From the March 2000
| TOY STORY
Toys on the Side
|VOICES: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer,
Wayne Knight, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John
DIRECTOR: John Lasseter
SCREENPLAY: Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin, Chris Webb
CERTIFICATE: U DISTRIBUTOR and Picture copyright: Buena Vista
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 35mins
OPENING DATE (UK): February 11
Those marvellous Pixar people have triumphed again. With Toy Story and A Bugs Life, they took animation into a whole new dimension both visually and narratively and with their third computer-generated feature, John Lasseter and his team have pitched their tent even further up the mountain of excellence. There are bigger laughs, more thrilling set-pieces, a gasp-inducing array of life-like locations, a song that will break your heart and hilarious homage paid to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. In this rare case, the words classic and sequel belong side by side.
Cowboy Woody (Hanks) takes the limelight this time, as hes swiped by unscrupulous toy collector Al (Knight, the techno-geek from Jurassic Park) to be the centrepiece of a museum display in Japan. Captive in Als apartment, the stitched Sheriff learns that hes actually a rare collectible from a Fifties TV series called Woodys Roundup and meets a trio of his toy co-stars boisterous cowgirl Jessie (Cusack), crotchety old Stinky Pete the Prospector (Grammer) and Bullseye, the happy horse. Meanwhile, Buzz and his plastic pals set off on an eventful rescue mission.
Its a real challenge to find much wrong with this movie. The characters facial gestures, movements and vocal performances are so bang-on, that after about two minutes, youre completely lost in a world of toys. Of course, the advantage of a sequel is that the audiences familiarity with the characters allows for a more plot-heavy adventure. This time theres an enjoyably epic feel as the brave little toys chase all over town, eventually leading to double trouble for Buzz and an encounter with his galactic adversary.
Although kids will no doubt enjoy seeing these loveable playthings brought to life once again, theres a noticeably more grown-up feel to the story. Besides the movie in-jokes, a handful of action scenes provide more excitement than were used to seeing in an animated feature. The sci-fi spoof opening, perilous traffic cone-assisted road crossing and Die Hard 2-style baggage fracas, are all indicators of the growing confidence of the Pixar artists and the realization that computer animation has the potential to go head-to-head with anything in a Jerry Bruckheimer or Joel Silver movie. And beyond.
Read our massive reviews section
in this month's Film Review
Also reviewed online this month:
THE BEACH released February 11
FULL DETAILS AND REVIEWS OF ALL THESE AND MORE IN THIS ISSUE
The Talented Mr Ripley Feb 25
Topsy Turvy Feb 18
Hang the DJ Jan 14
Rear Window Feb 4
The Cider House Rules Feb 11
End of the Affair Feb 4
Man on the Moon Feb 18
Open Your Eyes
(Abre Los Ojos) Feb 25
Rien sur Robert
(Nothing to do with Robert) Feb 25
Rosetta Feb 25