Film Scouts Reviews

"Toy Story"

by Eleanor Ringel

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Boy, oh, boy. This is one holiday plum of a movie. The first feature-length computer-animated movie, "Toy Story" is based on the premise that when their kid-owners leave the room, their toys come to life. The top toy in Andy's room is a pull-string cowboy named Woody (voice by Tom Hanks). Top, that is, until Andy's seventh birthday when he gets a new first love - a spaceman named Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). Trouble is, not only does Buzz not realize that he's upset the pecking order; he doesn't even realize he's a toy. Along with Hanks and Allen, there are a half dozen other recognizable voices: Don Rickles as an irritable Mr. Potato Head; Jim Varney as a laid-back Slinky Dog; Annie Potts as a Bo Peep figurine; and Wallace Shawn as a wimpy toy T-Rex. The animation is dazzling, but the movie at heart has the simple charm of kids' puppet show. And like all the best family films, from E.T. to BABE, this one has cross-generational appeal. Kids will be enchanted by the eye-popping antics of the toys in action while adults will love all the clever throw-aways gags, both visual and verbal. For instance, when Shawn's dinosaur introduces himself to Buzz, he says he's from Mattel, then quickly corrects himself: 'I'm not really from Mattel.I'm from a smaller company that was purchased in a leveraged buyout."

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