Disney-Pixar struck gold when they released the original Toy Story in 1995. Continuing on the story of the main character Woody, Toy Story2 and 3 continued that streak. What is it that has moms raving and sets apart this movie trilogy from other animated fare?
The Toy Story (spoilers ahead!)
The original Toy Story dates back to 1995. Moms quickly come to adore the Toy Story toys that live in Andy’s room. Coming alive when nobody is looking, Woody – a pull-string cowboy action figure – feels threatened by the arrival of Buzz, a new space ranger toy.
Attempting to get the new toy ‘lost,’ Woody devises a Machiavellian plot that exemplifies the far-reaching results of jealousy. When confronted by the other toys, Woody attempts to rescue Buzz and a lot of hilarity (and clean one-liners) ensue. In the end, Buzz and Woody reconcile over a new threat: Andy gets a puppy.
Toy Story 2 takes place in 1999. A nefarious toy collector steals Woody. Toy Story toys spare no time getting a rescue mission going. Moms quickly realize that this movie deals with the deeper issues of loyalty and fairness. While the toys attempt to save Woody, he must choose to condemn another set of toys to a lonely existence in a storage locker or go with them so they can be out of their boxes. After a harrowing escape (and with some of the new toys in tow), Woody is reunited with Andy.
The last movie of the trilogy features a grown up Andy who heads to college. In Toy Story 3, the toys realize that their playing days are over. Due to a misunderstanding, the toys end up at a daycare that is ruled by the toy version of organized crime. It is understood that Andy and the gang will be reunited, but the feats of loyalty and selfless devotion – and a final goodbye to Andy — have moms wiping a few tears while watching.
What’s not to Love about Toy Story Toys?
Moms appreciate that the toys display the gambit of human emotions that children frequently have to cope with (like jealousy). As a parent, I also like that the toys have to stand up to the types of behaviors from which moms cannot protect children (such as bullying). Highlighting the development of desirable characteristics – loyalty, cooperation and sharing – makes the movie trilogy as much entertainment as it is a teaching tool.
It doesn’t hurt that there is enough witty humor and quirky one-liners that moms will enjoy the action right along with the kids – who frequently do not get the references (think Rocky and Bullwinkle). Another huge plus is the wealth of voice talent that makes the characters seem alive. You do realize that Tom Hanks and Tim Allen have become virtually synonymous with the Toy Story toys, right?
Yahoo! Movies: “Toy Story 1995”
Yahoo! Movies: “Toy Story 1999”
Yahoo! Movies: “Toy Story 2010”