DIRECTORS: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon & Lee Unkrich
May Contain Spoilers!
The weakest of the trilogy in my opinion, this is considered by many to be the best. But there’s little in it when all’s said and done. But the weakest Toy Story is still leagues above the competition. Toy Story 2 not only advances the story of the toy’s well, it also takes a look at a whole other area of the toy universe, this time exploring the world of collectables, and doing a grand job of it to boot.
There’s no doubt that this gets off to a great start, with the Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) computer game sequence which leads on nicely on to the plot “twist” that Evil Emperor Zurg is in fact Buzz’s father…. “NOOOOOOO!” But the core plot is great, with Woody being stolen form a jumble sale by a toy shop owner, who has collected a huge array of memorabilia from the 1950’s Saturday morning cartoon show from which Woody (Tom Hanks) is derived. There he meets Jessie (Joan Cusack) and his horse, as well as Stinky Pete (Kelsey Grammer), “The Prospector”, who is still mint in his box, because nobody really wanted to play with him.
This is a perfectly conceived screenplay, with a real knowledge and passion for the subject, with the debate over whether toys should be played with or collected and the fact that some toys will be worth more if they’re NOT played with. Jessie’s abandonment issues as she was dumped when her owner grew up, something which would also play a key role in the next film for our heroes.
The only real complaint that I have, besides the overblown airport chase at the end, is the opening tone, common with Disney that they’re all friends and we’re their friends and this is some kind of reunion. Maybe I’m just cynical but I don’t want to be Woody’s mate, I just want to watch the film and become invested in the characters, which when the film gets going, that’s what happens.
Toy Story 2 is a great movie, but it doesn’t work as well for me as the first and third, but as sequels go, this is first-rate.