Hello & welcome back to A Look at Disney Opens The Toy Box. And after the mess that was Toy Story: The Musical.  We need something good from the Toy Story brand to get that out of our minds. And what better way to do that then by looking the movie that made Pixar, a household name. Join me as we look at Toy Story.




There are some interesting things to note about this trailer.   One, nowhere is Pixar ever mentioned in the trailer and instead it says, Walt Disney Pictures presents and also the logo shown at the end of the trailer is not the one that became the now familiar Toy Story  logo as it had a different color scheme and a much wooden block feel to it.  It’s funny, I have such a vivid memory of this movie.  My family and I were living in Okinawa at the time and I didn’t get to see this at the theater.  My little brain was convinced because the line was too long with people buying tickets to see Toy Story.  I do not know, if that was the case but I do know that’s what I thought. Because of this, I did not see this film until it was released on VHS.  Which I still proudly own to this day.

The Plot

We open on a young Andy playing with his toys as we learn that his birthday party is today.   When we see the toys come to life,  and even today, that is something magical.   We meet Andy’s favorite toy, Woody as he calls for a staff meeting to roundup the toys and there, he informs the toys that Andy’s birthday party had been moved to today and  all of the toys freak out.   This is hysterical and the sight of the toys holding a staff meeting is rather funny and in part because of how straight, it’s played.

This scene being played so straight allows it’s target audience to take it seriously and get wrapped up in the toy’s  fears.  I know that it had that effect on me as a kid and man, when the Green Army Men went on a recon mission and one of them got hurt, I really felt for that poor guy. And I didn’t think he was gonna make it.

And of curse, you know that the Army Men were voiced by R. Lee Emery, who has been in many other movies but I knew him best from History Channel’s Mail Call.  (BigBlackHatMan, would you consider that a good History Channel show? LOL!)

Back to the review at hand, we watch as the army men spy on the party and everything seems fine until Andy’s mom pulls out a surprise present for Andy.  It’s the hottest new toy.  It’s Buzz Lightyear. And as someone that got his own Buzz Lightyear, when Toy Story 2 came out, I totally understand the excitement.

Though I did not have Buzz Lightyear wrapping paper.

It’s interesting to note that while you can clearly see the hype and excitement surrounding the kids but for the toys, there is a level of fear and anxiety attached to the arrival of the new presents. Though, have you ever noticed that you don’t see any of Andy’s other presents.

This scene conveys the intimidation that this new toy is imposing.  And this is where we first learn that Buzz thinks he is THE real Buzz Lightyear (That review is coming next week).   All of the toys sans Woody are immediately infatuated   with the new toy.  This does lead into a great moment of banter between Buzz and Woody that gives us our first glimpse of Buzz falling with style.

That wasn’t flying! That was… falling with style!

And this leads to one of the most memorable moments, Buzz’s  first attempt at flying and it leading to him, falling with style.   And over time, Woody starts to get jealous as Andy’s room becomes adorned with Buzz Lightyear paraphernalia as observed during the number, “Strange Things”.


Does anyone remember the Toy Story bed sheets that had a dual side comforter with Buzz on one side and Woody on the other. I remember seeing those in some catalouge and thinking that was so cool. Ahem, back to the review at hand.  And it’s not too long after that we get our introduction to Sid.

And I just love how Buzz mistakes him for a happy child.

You mean that happy child?
Mr. Potato Head: That ain’t no happy child!
Rex: He tortures toys – just for fun!

Now, I still standby what I said in my Villains Profile on Sid, he is a rather boring villain but his introduction does show why the toys are scared of him. A while later, Andy’s mom decides that they should go out for dinner and go to Pizza Planet.  And Andy asks if he can bring a toy, and his mom says that he can bring one toy.  One Toy, oh no no no, I’m getting Toy Story: The Musical flashbacks. Focus, focus. What happens next?   Ha, yes!  Woody plans his underhanded scheme to knock Buzz behind Andy’s desk but he instead falls out the window.

Actually, y’know what I’m glad that I brought up Toy Story: The Musical because when this happens in the stage production, you lose any sympathy for Woody with that villain song because he goes on about his plan but whereas here, it is presented as a rash decision made in the heat of the moment, when Woody lets his jealously overrule his logical thinking.  And when Buzz does fall out the window in the movie, you do buy the remorse that Woody feels over what he has done.  He still doesn’t like Buzz but he didn’t mean to knock him out the window.

Whereas, when this scene occurs in The Musical, you never buy that Woody feels bad about what he had done.  This leads to the other toys attacking Woody for them thinking he killed Buzz and this scene is rather chilling. Though I’m sorry, Potato Head’s line in this scene always took me out of the moment.

Well, what if Andy starts playing with me more, Woody, huh? You gonna knock me out the window, too?

I always end up thinking to myself, why would he?  Your’e kinda lame, when compared to Buzz or Woody. That’s not a diss on Potato Head but when compared to Buzz or Woody,  he’s not that cool of a toy.  Thankfully, Woody is saved as Andy decides to take him instead because he can’t find Buzz. Thankfully,  Buzz had grabbed a hold of  the family’s minivan and at a Dinoco Gas Station, the two fight and bicker.  Leading to one of the most famous lines from the movie. Woody finally realizes that he has to play Buzz’s beliefs as he sees the now famous Pizza Planet truck, so they can get back to Andy.  And yeah, Pizza Planet does look pretty cool.  Buzz, still being the annoyance that he is climbs into a crane machine thinking that it’s a spaceship. Ah, yes. The Claw!

And to their displeasure, they are won by Sid, who as we have gone over is a terror, if your’e a toy. We’ve already established how much of a jerk, Sid can be.   I mean, just look at what he does to his sister’s doll.

Dude, that’s messed up


As the toys are left alone in Sid’s room, Buzz and Woody have their first encounter with the mutant toys, who Woody believes them to be cannibals but as we will learn later on. The following day,  Buzz and Woody attempt to escape and it is during this time that Buzz comes across a TV playing a Buzz Lightyear commercial and  receives the much needed wake up call.   This moment while harsh was needed because sooner or later, Buzz had to find out the truth.

This of course leads into the whole Mrs. Nesbit scene before the mutant toys fix Buzz and prove that they aren’t cannibals.  And now, Buzz is strapped to a rocket but as we know,  they are able to escpae because the toys straighten out Sid.  But Buzz and Woody still have to get onto the moving van. Which include two iconic moments,Buzz and Woody riding on RC and Buzz flying with style.

They finally catch up to the moving truck and all is forgiven.  And the movie sends sometime later at Andy’s new house on Christmas as the toys listen in to see what he has gotten and well, Molly gets a Mrs. Potato Head, who’ll go on to become a vital character in the sequels and Andy gets a puppy.  This has Buzz and Woody, a bit nervous.


Main Characters

Woody voiced by Tom Hanks

Woody is easily my favorite character from the Toy Story trilogy and especially here in the first film.  His jealously over being replaced by Buzz as Andy’s favorite is a relatable feeling and never once, do you get angry at him for feeling this way because it is presented in a way that is understandable. And that what makes him accepting Buzz as a friend and getting over his jealously so rewarding.

Buzz Lightyear voiced by Tim Allen

I like Buzz… in 2 & 3.  In the first movie, I found Buzz to be kind of annoying. I don’t hate his character but I don’t know why but this time, when watching the first film,  this whole shtick of him thinking that he was a real space ranger grated on my nerves.  I still like Buzz but I think he’s a better character in the sequels because we don’t have to put up with this annoying delusion.  Now granted, I still do feel for him during “I Will Go Sailing No More” but like Woody, I got fed up with him pretty fast.

Supporting Characters

Andy voiced by John Morris

In the grand scheme of things,   Andy may not have very many scenes in the movie but he is one of the most important characters because of how much the toys care for him. In some respects,  Andy reminds me of a ’90s equivalent to Christopher Robin.   Both don’t have much interaction with the characters (Not always true in the case of the latter) but they have a huge impact on the key characters as they unknowingly influence the thoughts of our key characters.This is shown most clearly in the first movie, where Andy still being a young child views his toys as though they are real because to him, they are his friends.

Slinky Dog,  Rex, Hamm,  &  Potato Head voiced by Jim Varney,  Wallace Shawn John Ratzenbrger, & Don Rickles

Now, we have the other key toys that make up the cast and all of these characters bring something special to the table. Whether, it be Rex’s awkward, Potato Head’s sarcastic nature, Slink’s devoted loyalty to Woody or Hamm, just having the distinguished honor of being the first Pixar character voiced by John Ratzenberger.   All of these characters are pretty awesome and make up a pretty great supporting cast.

Bo Peep voiced by Annie Potts

The interactions between Bo and Woody are just adorable as Woody gets all flustered, whenever she’s around.  It’s just so cute and you just  know that  these two really do care for one another.


You’ve Got A Friend In Me

I’d argue that not only is this the most popular Toy Story song but that it’s also the most beloved Pixar song too.  It’s sweet and simple.  There really isn’t much to say about this song that hasn’t already been said.  When you think of songs from the Toy Story trilogy, this comes to mind as it has been in every movie.

Strange Things

I’ve touched upon this song a bit in the past.  And as I mentioned in my review of The Musical, this song is important for Woody because this song is conveyed as his internal dialogue and the way, it’s sung is understandable and with it being internal, it makes it more understandable, whereas if this song were external such as One Toy, Woody  loses some  of his sympathy from the audience.

I Will Go Sailing No More

There really isn’t too much left, I can say about this number.  I think I’ve said all I can on it.  As I’ve mentioned before, this song serves as a wake up call to Buzz, harsh as it may be.  He needed it.


Sid voiced by Erik Von Detten

I still personally think that Sid is a bit of a boring villain.  There really isn’t that much to him but I do understand how he is a threat to the toys but he comes across as a rather uninteresting character, otherwise.

My Final Thoughts

While Toy Story is not my favorite in the trilogy, it’s a good start to what people would expect not only from the Toy Story franchise but from Pixar on a whole and  for a while, there Pixar delivered some great movies. (Let’s hope, they get back on track with Inside Out).  This movie was something new at the time, it was exciting. And it still is to this day.  The animation on the humans doesn’t hold up but it really does on the toys. And the heart and the story are resonate with audiences, years after it came out.   I hope that you’ve enjoyed my review of Toy Story. Join me tomorrow as we look at Woody’s Roundup.


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