Friday, July 23, 2010

You've Got a Friend in Me

As kids didn’t we all know that our toys led secret lives when we weren’t around? Surely they must have secret staff meetings and reconnaissance missions to discover what new toys were coming for birthdays or Christmas. Toy Story came onto the scene in 1995 and confirmed that knowledge….well, if you believe an animated story created by adults. Since1995 Toy Story 2 and now Toy Story 3 continue to give life to the toys in Andy’s room.

I find that many of the TV shows, movies and cartoons of today seem to lack the true story telling aspect of yesteryear. That may just me being an old fogy, but I like my entertainment to have some redeeming qualities and a great story line. When these qualities come together in one work it is truly a great thing. With the Toy Story movies Pixar has melded these elements into something that children and adults can both enjoy.

Sheriff Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, (come back on Monday to find out more about Tom Hanks!)  is the main man among the toys in Andy’s room. He holds the spot every toy covets. The problem is that fame has gone to Woody’s head and he is a little arrogant. When Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen, comes on the scene there’s bound to be some jockeying for position. Who’s going to be Andy’s favorite toy?

I recently re-watched 1 and 2 while hanging with my nephew. I was a little sad to see that in 1 Woody was a very selfish character who was mostly focused on retaining his spot in Andy’s love. Thankfully over the years and the sequels he became more of a leader, someone the other toys could truly look up to. Sometimes it takes a while for him to remember what’s important, but he always does.

I love that these movies are more than entertaining. Each one comes down to the same message; friends are there for each other. The other amazing thing about these movies is that they encourage children to use their imagination and dream.

Over the course of the movies Woody and Buzz become friends and comrades. They save each other and when Toy Story 3 comes along that friendship is once again tested. I won’t tell you how in case you haven’t seen the movie yet. I do recommend that you’ve seen it. However, if 1 and 2 are not part of your past viewing history you should rent those first and watch them.

You've got troubles, well I've got 'em too

There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you
We stick together and we see it through
You've got a friend in me

Written and recorded by Randy Newman for the first Toy Story movie in 1995.

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