Toy Story — There is greatness in film that can be discussed, dissected, and talked about late into the night. Then there is genius that is right in front of our faces--we smile at the spell it puts us into and are refreshe... more »d, and nary a word needs to be spoken. This kind of entertainment is what they used to call "movie magic," and there is loads of it in this irresistible computer animation feature. Just a picture of these bright toys on the cover of Toy Story looks intriguing, reawakening the kid in us. Filmmaker John Lasseter's shorts (namely Knickknack and Tin Toy, which can be found on the Pixar video Tiny Toy Stories) illustrate not only a technical brilliance but also a great sense of humor--one in which the pun is always intended. Lasseter thinks of himself as a storyteller first and an animator second, much like another film innovator, Walt Disney. Lasseter's story is universal and magical: what do toys do when they're not played with? Cowboy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Andy's favorite bedroom toy, tries to calm the other toys (some original, some classic) during a wrenching time of year--the birthday party, when newer toys may replace them. Sure enough, Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is the new toy that takes over the throne. Buzz has a crucial flaw, though--he believes he's the real Buzz Lightyear, not a toy. Bright and cheerful, Toy Story is much more than a 90-minute commercial for the inevitable bonanza of Woody and Buzz toys. Lasseter further scores with perfect voice casting, including Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head and Wallace Shawn as a meek dinosaur. The director-animator won a special Oscar for "the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film." In other words, the movie is great. --Doug Thomas Toy Story 2
John Lasseter and his gang of high-tech creators at Pixar create another entertainment for the ages. Like the few great movie sequels, Toy Story 2 comments on why the first one was so wonderful while finding a fresh angle worthy of a new film. The craze of toy collecting becomes the focus here, as we find out Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) is not only a beloved toy to Andy but also a rare doll from a popular '60s children's show. When a greedy collector takes Woody, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) launches a rescue mission with Andy's other toys. To say more would be a crime because this is one of the most creative and smile-inducing films since, well, the first Toy Story. Although the toys look the same as in the 1994 feature, Pixar shows how much technology has advanced: the human characters look more human, backgrounds are superior, and two action sequences that book-end the film are dazzling. And it's a hoot for kids and adults. The film is packed with spoofs, easily accessible in-jokes, and inspired voice casting (with newcomer Joan Cusack especially a delight as Cowgirl Jessie). But as the Pixar canon of films illustrates, the filmmakers are storytellers first. Woody's heart-tugging predicament can easily be translated into the eternal debate of living a good life versus living forever. Toy Story 2 also achieved something in the U.S. two other outstanding 1999 animated features (The Iron Giant, Princess Mononoke) could not: it became a huge box-office hit. --Doug Thomas« less
A Pixar Masterpiece with character voices from your favorite actors! A must for everyone!
The best DVD set you can buy. Period.
Michael Rucki | Washington DC | 11/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're an "extras" hound like me, "Toy Story & Toy Story 2 - The Ultimate Toy Box" is the promised land. Hands down the best goodies of any DVD to this date. Oh yeah, and you get two excellent movies too! :)I won't spend time on the movies themselves, except to say that they're two of the most entertaining films ever made. Instead, let's focus on why to get the 3-DVD set instead of the 2-DVD set. The third DVD is truly impressive. You'll find fully-animated deleted scenes; funny & interesting interviews with cast, crew, animators, etc.; an absolutly hysterical debate on "Who's the best character?" with Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and the whole cast; some very detailed explanations of the techniques used to create the movies; and so much more. I've spent over three hours on Disc 3 alone so far, and there's a lot more to go!There are even cool hidden features. For example, on Disc 3 choose 'Toy Story 2.' Under the 'Story' section, choose 'Jesse's Song.' On the next screen that appears, press the 'Left' arrow key on your remote control & you'll see a question mark. With the question mark highlighted, hit 'Enter' for a outtake with an introduction by the directors. The sound & picture quality on all three discs are the best I've seen on DVD. Helps when the whole movie was CREATED digitally, eh? :)All in all "The Ultimate Toy Box" is the best DVD set around, bar none. Well worth the extra money!"
A real treat
James Ferguson | Vilnius, Lithuania | 10/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a beautifully packaged collection! Get one while supplies last, it may prove as valuable as a vintage Woody doll. Pixar really came up with something wonderful in these two stories, both provide such engaging accounts of one's [longing] for toys of the past. My kids treasure these two movies and the dialog is witty enough to draw parents into the stories. Toy Story II builds on the former, introducing a wider range of characters and offering a light-hearted parable on the collection mania in America. One too many out of the frying pan and into the fire situations for my taste, but the action keeps kids enthralled throughout. Hanks and Allen lend great voice to the battling lead characters, and there are many other wonderful voices as well. The only drawback (and it is a mild one) is not mixing Pixar toys with real family members. I think that would have made the stories even more compelling."
If you love the Toy Story series, Get the 3-pack!!
Lisa Shea | 11/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a Toy Story lover for many reasons. I love high quality animation, and used to go to animation festivals all the time to watch the craft grow and mature. To see the amazing results of the first-ever true full length movie done solely by computer, and to have its means of creation pale to its incredible storyline, character depth, and general quality of production, is something not often seen in today's motion picture industry.These two movies (Toy Story 1 and 2) are great for kids. You have themes children can easily relate to - jealousy, losing something you love dearly, dealing with friends, apologizing and making up when you have been mean to someone, you name it. Where a sequel is usually worse than the original, Toy Story 2 again breaks the mold by coming through with a fantastic storyline, as Woody is stolen by a selfish toy collector who wants to sell him for a fortune, to be trapped in a museum forever.For adults, the series shines as well. The wealth of in-jokes is simply phenomonal. There are references to Star Wars, to old westerns, to literature, you name it. A whole book could be done on the ways in which these movies appeals to the older movie watcher.The voice actors are all well known - Don Rickles, Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, etc. etc. - and they do a stellar job. You really become attached to these toys, which are very dimensional and believable. You understand their failings and applaud their triumphs.Just getting the two movies on DVD might be enough - but then they made a THIRD DVD which is stuffed full of amazing extras!! How about a guide to the hidden jokes? Reviews of each character, each character's actor, and sketches and history of how they changed over time? The DVD explains with great video clips how a storyboard is made, how the sound is mixed, how the animation is done, and they even have special features where you can mix the sound YOURSELF to see how effect noises and music affect the movie. Plus SO much more.I would pay more than the movie DVD cost to get this extra DVD, because it is a superb way for both adults and children to learn a wealth of information about making movies and how things are done. Who knows, after watching the special DVD, your kids might suddenly decide to become a sound magician, or a lighting expert, because they see how these roles can have a huge impact on a film like this.I highly recommend that every household with a DVD get your hands on this three-pack, and if you don't have a DVD player, this is the perfect reason to get it. Even if you have the video copy, give that away to your local library and buy this. It is priceless."
Ultimate Set for the Toy Story Fan
Brian Ruth | Radford, Virginia United States | 12/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 3-Disc Set is truly the 'Ultimate' set for the fans of Toy Story and Toy Story 2. If you havent seen one or both movies, They each are made with kids AND adults in mind, and there are plenty of in-jokes to look for while watching (Spoofs include Airplane, 2001, Star Wars, Spinal Tap, Close Encounters, and Die Hard just to name a FEW). There are even some funny gags from the second movie that play off the first. If your afraid the second falls into the category of 'typical animated sequel,' you'll be pleasantly surprised to find a movie I consider better than the first. The set is a veritable treasure chest of extras -- Toy Shorts from ABC Saturday morning ads, faux onscreen interviews, full-length commentary on both movies, isolated music and fx tracks, Dolby surround, International dubbing sampler, making-of featurette (not a shabby one either), a lesson on how they took a distinctly american transition from the second movie and tweaked it to suit international audiences, 2 animated shorts, and much, much more. I can't recommend this highly enough."
It's top quality
Demonskrye | Massachusetts United States | 10/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As good as the "Bug's Life" special edition DVD was, this wonderful 3 disc set is even better. I loved the original "Toy Story" from the first time I saw it. I was very happy to see that the same care and attention to story was put into the sequel. And I was overjoyed at how great this DVD set is.
Like any good special edition of an animated film, this DVD has piles of artwork of everything from Woody's origins as a ventriloquist's dummy to the anthropomorphic female cactus that became Jessie to the layout of Andy's room to the toys on the shelves at Al's Toy Barn. The original plot of the first movie is available for reading. Storyboards run alongside completed scenes or outline abandoned concepts. One particularly odd feature lets you look at a few rendering glitches which result in characters' body parts being switched or misplaced, giving lie to the idea that having an animated film "done with computers" makes things significantly easier. The commentary alone is worth the price of this whole set. The head honchos of Pixar talk about their film with an enthusiasm which shows the time and care that went into their making.
I can pretty honestly reccomend this DVD to just about anyone. There's so much stuff supporting these two great films that you're bound to find something you like. Probably a whole lot of somethings."