Tom Hanks (voice)
Tim Allen (voice)
Don Rickles (voice)
Jim Varney (voice)
To say that Toy Story was a groundbreaking movie would be one hell of an understatement as it single-handedly completely changed the face of animated films to this day. Its impact was so significant, in fact, that Disney would gradually phase out the very 2D animation that made Disney... Disney.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Toy Story is set in a world where toys are able to come to life when no-one is watching and the film tells the story of a brand new toy being introduced to a group of toys belonging to a child called Andy. The new toy in question, a Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), clashes with Andy's old favorite cowboy figure Woody (Tom Hanks) who fears getting replaced by the flashier, more modern newcomer. This rivalry leads to Woody accidentally knocking Buzz out of the window and into the real world. The other toys therefore reject Woody, who then attempts to bring back Buzz at all cost in order to get accepted back into Andy's room. His journey leads him to a Pizza Planet, an encounter with creepy next door bully Sid and a high-speed chase towards a moving truck.
Pixar was, of course, responsible for this movie and the effortless charm and smart, bold storytelling we've come to expect from the animation studio is very much present here from the first sequence. The toys-coming-to-life gimmick proves effective, despite it raising countless pointless, nitpicky questions, and the characters are instantly loveable thanks to the cast giving it their all throughout. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are both particularly excellent as Woody and Buzz, delivering exactly the right amount of laughs and emotions, elevating the still not quite there yet CG animation to the point where it's never distracting because you find yourself so invested in these characters and their story. While Pixar had not quite figured out their human character design by that point, the plasticky look of the toys actually works.
Randy Newman provides the unforgettable theme and music, underlining the sharp writing and colorful visuals perfectly. Ultimately, this is still Pixar's most brilliant film and n0t just because of its effect on cinema as a whole. This is a simple story told with lots of care, packed with laughs, heart, clever one-liners and characters who have stayed relevant and beloved to this day. Is it a bit dated? Sure. Still fantastic, though.
A must-see for any kid and grown-up out there.