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Retro rewind: ‘Toy Story 2’ stands the test of time

October 04, 2019 by Brett LaBore

Sometimes a sequel can be just as good, if not better than the original. In the case of “Toy Story 2,” it absolutely knocks it out of the park.

“Toy Story 2” came out in theaters on Nov. 24, 1999 and featured the voices Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Kelsey Grammer and Wayne Knight.

John Lasseter directed the film. He also directed the original “Toy Story” from 1995. The movie will turn 20 years old later next month.

In the sequel, Woody is stolen by a toy collector and will be sold to a museum. Woody then meets Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete, who convince him to stay. It’s up to Buzz Lightyear and the gang to change Woody’s mind, rescue him and convince him he is still Andy’s beloved toy. 

In my opinion, a film is deemed a classic when it stands the test of time. I judge that in the span of 20 years. Once a movie has been out for at least 20 years, and has still remained popular and beloved, I deem it a classic. 

I adore this film. It is my favorite Pixar movie and one that I like slightly better than the original. I like it for a number of reasons.

First of all, it has a great story. The original “Toy Story” was very creative, but this story gets taken to another level. I love the fact that these toys go on a journey. Woody gets taken, so Buzz leads the rest of the toys on a great journey across the city to find him.

It’s kind of epic and along the way we experience new toys, new friends and new memories.

This film is very funny and knows how to be clever at perfect spots. The humor is on point, the voice work is phenomenal and all the lines are delivered perfectly, making for some very funny lines. I find myself laughing throughout the whole film.

I mentioned the film was clever — they use that to their advantage and have some great Easter eggs or hidden moments from other films. There is a “Jurassic Park” and “Star Wars” reference that makes the film even more fun. 

Lasseter does a great job of expanding this world. In the first film, the only other toys we saw came from Sid’s room.

This time, Buzz and the gang visit a toy store and see this vast array and endless aisle of toys. It might be my favorite part of the movie. It really is fun to see the toys we love hang out in this toy store.

Another scene I love so much is the scene where Buzz is using all the toys to figure out how to find Woody. Eventually Buzz spells out the toy store, Etch draws the chicken man and they figure out where to find Woody. Pure genius and so much fun. 

The voice work is incredible. Hanks as Woody, Allen as Buzz Lightyear are excellent. So is everyone else. 

I do want to mention Varney, the voice of Slinky Dog. This was one of Varney’s last voice works, with Varney passing away in 2000. Slinky Dog has always been one of my favorite characters and that was thanks to Varney’s excellent voice and portrayal of the character.

“Toy Story 2” made audiences weep as well. Jessie’s story with the song “When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan is one of the saddest moments in Pixar’s canon.

This film just feels like a classic. It was Pixar’s third film and has everything I want in a Toy Story movie — humor, heart, fun, story, clever, new toys, old toys, young Andy — and Lasseter even introduces the Davis’ dog named Buster.

Not only that, but “Toy Story 2” is the last movie with some of the classic old toys like Mr. Spell, Mr. Mike and Etch A Sketch. I like those old toys. 

“Toy Story 2” certifies itself as a classic as well as a film that continued the brilliant Toy Story franchise.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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