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Laramie Movie Scope:
Toy Story

A fine family animated feature

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 27, 1995 -- ``Toy Story'' is a good holiday movie for kids and adults. Although the story is easily understood by kids, there are plenty of jokes and innuendos that will sail right over most kids' heads.

For instance, there's a real estate sign in the film sporting the company name of ``virtual realty.'' Some dialogue in the film has veiled references to Star Trek. There are also some jokes about ``laser envy,'' corporate buyouts and the like.

The film uses computer animation, building on the work of such films as ``Jurassic Park,'' ``Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'' and ``Terminator II.'' The effect is somewhere between a cartoon and traditional stop-motion claymation.

I found it was better to ignore the computer graphics and pay attention to the toy characters and the story. The story concerns two toys, Woody (a cowboy action figure, voice by Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (space ranger action toy, voice by Tim Allen).

Woody is the older toy and becomes jealous when he is replaced by Buzz as his owner's favorite toy. Because of Woody's jealousy, he and Buzz become stranded away from home and have to make it back before the family moves out of town. In this particular universe, toys come alive, but only when people aren't watching. They have to stop whatever they are doing when humans are watching.

The toys in the film are funny and interesting. They have more personality than many live actors in Hollywood. The ``human'' characters, except for the mean kid next door, are not very interesting. Fortunately, the toys dominate the story.

The story and the characters are compelling. Once you get hooked by the story, it pulls you through. The dialogue is good as well. There are some very funny jokes along the way, including some insult lines from comedian Don Rickles (he plays Mr. Potato Head). This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)