Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Toy Story 2


Set around a year after the 1995 original, the narrative sees Woody (Tom Hanks) get toynapped by greedy collector Al (Wayne Knight), while Andy (John Morris) is on Cowboy Camp. Desperate to save his best friend, Buzz (Tim Allen) leads Rex (Wallace Shawn), Slinky (Jim Varney), Mr Potato Head (Don Rickles) and Hamm (John Ratzenberger) on a rescue mission across town. Meanwhile at Al's, Woody learns that he was the star of a '50s puppet TV show, Woody's Roundup, and that without him fellow stars Cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack), Prospector Stinky Pete (Kelsey Grammer) and horse Bullseye will go into storage, maybe forever, but with him they will go to a Tokyo Toy Museum, meaning Woody has a tough choice - a few more years with Andy or eternity in a museum full of kids!?!

Every moment of this film is absolutely beautiful and glorious, which is down mainly to three major components.

Firstly, is the wonderfully well-written screenplay. The screenplay is fast-paced, with non-stop attention-grabbing action; a constant flow of well-written, hilarious physical and verbal gags; as well as a number of neat blink-and-miss references to other films and TV series, including Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-9), the first two Star Wars (1977 and 1980), Jurassic Park (1993) and A Bug's Life (1998). As well as all of these components to the screenplay, there is a significant amount of development for characters both old and new, making them characters you can really relate to and feel such a strong bond with.

Secondly, is the wonderful voice cast, whom, like in the original, truly bring their characters to a glorious life. Hanks makes Woody a strong, serious, yet charming character; while Allen makes Buzz a determined, powerful and driven leader, who won't stop at anything to rescue his friend. Cusack brings tonnes of energy and excitement to Jessie, making her such a very enjoyable and deep character; while Grammer makes Stinky Pete a well comically-timed character with some great one-liners, as well as a tough, rude, violent little brute of a Prospector doll. Ratzenberger and Rickles make the quick-witted tech expert Hamm, and the cynical Mr Potato Head an absolutely hilarious double-act; while Shawn is irresistably funny as the ever-nervous Rex, with his video game obsession showing an amusingly interesting new side to the character; and Knight makes Al a deliciously cheesy and entertainingly gross sleeze. On the other hand Varney makes Slinky a heartbreakingly loyal dog, with his pining for Woody really breaking the heart, especially thanks to his glum facial expressions, that will especially tug at the heartstrings, especially if you've ever seen a dog pine for the one (or master) that they are loyal to. However, it is, arguably, the mute Bullseye who steals the show, coveying all of the horse's feelings and emotions through a range of comical and brilliantly animated facial expressions.

Last, but most definetly not least, is the absolutely beautiful and spectacular animation. Every sngle tiny little detail of every single frame is animated to a standard of stunning definition, with not a single weak point in any of the teeny-tiny individual frames. Truly the animation department went all out to create a stunningly beautiful, truly eye-catching, glorious and spectacular animated feature.

Together these three main components are combined together in perfect sync and harmony, to make Toy Story 2 a truly stunning and glorious animated feature, and one of those ridiculously uncommon sequels that is at the very least equal to the original.

Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Wallace Shawn, Jim Varney, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger, Wayne Knight, John Morris, Annie Potts, Joe Ranft, Andrew Stanton, Estelle Harris, Jodi Benson, Jeff Pidgeon, Laurie Metcalf, Jonathan Harris, R. Lee Ermey.

Oscar nomination: Best Original Song (When She Loved Me - Randy Newman).

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