Let’s get one thing straight: you don’t need to have a child with you to see this film but if makes you feel better, pack them into the car and get down to your local multiplex. NOW. “Toy Story 2” is the wonderful, visually stunning sequel to Disney and Pixar’s 1995 effort and is targeted at adults as much as children. I think it helped that I had seen the original only the week before but the sequel would stand alone as an entertaining film even if you haven’t had time to catch the first film.Whilst the original was amazing, it was obliged to spend its time introducing us to the characters, the animation and the atmosphere. The charm of TS2 is that it gets right into the action without compromising any of the magic. My friend and I (both of us in our twenties) laughed so hard all through the movie that I half-expect the kids to ask us to be quiet.
The old gang of Andy’s toys is back and they collect some new friends along the way. When Woody (Tom Hanks) the cowboy is stolen by the greedy toy collector Al (Wayne Knight), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Mr Potato Head (Don Rickles), Slinky Dog (Jim Varney), Rex (Wallace Shawn) and Hamm (John Ratzenberger) come to the rescue. Woody discovers that he is a highly prized and valuable collector's item when he meets the rest of his “gang” – the “Prospector” Stinky Pete (Kelsey Grammer), young tomboy Jesse (Joan Cusack) and Bullseye, Woody's trusty horse – who were created for an old TV program of which Woody was the star. The other toys now have the chance to be taken from the doom of storage thanks to Woody’s “reappearance” but it provides a dilemma: a lifetime of fame as a museum piece or one as Andy’s much loved but ageing toys?
This film has everything – adventure, excitement, humour and emotion – and all in the right doses. Whilst the script and animation are brilliant, it would be remiss of me to forget the excellent sound and editing work. Collaborating with Disney, Pixar just keeps getting better – the computer animation surpasses the original and is best demonstrated by the human character Al, voiced by Wayne Knight, (Seinfeld’s Newman). His skin looks so human it's actually creepy.
There are a few “in” jokes for fans of the original, such as references to “A Bug’s Life” and spaceman superhero Buzz Lightyear’s growing maturity. When faced with another (clueless) incarnation of himself (who still believes that he is a true cosmic avenger with a real spacesuit), Buzz provides some of the best and smartest humour in an already hilarious piece.Even the evil Zurg makes an appearance, and owes much to Darth Vader. I hope George Lucas appreciates the homage. TS2 is sensational. Don’t miss it! (Natasha Wood--filmnet.org.au)