96%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)

An endearing follow-up, this sequel almost lives up to the Toy Story legend.


While Andy is playing with Woody, he accidentally tears him. Woody ends up on a shelf, then in a garage sale, and finally in the hands of a collector. This collector is Al from Al’s Toy Barn and he has a collection of Woody’s Roundup toys that he intends to sell to a Japanese museum. Buzz decides to rescue Woody to return the favor, since Woody rescued him. Buzz and some of the other toys set out for the real world and go to save Woody. While Woody is in Al’s apartment, he finds out  there used to be a television show about him and that there are other characters with toys of their own. These other toys are also in Al’s collection; Woody ends up making friends with them. Buzz and the others eventually track Woody down to Al’s and try to retrieve him. The story escalates and the toys end up at an airport to try to recover Woody. They’re eventually successful, where they return home to Andy’s with two new toys by their side.
Having a sequel to one of the best animated films of all time is an impressive thing, but only if it is done right. PIXAR did it with Toy Story 2. It lived up to the reputation that its counterpart established for it. Unfortunately, the sequel was not as good as the first, but it still was incredible. Toy Story 2 did not have the same flare as the original, probably for a few reasons. For starters, audiences were not as impressed with the animation this time around because it was PIXAR’s third computer animated film. Other studios were also doing 3D animated movies by then. Another reason it didn’t capture viewers as much was that it was released four years later. The children of the original audience, myself included, were teenagers, so the mindset of the viewers had changed: it was more difficult to relate to. However, the film still managed a to capture some of the original magic.

Despite the fact that it may not have been spectacular, Toy Story 2 was still a good film. Some of the things that had been briefly seen or heard in Toy Story were expanded upon in Toy Story 2. For example, Mrs. Potatohead appears and so does Andy’s dog. The most interesting addition to Toy Story 2 was Al and Al’s Toy Barn. Seeing where Buzz and some of the other toys came from reminds audiences that they really are toys while at the same time shedding some light on the characters. As far as the characters go, Woody had the most development in this movie. PIXAR showed Woody had a back story, which was the television show on which he was based. Woody’s Roundup was like Howdy Doody meets Roy Rogers with a touch of Lassie in it as well. We found out Woody really was a classic toy, which is why he was a cloth pull string toy and not like Buzz who was all plastic with computer chip technology to make his noises and have light up and spring loaded action.
All the characters in this film go through changes. The old characters go out into the real world and they display their true personalities. Buzz meets and defeats his arch nemesis, Emperor Zurg. Then, to top it off, they meet all sorts of new toys that become beloved characters. For example, there is Jessie the yodeling cowgirl sidekick, Bullseye, who is Woody’s horse, and Stinky Pete, the grumpy old prospector. Each of these toys has their own story that eventually added to the main story of this film. Also these characters added new members to the cast of talent. Joan Cusack took on Jessie and did a marvelous job. Kelsey Grammer played the angry and evil Stinky Pete and performed as brilliantly as he has in all his other roles. There also was the hilarious Wayne Knight as Al from Al’s Toy Barn. These actors added so much life to the new characters that it really helped to mesh everything together perfectly to be able to make a decent sequel. Toy Story 2 really was a good film; it went to infinity, however, not beyond. Don’t worry though, it still is completely worth watching time and time again.

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