DIRECTOR: John Lassiter
May Contain Spoilers!
Pixar had never done anything like this. Tron back in 1982 had experimented but effectively failed in trying to create a CGI feature. But after a few shorts, Toy Story was ready to revolutionise the Animation industry and change the cinematic experience forever, ushering in the art form of digimation for the 21st century.
Every child believes in their toys. Do they come to life when you’re not around? Who knows…? Toy Story taps into so many basic principles and emotions of both children and adults alike. Kids play with toys and adults played with toys. They truly are as universal as film and music in may ways, a shared experience if ever their was one.
Lassiter successfully taps into this and a whole host of other ideas here, to create a zeitgeist experience, the “Evil” kid next door, the freaky tea party, “Tea, Mrs. Nesbitt?”, the dog, possibly a toy’s worst enemy. But in true Disney fashion, this centres around a boy’s love for his friends, in this case and cowboy doll and his short-term greater love for his new space toy. It’s the simplest of competitions. Old versus new.
But the comedy is first-rate here, with knowing commercial nods to the toy brands, how we play and regard toys and the usual comedy of errors which are a staple of films of this nature. But the animation style, though still incredible is now old school as digimation is concerned, now 17 years old. Monster’s Inc. raised the bar, and Finding Nemo would continue to do so, but here is where it all began and it would remain my favourite since the day I first saw it.
Never really being a fan of Disney at this point, Toy Story’s fresh approach was a breath of fresh air and this film struck a chord with me on so many levels. Toy Story is simply the first and the best of Pixar’s films and ushered in one of the most successful financial runs of a studio in film history.