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Pixar Series| 03. Toy Story 2

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Greetings,

Alas I have not forgotten about my Pixar series! (Although it may have appeared that way). It’s back in full swing with Pixar’s 3rd feature film, Toy Story 2, huzzah!

Toy_Story_2

Background:

Toy Story 2 is the third animated feature film from Pixar, which was released in 1999, and directed by John Lasseter. Talks for a sequel to Toy Story began around one month after it’s release. At first it was unsure if a sequel would work due to whether or not Tom Hanks and Tim Allen would be available/affordable, what the story would entail, and whether it would be computer animated by Pixar, or traditionally animated by Disney.

Plot:

Toy Story 2, the sequel to Toy Story, yet again follows the adventures of Andy’s anthropomorphic toys. When Woody is stolen by a crazed toy collecter, Buzz and the rest of the toys devise a plan to get him back to Andy’s room. Whilst at Al, the toy collector’s apartment, Woody discovers that he is a collectable following the famous television series, Woody’s Roundup. This is where he also meets the toys from the television show, Jessie the cowgirl, Bullseye, Woodies horse, and Stinky Pete. Woody is now faced with a dilemma. Return to Andy’s room with the rest of the toys, or go to Japan to be a collectable with Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete.

Cast:

Tom Hanks as Woody

Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear

Joan Cusack as Jessie

Kelsey Grammer as Stinky Pete

Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head

Jim Varney as Slinky Dog

Wallace Shawn as Rex

John Ratzenberger as Hamm

Estelle Harris as Mrs Potato Head

Wayne Knight as Al McWhiggin

Annie Potts as Bo Peep

John Morris as Andy Davis

Jodi Benson as Barbie (yes as in the voice of The Little Mermaid)

Major Characters:

Seeing as I already discussed some of the major characters in my first blog post about Toy Story, I will actually discuss the new character introduced in this film.

Jessie

toy_story_3_jessie_Jessie is the overly enthusiastic and excitable toy Woody meets when he arrives at Al’s apartment.

She is so excited when Woody arrives that the gang is complete, that she comes off as a little crazed.

She is quite hesitant and scared at the thoughts of joining Andy’s toys which we learn ala flashback sequence is due to her owner Emily who grew up and became less fond of Jessie eventually leading to her giving Jessie away.

I really love Jessie’s charatcer, and I love the fact that she is voiced by Joan Cusack who just simply brings her to life.

-Bullseye

Bullseye-toy-story-8037414-334-400Bullseye, like Jessie, was quite enthused to have Woody re-unite with them.

Bullseye is very loyal to Woody, which actually in turn prompts Woody’s desicion to have them return with him to Andy’s room.

Bullseye is quite clumsy which is probably why I like him so much. He is a very lovavle character.

– Stinky Pete

stinky peteIn Woody’s Roundup, Stinky Pete comes across as a very slow, dim-witted character, whereas the toy is actually quite intellectual and cunning.

At first Stinky Pete appears to be the grandfather/mentor figure in Al’s apartment, however he actually turns out to me one of the major villains of this film.

He manipulated Woody and Jessie and overall causes nothing but trouble for the toys.

-Mrs Potato Head

Toy-Story-3-Mrs_Potato-Head-WallpaperNow I know that Mrs Potato Head was first introduced at the end of the first film, however it is not until Toy Story 2 that we get to appreciate her character in its full glory.

Just like Mr Potato Head, her character provides alot of great one liners and comedy throughout this film.

Her characteristics are almost polar opposite to Mr Potato Head which makes their pairing so comical.

Music:

Once again, Pixar do not fail to deliver and Randy Newman returns to compose and wrote all of the songs featured in this film and its soundtrack.

Although ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ was featured in the first film, it is still my favourite song from this soundtrack. As I said previously, it’s like the song of our childhood so how can you not love it, right?

Favourite Character:

Again it’s a toss-up between Rex and Mr. Potato Head! They are two classic characters that I just love from this film franchise.

Since I chose Mr. Potato Head last time, I’m going to be all diplomatic and choose Rex this time. But really what’s not to love about Rex?

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Favourite Quote:

I am starting to wish I had said favourite quotes, but then we’d be here all day because there are some really funny and witty one-liners in this film, as there was in Toy Story.

However, I think this one has to go to the classic Buzz and Zurg scene at the end of the film, “No Buzz, I am your father”. You see, Disney were giving nods to Star Wars even before they bought the rights!

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Favourite Scene:

The inner neat freak in me is showing…my favourite scene by far is when Woody is getting cleaned up for shipping to Japan. I know this is weird but even as a child I was obsessed with that scene. I loved his organiser and each little compartment for different things, okay okay you get the picture ha ha! Let’s watch it again…

A113:

If you are unaware as to what A113 is, it is an Easter egg (inside joke) that is present in all 13 of the Pixar animated feature films.

A113 stands for the number of the classroom used for graphic design and character animation in the school used by John Lasseter and Brad Bird.

A113 appears in all three Toy Story films on Andy’s mom’s car licence plate.

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It also appears in Toy Story 2 as an announcement at the airport for ‘LassetAir Flight A113’. This is also a nod to the films director, John Lassester.

Fun Facts:

  • There is a hidden Mickey Mouse on a wall clock in Andy’s room.
  • The dust in the scene where Woody meets Wheezy set a record for number of particles animated for a movie by computer.
  • When the toys are planning the rescue of Woody, Etch-a-Sketch shows a map to Al’s Toy Barn located at 1001 West Cutting Boulevard. This is the address of Pixar Animation Studios in Richmond, California.
  • When Al hangs up the phone with the Japanese investor, he says “Don’t touch my mustache.” This refers to an English mnemonic for the Japanese phrase meaning “You’re welcome”: “Dou itashimashite.”
  • The movie has several references to A Bug’s Life. There are so many that I won’t list them, but look out for them next time you see this film.
  • When the toys are playing cards during Woody’s nightmare after being “shelved”, all the cards are the ace of spades. In fortune telling, the ace of spades represents death.
  • Many of the ideas that were not used in Toy Story appear in this film: the Buzz Lightyear cartoon, the yard sale, and Woody’s nightmare
  • Many people think the Woody’s Roundup sequence was filmed with real puppets. But really they took the same CG models and made small changes to make them look like puppets. Then they animated the puppet versions of the characters in a CG black-and-white set. Then they used this technique called the kinescope effect, which adds scratches, hairs, and pieces of grain to the image to make it look old.
  • One of the items in Al’s Toy Barn behind Rex before he and Potato Head board Barbie’s car is a pink teddy bear which previously appeared as one of the silent toys on the shelf top during the staff meeting in Toy Story (that actually served as the basis for Lotso in Toy Story 3.

My Rating:

9 1/2 / 10

I loved this film. I actually prefer it to Toy Story which is very unusual, normally sequels aren’t as good as the orginial. Again, it’s a childhood classic so what’s not to love!

– Bee

Next in this series: Monster’s Inc.

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2 responses »

  1. It’ll probably be easier to read if you wrote “9.5/10” instead.

    Reply
  2. I especially love the fun facts section! I always wondered how they did the ‘Woody’s round up scene” and now I know. Thanks!

    I also didn’t know that Pixar use to be in Richmond. They have since moved to nearby Emeryville.

    Reply

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