Directed by John Lasseter and the first feature film from Pixar, Toy Story follows a set of anthropomorphic toys which come to life when humans are not present. Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), is a traditional pull-string talking cowboy, who has long enjoyed a place of honour as the favourite of six-year-old Andy (John Morris). But Woody’s status as top toy is put in jeopardy upon the arrival of Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), the coolest space action figure ever made. As Woody plots to get rid of Buzz, things backfire as he soon finds himself lost in the outside world with Buzz as his only companion.
Toy Story will always be one of the best animations to come from my childhood and it’s amazing how well it still stands up. It’s such a timeless animation; an undeniable masterpiece that has had a huge and historical impact on not only its genre, but on the computer-animated world as a whole.
The first fully computer-animated feature-length film in cinema history, as well as the first feature film from Pixar, it’s no surprise that this is still such a cherished film today. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable adventure full of originality and creativity, and the collection of characters is one of the best that has ever been created.
The characters are so rich and detailed that it manages to handle its themes extremely well, despite its characters being toys. But they have such human qualities and emotions that their issues and the ways in which they are developed are explored better than many live-action films.
The voice cast is so iconic, too, although I did grow up thinking that Buzz was voiced by George Clooney (anyone else?). Nevertheless, the actors all suit their characters perfectly and this will always be what I love Tom Hanks most for.
The script is incredibly witty with jokes that I’m only just picking up on today, but there’s also a lot about this first film that still scares me. That only heightens the experience, however, as there are so many emotions that you feel whilst watching this film that it will always be an adventure to remember.
It’s funny, exciting and adventurous, but it’s also tense and even quite threatening at times. But that’s why these characters are so beloved, as Buzz and Woody make you feel like part of the gang for the whole journey. It’s no wonder that, even 25 years later, they are still such well-loved characters and ones that younger generations are still excited by.
The accomplishments that this film and the subsequent franchise has made are remarkable, and whilst you sometimes want a franchise to end before it loses the heart and soul that it was created with, Toy Story is still one of the best franchises around, and I’m so glad that we still have these characters in our lives.