Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2

****1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Even toys have roots. Woody belongs to Andy's Room. Buzz has got over his delusions about space travel and belongs there, too. All the toys in Andy's Room are dependent on Andy's continual interest and affection. What if he grows up and doesn't want them any more?

When Andy goes to summer camp, he likes to take his favourite cowboy. Not this year. Woody's torn his arm and there isn't time to mend it before the car drives off. And so Woody stays behind with the others. Mom decides on a Yard Sale, always a scary moment for toys. Who is going into the 50c box? Looks like Wheezy, the penguin that's lost its squeak. In a daring raid to save Wheezy, Woody is spotted by Fat Al of Al's Toy Barn and yardlifted.

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In Al's apartment, he discovers that way back, before computer generated animation, he was the star of a TV puppet show and, as result, is a highly prized collectable. He meets his co-stars from Woody's Round Up, all of whom are destined for a toy museum in Tokyo.

There is Jesse, the cowgirl with attitude, lovable Bullseye, his four-legged friend, and Stinky Pete, the prospector. They have been in storage for years, waiting for a Woody to make up the set. And storage is worse than neglect. It's like detention with the lights out. Meanwhile, Buzz and volunteers from Andy's Room - The Potato Head Gang - are planning a rescue bid. Woody's loyalties are torn between fame and his new friends, who will be packed off in boxes if he deserts them now, and Andy's Room, which is home.

Technically, imaginatively, emotionally, John Lasseter's sequel matches the original. Second time round, the toys are more familiar, less of a razzle-dazzle surprise. Pixar's state-of-the-art animation encourages disbelief. There is nothing cynical or formulaic about any of this. You know you are with friends and the creative team have their heads where their hearts are. Also, they tell a darn good story.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Living toys take on a shady collector in excellent sequel. To be shown in 3D at London Film Festival.
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Director: John Lasseter

Writer: Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin, Chris Webb

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, Wayne Knight, John Morris, Jonathan Harris

Year: 1999

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: UK/US

Festivals:

London 2009

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Toy Story
Toy Story 3