Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D

Release Date: October 2, 2009

Movie of the Day for Thursday, May 14, 2009
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4/21 Jason Lee As magical as when they first came out

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There are movies that are crowd pleasers, movies that are blockbusters and movies that are instant classics in terms of critical reception. Rare is the release that manages to accomplish all three feats, but such films can be found in Toy Story and Toy Story 2. In point of fact, the Pixar releases may stake a claim as one of the most successful releases of all time using the guidelines above.

Toy Story was the original CGI animated film, and it continues to set the standard today. Ranked at 100% at RottenTomatoes, the film opened to $29 million in 1995 before going on to earn $191 million stateside, and $170 million internationally. It set Pixar up as the big big deal that it is today, and stands as a classic that is even recognized by the AFI as one of the 100 best American films ever.

For Toy Story 2, during its debut during Thanksgiving week of 1999, it shattered holiday records by earning $80 million in that time frame. Movie critics were just as passionate as the masses of consumers who flocked to theaters. At the time of this writing, Toy Story 2 has the most positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes (121) without a negative one. That’s right. Its Tomatometer score is the fabled 100%.

Rare is the sequel that surpasses its predecessor, but Toy Story 2 did so in every way. It had better reviews than the iconic Toy Story, it earned more money domestically ($245.8 million as opposed to $191.8 million) as well as internationally ($239.9 million versus $167.0 million). And this was the movie that gave Pixar’s founders the gumption to stand up to Disney, telling them they wanted out of their current deal. The new one they would wind up signing effectively gave Steve Jobs and John Lasseter the keys to the Magic Kingdom. The company that had been under Disney’s thumb for so long devoured them from within. They now call the shots in the animation department with Lasseter being the storied studio’s Chief Creative Officer while Jobs is now a member of the Board of Directors as well as the corporation’s largest share holder. In short, thanks to the magic of Toy Story 2, the good guys won.

Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D follows in the footsteps of Toy Story 3-D by taking the original character programming and updating it with the modern technology for animation 3-D. We have seen this technology used for hand drawn animation such as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and we have seen it in new animation releases such as Chicken Little. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 will be Pixar’s first implementations of the premise as a way to renew interest for the biggest title on their release schedule, Toy Story 3, a movie that will make more than Tiger Woods does in his entire career.

You will go see these movies and there isn’t much else to say about the subject since it’s such a slam dunk that you do. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D
Main Cast Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
Supporting Cast Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger
Director John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon
Screenwriter John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton
Distributor Walt Disney Pictures
Official Site
Rating G
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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