Urban Cinefile
"I told them not to be shy about making fun of me because, of course, they must have been on a very precarious perch"  -John Malkovich on the making of Being John Malkovich
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



While Woody (Tom Hanks) is doing a good turn for Wheezy (Joe Ranft) he gets caught up in a bad situation: a toy collector recognises him as the missing centrepiece of an antique set that is very valuable. So he steals him. Andy's friends, led by Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) set off on a big adventure to rescue Woody but finds he may not want to be rescued because he feels his owner, Andy (John Morris) is outgrowing him; also, the other toys in the collection need him to stay so they can come out of storage. Woody has to choose between staying with them or returning to Andy, his owner.

"Cinema is a wonderful fantasyland when it works, and Toy Story 2 is the epitome of the type that fairytale books occupy; the courage and loyalty of human nature is transferred to toys so that the parable can be observed from a fresh angle. Despite the gaggle of writers and directors involved, Toy Story 2 is a cohesive work full of genuine invention, brilliant animation and strong story telling - all through pivotal character building. The art of animation lies in making us care for the drawings as if they were our heroes. This it achieves, and the script is peppered with the flotsam of human affairs, from throw away lines that signal personality to large scale themes to do with the essence of relationships. It may seem frivolous to some, but Toy Story 2 is brimming with heart and affection, lots of humour on various levels (including some gentle parody of Star Wars) and a terrific amount of energy. Randy Newman's score plays brilliantly alongside the bravura animation and the voice talents are both gymnastic and touching. Toy Story 2 is not just a sequel: it's a joyous, value-added extension of the original."
Andrew L. Urban

"Almost old-fashioned in concept, Toy Story 2 is a delightful blend of endearing characters and witty storyline bound together by the endless marvels of computer generated animation. It is easy to be engrossed by these irrepressible, colourful characters that are multi-dimensional and have human in sensibilities. Toy Story 2 will have you chuckling throughout; you're guaranteed to leave the cinema grinning ear to ear. There are spoofs on Bond, 2001 and Star Wars, and while the humour is spiked, it will appeal to all ages. Woody the cowboy, Buzz the Astronaut (with his dimpled Kirk Douglas jaw) and an array of warm and wonderful characters (Hamm the jingling piggy bank and Bullseye the lovable horse are my favourites) are part of a world you want to visit - and may well leave your heart there. (Watch out for Barbie - the toy shop scene is one of the funniest you will see!) The voices are beautifully cast and wonderfully synched, while Randy Newman's rousing score and poignant songs are spot on. On one hand, our eyes tell us that these two dimensional drawings are just that, yet our heart tell us otherwise; they are real and have the ability to involve and move us. Then, after the credits have rolled and you leave the cinema, you just might see life from a new perspective - in a cynic-free zone. You may also look afresh at any discarded toys that are sitting in the corner or stacked away in the cupboard."
Louise Keller

"Toy Story 2 proves Disney continues to lead the way with in animated features. While it doesn't really advance the animator's art (it looks remarkably similar to the first; albeit on a larger scale); this time around, it's matched with a stronger story that will delight kids and keep adults entertained. Thankfully, the writers have (largely) avoided the temptation to simply rehash the original; although they've certainly delivered what the target audience want. The script, it must be said, is quite manipulative in keeping with the tried-and-true 'you'll laugh, you'll cry' formula. The excitement levels are high though and some sly pop culture references will go over the kids' heads. There are some great action sequences - one involving a group of toys crossing a road is particularly memorable - and the story rollicks along. Some younger audience members may not be able to stay with it for the whole running time (Adam, my 3 year old, got restless for a while about half way through), however the 4 years and over set will be fine. The voice talent is notable. I was especially taken with Wayne Knight as Al, the unscrupulous toy collector; and Joan Cusack as the bubbly gee-whiz Jessie. But Toy Story 2 is really about the animated characters and their adventure in the big world outside Andy's room - oh, and there's a message too. The mix is just right in this terrific film that uses a story for all ages to show off the best in animation. It's classic Disney."
David Edwards

Email this article

Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0




VOICES: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Estelle Harris, Jodie Benson, Joe Ranft, Andrew Stanton as Emperor Zurg

DIRECTOR: John Lasseter

CO-DIRECTORS: Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon

PRODUCER: Helene Plotkin, Karen Robert Jacskon

SCRIPT: Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao; story by John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Ash Brannon, Andrew Stanton

DoP: Sharon Calahan

EDITORS: Edie Bleiman, David Ian Salter, Lee Unkrich

MUSIC: Randy Newman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Cone, Jim Pearson

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 2, 1999

AWARDS: Golden Globe Awards 2000 (Best Picture Comedy/Musical)

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020