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Story

There is greatness in film that can be discussed, dissected, and talked about late into the night. Then there is genius that is right in front of our faces--we smile at the spell it puts us into and are refreshed, and nary a word needs to be spoken. This kind of entertainment is what they used to call "movie magic," and there is loads of it in this irresistible computer animation feature. Just a picture of these bright toys on the cover of Toy Story looks intriguing, reawakening the kid in us. Filmmaker John Lasseter's shorts (namely Knickknack and Tin Toy, which can be found on the Pixar video Tiny Toy Stories) illustrate not only a technical brilliance but also a great sense of humor--one in which the pun is always intended. Lasseter thinks of himself as a storyteller first and an animator second, much like another film innovator, Walt Disney.

Lasseter's story is universal and magical: what do toys do when they're not played with? Cowboy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Andy's favorite bedroom toy, tries to calm the other toys (some original, some classic) during a wrenching time of year--the birthday party, when newer toys may replace them. Sure enough, Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is the new toy that takes over the throne. Buzz has a crucial flaw, though--he believes he's the real Buzz Lightyear, not a toy. Bright and cheerful, Toy Story is much more than a 90-minute commercial for the inevitable bonanza of Woody and Buzz toys. Lasseter further scores with perfect voice casting, including Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head and Wallace Shawn as a meek dinosaur. The director-animator won a special Oscar for "the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film." In other words, the movie is great. --Doug Thomas


DVD Features

-Interactive Menus
-Scene access
-"Tin Toy": Pixar Animated Feature
-The Making of Toy Story featurette
-Sneak Peek Trailer of Monsters Inc.
-Subtitles (English, Norwegian, Danish, Greek)

Cast

Tom HanksWoody (voice)
Tim AllenBuzz Lightyear (voice)
Don RicklesMr. Potato Head (voice)
Jim VarneySlinky Dog (voice)
Wallace ShawnRex (voice)
John RatzenbergerHamm (voice)
Annie PottsBo Peep (voice)
John MorrisAndy (voice)
Erik von DettenSid (voice)
Laurie MetcalfMrs. Davis (voice)
R. Lee ErmeySergeant (voice)
Sarah FreemanHannah (voice)
Penn JilletteTV Announcer (voice)
Jack AngelShark / Rocky Gibraltar (voice)
Spencer Aste(voice)
Greg BergMinesweeper Soldier (voice)
Lisa Bradley(voice)
Kendall Cunningham(voice)
Debi DerryberryAliens / Troll / Announcer on Intercom at Pizza Planet (voice)
Cody Dorkin(voice)
Bill Farmer(voice)
Craig Good(voice)
Gregory Grudt(voice)
Danielle Judovits(voice)
Sam Lasseter(voice)
Brittany Levenbrown(voice)
Sherry Lynn(voice)
Scott McAfee(voice)
Mickie McGowanSid's Mom (voice)
Ryan O'Donohue(voice)
Jeff PidgeonAliens / Robot / Mr. Spell (voice)
Patrick Pinney(voice)
Phil ProctorBowling Announcer / Pizza Planet Guard (voice)
Jan Rabson(voice)
Joe RanftLenny the Binoculars (voice)
Andrew StantonCommercial Chorus (voice)
Shane Sweet(voice)

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