birthday party, I would be excited about that too, as he leaves his room to go downstairs.

The title card informs me that this movie’s screenplay was co-written by Joss Whedon. Okay. I am not that loyal to him as others are and have not faithfully watched everything he ever did (looking at you Angel and Dollhouse). Mostly only Buffy and Firefly of which I love Firefly and liked Buffy a lot. Sorry guys for all the sidestepping here but it’s the movie’s fault, not mine, I swear.

Andy goes back upstairs to get his little sister, Molly and heads back downstairs, leaving Cowboy Doll (Woody) on his bed. Once the door is closed, Woody and all the other toys come to live. Wheeeee! Who would have guessed?! It’s kind of a mess when they are all running and driving around on their own. Also, this movie is very colourful! Like whoa!

Woody calls for a staff meeting while the dinosaur tries to be a predator and fails. He is my favourite of all the toys #justsaying A girl doll flirts a little with Woody because obviously. We can’t have a Disney movie without at least a little bit of romance, can we?!

The toys all have gathered around Woody, he takes the microphone from this 80s/90s children boombox that I would have loved to own but never did. Anyway, he mentions moving and doesn’t want any toy left behind so everyone should look up their moving partner. Hokay. Next item on the itinerary is Andy’s birthday party which was apparently moved up a week to have it in the house before moving away and also before his actual birthday. The toys all get their panties in a twist over this and Woody tries to calm them down.

They are all afraid Andy will get more toys as gifts and will forget about them. That’s a sweet sentiment. They all go crazy when the first party guests arrive with presents and try to figure out what is in the boxes. I guess living as a toy is pretty boring. A whole crew of toy soldiers is sent out with a baby monitor to spy on the gift opening.

(Side note: It is at this moment that I see an uncanny resemblance to The Brave Little Toaster. They were appliances and these here are toys but they ¬†share an unhealthy obsession with a human being and also feature this hybrid sort of story where we are not firmly in fairy tale land but also not completely in the real world either. It is a completely personal thing but I don’t like these crossovers and it at least partly why I did not like The Brave Little Toaster, aside from the fact that it is a horribly boring movie.)

Back in the movie, the remaining toys have gathered around the second baby monitor awaiting updates on the presents. Mr. Potatoehead desperately wishes for a Mrs. Potatoehead, lol. It turns out to be a lunchbox. Sorry, Mr. Potatoehead. Andy also gets bed sheets. (Who gives bed sheets at a children’s birthday as a present??) He apparently doesn’t get any toys and they all sigh of relief when the mother goes in for the big surprise. The guys upstairs can’t hear what it is though as just in that moment the monitor falls down. They try to humpty dumpty it back together but only in time to be informed that the kids are coming to the room so they scatter to their ‘normal’ positions.

I know what the mystery gift is but the first time viewer doesn’t get this information just yet. We only see feet running upstairs, they deposit something on the bed and talk about space ships and where they land, very mysterious. Then they all leave again. I’m not sure why they even came upstairs except for plot development reasons.

After the coast is clear, the toys go looking for their new ‘mate’. It turns out to be a Buzz Lightyear action figure with spaceship. The toy in question actually thinks he is Buzz and it makes him look like a moron. He radios in his position and that his space ship crashed and all sorts of that stuff. Then Woody appears and he tries to win his space on the bed back because it is apparently where all of Andy’s favourites go. Then the other toys get there too and introductions are made all around.

Buzz and Woody get into a pissing contest about who is better. Woody only has a string you can pull and he says some sentences whereas Buzz has buttons and laser beams and all the great things! Then they fight over whether Buzz can actually fly. He insists he can and Woody thinks he is an idiot (which he is). So Buzz goes to demonstrate. He actually doesn’t fly but falls and jumps from one contraption to the next making it look like he flies only he doesn’t.

Music montage about Buzz slowly replacing Woody as Andy’s favourite toy.

Woody has taken up shop in the toy box which really is a low blow for him. Buzz has been branded by Andy by writing his name on the toy in permanent marker. Poor Woody. Girl Doll tries to reassure Woody that this will all blow over soon. Ha! As if.

All the toys hear this noise coming from outside and get really anxious about it. Apparently the neighbours boy has returned and he is and evil child who tortures toys by blowing them up and destroying them in any way he can. I’m pretty sure this kid needs to see a therapist or should be locked away but more on this as the story develops.

Buzz thinks he can change Evil Kid of which all the others are very sceptical (because he really isn’t Buzz even though he thinks he is).

Cut to Andy playing with Buzz and Woody though Buzz seems to have the upper hand. His mom comes up to collect him because they are going to Pizza Planet. Andy is only allowed to bring one toy so he has to pick. This conversation naturally (read because of contrivance reasons) happens outside so that Woody has enough time to almost dispose of Buzz. In the end Buzz falls out the window and into the bushes much to the other toy’s dismay.

Andy comes back in and is only mildly disturbed that Buzz isn’t where he left him so he grabs Woody instead. As the car drives off, Buzz runs after it and gets into the car. Meanwhile the other toys are trying to come up with a rescue mission for Buzz. Too late, guys. Sorry.

At the gas station, Andy gets out of the car for stupid reasons and also so that Buzz and find Woody alone. They fight again and by this point I have gotten very tired of all of Woody’s shouting. Tom Hanks is the voice of Woody and I don’t really have an opinion on that but felt like sharing. Anyway, as moronic as Buzz seems with his thinking he really is an astronaut, Woody comes of as a choleric which I do not approve.

Because these two idiots had to take their fight outside of the car, they get left behind when the car drives off. So what to do now? Buzz radios this in because obviously. Thankfully they find a Pizza Planet delivery car where they can hang on to and get delivered right to the place.

At Pizza Planet Woody spots Andy but Buzz finds a rocket he has to crawl into because of his astronaut complex. Only it is this stupid machine where you out money in and can hopefully grab a toy. I guess you can tell that I never tried to do this.

Naturally Evil Kid is there too and he spots Buzz. Even though Woody tries his best to hold Buzz back, Evil Kid eventually gets the upper hand and ends up with both Woody and Buzz. Evil Kid brings his newly acquired toys home here he treats his little sitter like crap and takes her doll away. Seriously, how is this kid just left to his own devices? This is far from okay. He plays Frankenstein with the doll, taking off its head and putting a different one on it to give it back to the little girl.

There are a lot of weird toys in this room, all humpty dumptied back together from different parts. Woody calls them cannibals because he is afraid and likes to stereotype. But the zombie toys only mean well and safe Woody.

Meanwhile on the other side of the road, the toys are still looking for Buzz when Andy returns home without Woody. They think he ran away because of the shame.

Cut back to Evil Kid who is tormenting Woody with a magnifying glass until he gets called downstairs for food.

He leaves the door open which Woody takes as an opportunity to escape. Sadly his wire gets caught and he makes noise which wakes up Evil Kid’s equally terrifying dog. .

In the house of terrors, Buzz sees a TV ad for himself and suddenly realises that he may in fact only be a toy. He tries bravely to fly out of the open window but since he can’t actually fly he crashes down the stairs. The sister finds him and takes him and his dislocated arm in. Poor buddy. Together they are having a tea party and oh this is only getting worse.

Woody finds Buzz in his miserable situation and rescues him from there but this has all been too much for Buzz and his brain seems pretty fried.

Through the window, Woody tries to convince his fellow toy friends over at Andy’s to help him escape. He tries reassuring them that Buzz is still with him but they are having none of it.

The weird zombie toys come out to put Buzz’ arm back in and Woody realises they are not cannibals but only make due with what they are left with.

Just then Evil Kid comes back into his room with a parcel in hand being all excited. He got a big fat rocket delivered and I ask myself two questions, (a) what parent is okay with their kid ordering these things and (b) what company delivers to these to kids?!

Evil Kid straps Buzz to the rocket but Buzz is saved by the rain.

Cut to Andy missing his toys, awww. He really does miss Woody.

Back on the other side, Woody tries to talk Buzz up. Woody has somehow managed to get entrapped so Buzz helps him get out of it but only halfway succeeds. He gets distracted when the moving van appears and he sees all his hopes and dreams leave.

Evil Kid’s alarm goes off so naturally the kid’s first thought is, LET’S BLOW BUZZ UP! I hate this kid. But fear not, Woody calls for the weird zombie toy alliance and they come up with an elaborate plan to safe Buzz that involves scaring Evil Kid to death by them all becoming alive in front of him.

Finally Buzz and Woody are free again when the car leaves with Andy and they can’t get on it. THEY WERE SO CLOSE, DANG IT!

Evil Kid’s terrifying dog is hot on their trail as they are running behind the car but they will never reach. The moving van drives off and is their last chance. Woody manages to grab onto this convenient wire hanging off the back of the van but Buzz can’t get to it. So Woody gets inside, grabs a toy car and sends it for Buzz. It all seems to be working until the batteries run out and omg how many times can you keep them from actually finally making it?.

Buzz then has a great idea to light his rocket to which he is still strapped. (Maybe I should have mentioned that fact earlier but okay.) After an excruciatingly long time they make it into the car and all is well that ends well.

Cut to Christmas at the new house. Same procedure as every present opening time. Mr. Potatoehead finally does get his Mrs. and Andy gets a puppy.

Oh and Woody also makes out with the girl doll because it was about damn time.

The end.

Oh well. Alright, I’m not the biggest fan of this movie to be honest. I can see how groundbreaking it must have been when it came out but mostly because of the animation and not so much because of the storyline. I cannot exactly put my finger on why this film is not sitting right with me but I guess this is just personal perception and I find this excruciatingly long montage of two toys getting back home again dull and too contrived. And yes, I did have lots of toys and stuffed animals as a kid. They slept in my bed with me for a long time and I really liked them.

Liked what you read? Please share it to spread the love!
  • Vanessa

    I adore this movie so much, so people like you who don’t seem so strange to me. :)
    Drunk Buzz is so amusing to me, but I do find it strange that Woody’s reaction is to call all the haphazard toys cannibals. Zombies yes, but cannibals? It’s not like they’re eating each other.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Yes, it was weird to call the that.

      Well, I’m sorry, I already gave you a couple of reasons why I don’t like this movie, not that they are objective and good but at least they are true :D