Considering how Pixar made a niece out of being original during the 00’s it’s hard to imagine that they actually made a sequel to their first movie Toy Story. At the time it was all too logical as the original was a great success and Pixar was still a small player in the movie industry with only two hit movies under their belt. It’s funny how the announcement of a sequel to Cars causes quite an up-stir nowadays when a sequel to Toy Story was produced without fans shouting out, protesting the mere idea. And good for that, because Toy Story 2 is at least as good as its predecessor if not even better proving to the world that the guys at Pixar can not only produce original movies, but very good sequels as well as they have proven once more with Toy Story 3.
In Toy Story 2 the toys return with Andy a little bit older than we last saw him. He’s still playing with his toys but when Woody gets his arm ripped he get put up on the shelf where his discovers a long gone toy named Wheezy who. When Wheezy is taken of the shelve to be sold at a yard sale Woody goes out to rescue him only to be stolen by a toy collector who is aware of the great value Woody has on the market. Woody, as it turn out was the title character of an old popular TV-show from the 50’s. The collector has all the other characters from this show and now with Woody his collection is complete and will be sold to a museum in Japan for a large amount of money. Woody meets these other toys who have been waiting desperately for his arrival as it means that the days of storage are over. Woody is torn between his loyalty to Andy and the other toys and his new friends whose destination depends on Woody going or staying.
Meanwhile the other toys embark on a mission to rescue Woody and find themselves meeting all kinds of other toys including evil emperor Zurg; Buzz Lightyear’s arch nemesis and Barbie.
Despite a returning plot element from the first movie; toy gets lost, other toys venture through the city to rescue him, Toy Story 2 is a worthy sequel to an already classic first movie. It feels grander due to innovations in technology of the 5 years in between but still puts a good script first and everything else after that. It keeps in tradition that sequels have to be bigger and better. The second thing most sequels don’t achieve, but Toy Story 2 does. It was a good thing of the writers to shine a light on collector’s toys and the whole “boxed” thing. I feel kind of bad about my own display with figures from a variety of movie franchises.
The movie also tackles the inevitable day when a kid stops playing with his or her toys. In a world where toys are alive and their meaning of life is to be played with that day is the blackest in your life as was illustrated in a beautifully animated sequence featuring Jessie The Cow-girl.
Toy Story 2 demonstrates how to work on multiple levels. Kids will love the vibrant colors and the adventure, while adults will have something extra for them as there are some cool pop-culture references. Whether they are old-school toys or a reference to Star Wars, they give the movie something extra, and because these references touch on subjects that go back a long time rather than current issues like “American Idol” they are still funny after 10 years of its initial release.
The toys are back in town. And I welcome them.