Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#99 - "TOY STORY" - The beginning of Pixar

I actually had the lucky pleasure of seeing "Toy Story" about a month ago in digital 3D and I must say that the animation still holds up today. Josh and I sat down and watched the film again tonight, to keep up with our journey of AFI's TOP 100 FILMS. We are doing the 2007 updated list, in which films like "Toy Story" were added.

Josh brought up a great point tonight during the film saying that it was the first "fully computer animated film" to come out. That is so odd to hear, considering how flooded we are nowadays with computer animation. It has almost gotten to the point where I am sick of seeing them. We were talking tonight about how we can't wait to see "Disney's The Princess and the Frog" because it will be hand drawn and a throwback to the 2D animation days.

What you have to appreciate about "Toy Story" are the huge improvements it made in the movie business. You may find this a bit extreme, but I compare the film to "Citizen Kane." What? How could I do such a thing? How could I down grade the masterpiece that is "Citizen Kane"? Well, here me out. Personally, I feel that "Citizen Kane," much like "Toy Story", had a massive impact on film making. "Citizen Kane" started a whole new style of film making that included deep focus, cameras going through objects, etc. "Toy Story" revolutionized how we make animated films. Instead of doing them hand drawn, let's just create digital characters instead. Now, with that being said, I would say that "Citizen Kane" is NOT the greatest movie of all time and "Toy Story" is not the greatest animated movie ever. Though, I admire what each did for cinema.

Josh pointed this out in his post as well, but there truly has been better animated films. My favorite animated film of all time is probably "Wall-E." That movie struck a chord with me in ways that live action films do. Wall-e's character came off a real person, even though he had minimal dialogue and was mini robot. The genius behind it was how the film makers brought him to life. I would go as far to say that "Toy Story" is my least favorite of the Pixar films. You can kill me for saying this but I loved "Cars" and I have to say that "The Incredibles" is definitely up there as a close tie for first.

I just really enjoyed how smart and clever this film was. Josh and I were talking after we saw it in theaters about how timeless it is. This film will never get old. Now, when I was a kid, I never really thought about what my toys did when I left the house. I was more curious about what my dog was doing. Did he talk to other objects in the house? But I guess, it is a very interesting concept to think about. Do your toys and things move about the house when you are not there?

I can't end this post without mentioning the music by Randy Newman. That song is that plays throughout the film is about as famous as the film itself.

There are two quick things I want to point out that kind of bugged me as I re-watched the film. 1) If Buzz (Tim Allen) thinks he is the real Buzz Lightyear and not a toy, why does he freeze when he's around humans, like the other toys? 2) I felt that it was a demonic for a kids film to have Woody (Tom Hanks) do the "Exorcist" head spin when he was trying to freak out the kid who always blew up toys. That just seemed a bit excessive to me.

I guess "Toy Story" was a blessing and a curse. It spawned an entire new age of film making but we have seen too many of them and the special nature of these films is starting to wear thin. It was great to back and watch the one that started it all!

-Kevin McCarthy

1 comment:

Brendon said...

Kevin, I already told you that those things didn't start with Citizen Kane.