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"Pixar theme" #1

I have been playing with the idea of introducing Pixar movies, as an extension to my former film binging of the Disney Classics catalogue, and this new schematically themed review thread seems to be the perfect opportunity to finally do so. First story to be toyed with is Pixar’s very first feature film, ‘Toy Story’, from 1995 – an everlasting, undying realization of every child’s dream – to see your toys come to life when you are sleeping or away from home. This movie was made the year I was born and the first sequel came when, thankfully, I wasn’t a freaking fetus no more and actually able to appreciate and perceive moving pictures. What a joy to behold – and that joy can almost be held once again by watching a childhood classic like this.

Unfortunately, sometimes these special movies can’t stand the test of time or personal growth. Thankfully, I can comfortably say, that after watching the first ‘Toy Story’ and its sequel a good number of times, they both still hold up as excellent movies. I think I prefer the sequel, but the status of the first one is never to be joked with and it jogs along right in the rear end of my favorite entry and it has the most down to earth story of them all. It starts off fast but firm, by having all the toys introduced almost instantaneously, because of the way we see the toys react and interact with each other when Andy’s birthday has been moved up one week.

As an audience you are already in the moment and part of the playtime. When Buzz is introduced it is done extremely well and they even succeed in making a toy big and frightening to another toy! And the conversation between Woody and Buzz really sets the stage and sells the conflict and the characters behind it. The animation is stunning, the jokes are super funny and all this sets up the film and its characters pretty much perfectly. You are instantly in the world of inanimate figures, who are now so full of heart and soul. The story that follows is surprisingly grounded and close to the heart; filled with well-drawn themes of togetherness, trust, jealously, self-acceptance and more... Everything it touches upon is handled smoothly and expertly, without ever moving away from the smaller story it sets out to be.

Woody and Buzz ends up out in the huge human world, but to me it never feels that big, merely just… human. And that is mainly because of the center of the story being the strong bond between Andy and the toys – both in the way the toy characters are focused on him but also the way us as human beings are focused on him and how the ‘camera’ makes it easy to connect because that is the clear approach and emphasis taken. Furthermore, that is what makes the grander finale work so great. You never really expect it, but oh my what a high-flying, tears falling finale that is. It is strong, intense, emotional as well as the epitome of the entire movie. The movie also has great subtlety and sometimes it is simply the little things that makes it all work – and yes, I guess that kind of does mean “literally” in this example.