As it is New Year’s Eve 2020, we thought it best for a Film of the Week to not be a new release, but an older one. A more nostalgic movie to take us back a bit from this year’s events, and what better film than Toy Story 2?

Some of the gang looking for Woody / Picture Credit: Disney/Pixar

Some of the gang looking for Woody / Picture Credit: Disney/Pixar

Toy Story 2 came out in 1999, just before the 2000’s hit us. Many of us were children when it was released making it the perfect nostalgia trip for a not-so-great year.

Toy Story (1995) was also a wonderful film and an astounding one at that for its time, being the first ever computer-animated movie.

The first film followed Buzz (Tim Allen) and Woody (Tom Hanks) as the two toys get lost arguing and fighting about whether or not Buzz is a toy or a real space ranger.

Toy Story had charm for sure, as Andy (John Morris), the toys’ owner, adores his toys more than anything and takes them everywhere – sometimes this can be cause for how the toys get lost.

While the same can be said for the following three films, the second film just hits a little different.

Woody is accidently left out while Andy’s mother (Laurie Metcalf) is having a yard sale – no guesses what happens to Woody.

Woody is stolen by a very odd toy collector (Wayne Knight) while trying to escape the yard sale, so the gang, including Rex (Wallace Shawn), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), and of course Buzz and the rest of the group, must go on a mission to get him back.

When Woody arrives at the collector’s home, he discovers a whole new frontier. The collector has a huge array of Woody merchandise, from lunch boxes to a record player, and even footage of the TV show the Woody toy was in.

Jessie, Woody and Bullseye / Picture Credit: Disney/Pixar
Jessie, Woody and Bullseye / Picture Credit: Disney/Pixar

As the mesmerised Woody checks out all the things in the collector’s home, another part of his unknown life reveals itself – in the form of Bullseye the horse, and Jessie (Joan Cusack) the cowgirl, Woody’s should-be partner in crime.

The film then follows both the gang’s rescue mission to try and find Woody, and also Woody’s own conflict about whether to stay with Jessie and Bullseye.

This is where the film comes into its own. As Woody is conflicted, we still see the rescue mission go ahead even through there may be no point of Woody decodes to leave the gang, and Jessie’s attempt to make Woody stay with her as she suffers from abandonment as her last owner dumped her on the side of a road (of which we see a heartbreaking flashback).

The reason why this film outdoes the first one is because (spoilers!) at the end of the movie, Jessie and Bullseye decide to go home with Woody, Buzz and the whole gang.

This completes the brilliant ensemble that continues for the next few films, making the family of wonderful and silly toys complete.

The whole gang waiting for Andy to come home / Picture Credit: Disney/Pixar
The whole gang waiting for Andy to come home / Picture Credit: Disney/Pixar

The naivety of some of the toys is carried on from the first, as you’d expect, especially Rex with his simple mind and his pure heart. Nearly every idea he has is a bit, well, useless – and he’s the type of toy to get scared by his own reflection which makes for the perfect goofy character.

Not only is the story and addition of two new family members reason enough to love this movie, but also the Star Wars type joke that Zurg (Andrew Stanton), Buzz’s enemy, is his father. Whether you like the Star Wars franchise or not that’s a pretty funny gag.

Simply enough, Toy Story 2, just as the first one did, encapsulates the importance of friends and family, but does it better than they did before as they literally add two members of said family, which solidifies this importance.

But the true magic of this film, especially watching it today whether you saw it first 10 years ago or when it came out in 1999, the nostalgia factor is right there staring you in the face and its absolutely wonderful.

The laughs, the subtle jokes for the parents, and the fact that this film holds up just as well as it did when it was first released is what makes it a masterpiece – and nothing lifts spirits better (especially this year) than good old nostalgia.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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