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Disney/Pixar initiated a new sophisticated form of animation with the 1995 box office smash Toy Story, a richly entertaining and imaginative animated adventure that not only spawned two sequels, but became a merchandising dream.

The film opens in the bedroom of a little boy named Andy who is moving in a couple of days. The central characters are Andy's toys, who are led by a cowboy action figure named Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), who is apparently Andy's favorite toy. Woody and the other toys feel seriously threatened when Andy receives a space action figure called Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) for his birthday. Immediate antagonism materializes between Woody and Buzz when Woody feels he might be replaced in Andy's heart, but Woody and Buzz are forced to bond and actually become friends when they become prisoners of Andy's next door neighbor, Sid, a sadistic little kid who likes to torture toys.

This deliciously imaginative story works thanks to a brilliant screenplay that brings vivid and believable emotions to toys, effectively showcasing the world from a toy's point of view. The jealousy and resentment between Woody and Buzz rings completely true and is actually the glue that keeps this story moving. Though the story provides consistent laughs, there are a couple of poignant moments as well...watch when Andy stops sleeping with Woody, who gets demoted from Andy's bed to the toy box or watch when Buzz sees a commercial for himself and finally realizes that he is a toy and is not real.

As always with Disney animated films, the voice casting is perfection, with standout work from Hanks, whose work here rivals the voice work of Robin Williams in Aladdin...he makes us love and care for Woody and puts us in his corner from jump. Mention should also be made of Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Jim Varney as the Slinky Dog, Wallace Shawn as a very insecure toy dinosaur, John Ratzenberger as a piggy bank named Ham, and R. Lee Ermey as a toy soldier. Really liked Annie Potts as a Little Bo Peep doll too, though I just couldn't get past my trouble with the fact that a little boy would own a Little Bo Peep doll, but I did not allow this to deter my enjoyment here.

Randy Newman contributed a couple of nice songs to the film, one of which, "You've Got a Friend", received an Oscar nomination. John Lasseter's direction and his contribution to the Oscar nominated screenplay are the final touches to this entertaining adventure that actually conjured up images of Spielberg work like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future, and though the story does have a couple of extra endings, it is a richly entertaining fantasy adventure that had me laughing and smiling throughout the entire running time.