100 Movie Challenge: #99 Toy Story


Okay, I may be a little biased on this one.  Of any film ever made, none has affected me more than the 1995 Pixar masterpiece, Toy Story.  I was Woody for countless Halloweens, I collected dozens upon dozens of the authentic toys, and, to this day, have

Toy Story 1995
Toy Story 1995

a set of Toy Story bed sheets on my bed at my parents’ house.  I even went through a phase where I was convinced my toys were alive.  I’ve seen it 50 times, I can quote it effortlessly, and I still get choked up at the end.

But that’s because it’s simply a magnificent movie.  Like #100 Ben-Hur, which we talked about last week, Toy Story had an ENORMOUS impact on the future of film;  only, in my opinion, Toy Story‘s innovation is almost unmatchable. The bold choice to do an entire film exclusively with computer animation has led to an absolute revolution not only in the world of animation, but in the world of film at large.

The amazing part is, that may not even be the most noteworthy aspect of Toy Story.  It was the first animated movie ever to be nominated in the category of Best Original Screenplay, which is a no-brainer when you consider the magnificently original concept, the superbly witty comedy style, and the highly compelling character development, something we had not seen much of in “children’s films.”

Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear and Tom Hanks as Woody
Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear and Tom Hanks as Woody

Toy Story also set the standard for a series of terrific Pixar scores.  Composer and songwriter, Randy Newman was nominated twice for Toy Story, and began a trend of these beautiful images being accompanied by beautiful music. (The first time I cried in a movie was in Finding Nemo; not because of the initial tragedy, not when the family is finally reunited, but in the opening title sequence.  The music combined with the images of the coral reef overwhelmed me to the point of tears).

Toy Story is an A movie, also earning a 6 on the Liberty Scale with a plot that revolves around competition.  If, for whatever reason, you have yet to see the story of what happens when Woody, Andy’s favorite toy, has his status challenged by the new-coming, hi-tech space figure, Buzz, I could not more highly recommend it.  For both young and old, it is a brilliant story of friendship and fantasy.

That’s two movies in the books.  Next for us is the 1942 Cagney musical Yankee Doodle Dandy.

How about you?  Do you love Toy Story as much as I do, or is the Pixar film debut highly overrated?  Let us know!

Richard Mattox

Richard Mattox is the head editor of Smash Cut Culture and a 2013 alumnus of the Taliesin Nexus Filmmakers Workshop and Internship program. Currently pursuing a Masters in Professional Writing (screenwriting emphasis) from USC, Mattox is an avid film-junkie, a singer-songwriter, and a die-hard Baltimore Orioles fan.

  • Carls Barkley

    this mewvie freakin rewls m/. number 99 on AFI, number 1 in our heartz <3333333333333

  • Myles Nuzzi

    Toy Story freakin RULES. Don’t have a lot to say because I can’t imagine anyone saying that this is not a good movie. But to sum it up:

    • Toy Story rocks, but so do Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, which makes it rock even more.

    • Pretty much love every Pixar movie no matter what except the sequels to Cars..

    • Love that the humor is catered to adults just as much as it is to kids

    • Toy Story 3 was the first movie to make me cry

    • Bo Peep’s a babe

    • There’s a snake in my boot

    This one definitely gets an A

  • Matt Edwards

    I’m a bit older as this movie came out when I was in college and I was dragged to theater to see it. I didn’t understand what a computer generated animated movie was and that’s what brought me in. But I was more blown away by such a great story. 2 was fun, but 3 took the cake. I remember thinking, man there must be a lot of kids out there who grew up with this franchise that must be balling there eyes out right about now.

    • Richard Mattox

      Yes! That was me! I went to the midnight premiere of 3 and wept like a baby (I was about to leave for college, the same age as Andy). Thanks so much for sharing!

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