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In this 3D computer animated feature, a pull-string cowboy doll is the leader of the toys until the latest, greatest action figure enters the picture. When the toy rivals are separated from thei rowner, they ultimately learn to put aside their differences and work as a team to get back home to the boy they love.
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 reawaken the kid in us. Filmmaker John 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. 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