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Toy Story 2 (1999)

The toys are back!

Directed by:

John Lasseter

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 92 minutes

UK Certificate: U

On DVD

Country: United States

‘Toy Story 2’ is an exceptionally rare sort of movie in several ways. Firstly, despite being ‘only a cartoon’, it’s got a Golden Globe award for Best Picture under its belt. Secondly, it oozes playful happiness yet somehow manages never to become sickly-sweet. And, thirdly, it’s a Disney sequel that isn’t a pile of pap – the only thing that stinks about this tale is the flatulent Kelsey Grammar-voiced prospector doll Stinky Pete.

As with the original, the quality of animation on display is quite simply eye-popping. Just a look at the five minute opening sequence, which shows Buzz Lightyear zooming through Gamma Quadrant Sector 4 in battle with lifelong arch-nemesis Emperor Zurg, is enough to prove that those Pixar blokes know what they’re doing with a bit of software. Mind you, it’s not as if anyone who saw the first one needs any proof.

But getting the animation right is only half the job. What REALLY made the first movie work was the sly humour, the instantly-lovable characters and the wonderful story. Well, ‘Toy Story 2’ doesn’t disappoint in any of those departments.

This time, Buzz (Tim Allen) and the rest of Andy’s toys are out to rescue Woody (Tom Hanks) from the clutches of greedy toy collector Al (Wayne Knight). The only thing is, Woody’s not entirely sure he wants to return home – not after learning he’s the erstwhile star of kiddies’ TV puppet show ‘Woody’s Roundup’.

All of the characters from the ground-breaking original are back, plus a few new ones. The laughs come thick and fast, the characters are like familiar old friends, and at the centre of it all there’s a heart as big as Andy’s bedroom. Your old childhood toys might be left gathering dust on a shelf somewhere, but make sure this DVD isn’t.

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It's Got: The mighty Randy Newman back on soundtrack duty.

It Needs: For us all to thank the heavens that this one wasn’t punted straight to video – hard as it is to believe, that was apparently the original intention.

DVD Extras Monsters Inc. preview, ‘Luxor Junior’ animated Pixar short, character featurette, exclusive ‘Woody’s Roundup’ music video, coolest toy feature, and the complete set of out-takes. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story

Summary

A perfect sequel to a perfect original.

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