Toy Story 2

     It's your typical Disney story with your typical Disney characters and situations, which means it's fun and heart-warming in a very comforting, rather unsurprising way. And yet there are a number of toy-related gags and pop culture references that are really clever and funny and unpredictable. For instance, as Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang set out on their dangerous quest to save Woody (Tom Hanks) from the evil toy collector (Wayne Knight, or Newman on "Seinfeld") who has kidnapped him, Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris) says to Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), "I'm packing you your angry eyes, just in case." Besides the simple comic genius of lines like that, the movie also includes a serious exploration of mortality in the guise of a discussion of the fleeting relationship between kids and their toys. This will either convince you to dig your old toys out of the attic, or make you even angrier at your mom for throwing them out. But the best thing about the film is Pixar's computer animation, which is, as always, absolutely stunning. The humans don't look completely realistic yet, but they've gotten much better, and the attention to detail is amazing. I particularly enjoyed the sequence where we learn that cowboy action figure Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, had his origins as a puppet on an old black and white TV show for kids, a show that we then get to see episodes of. Also, watch for a cameo appearance by Geri, a character that appeared originally in Geri's Game, the short that ran in front of Pixar's A Bug's Life.

Jim Genzano

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