Plot: It’s a terrible day for toys when Andy’s mom announces a yard sale. In an effort to save a beloved old squeaky penguin named Wheezy from being sold, Woody finds himself getting stolen in the yard sale instead.
The thief is the owner of Al’s Toy Barn, an avid toy collector, and he finds himself among a collection of toys based on the show Woody’s Roundup. He’s treated like a hero to the other toys; Jessie the cowgirl, Bullseye the horse and the prospector, but he’s still desperate to get back to Andy. Buzz and the other toys from Andy’s room travel to find Woody and bring him home, but the other Woody’s Roundup toys are convincing him that it’s better to stay in a toy museum instead of going back home where Andy will eventually grow up and forget about him.
Breakdown: Pixar’s first sequel and Pixar’s first relative ‘meh’ movie supposedly. I’ve never heard anyone say this is a downright bad movie, but most people agree that it’s not really fantastic either. I think people just fell under the impression that Pixar could do no wrong and finding that a movie wasn’t up to their high standards left it with a bigger dent.
Does it really deserve any flak though?
In my opinion? No. I really like this movie. It’s the weakest of the trilogy in my opinion, but that doesn’t make it a bad, meh or even weak film.
The storyline isn’t a rehash of the first film like a lot of sequels, and it touches upon the topic of the toys’ owners growing up and leaving them behind. They won’t really take this plot line and shove your heart into a paper shredder like the third movie, but still. And it also reminded me that, not only does that suck, but toys can be immortal to a degree. They can definitely live throughout a few generations at least if they’re taken care of, so it’s not only sad to think that the toys might be thrown out or spend their time rotting somewhere, but they could also see owner after owner ‘outgrow’ their use and be abandoned.
There are new characters added, and the background of Woody is explored, though I don’t quite get stuff like this. I don’t really understand why Woody doesn’t realize that he’s this famous. If he is an original, that must mean he’s over 50 years old, yet he doesn’t seem to act like he’s had previous owners and has completely forgotten his origins. I have to wonder why some toys realize what they are immediately yet toys like Buzz, Woody and the Aliens are under some delusion about it once they awaken.
Jessie’s pretty grating when you first meet her, but she grows on you, and she is the poster child for the topic of the movie as she had an owner who grew up and ended up abandoning her. I’m still left wondering why she remembers that considering, from all I can tell from this girl’s room, this happened around the 60s or 70s, yet Woody can’t seem to remember anything pre-Andy days.
Bullseye’s a cute little character that can be a good addition to the group, but it seems weird that a toy like that is introduced when it’s been established that Woody and the others get along fine with Buster.
The storyline with Buzz, Delusional Buzz and Zurg felt forced. The opener is enough to attest to that because it felt like it was too long. Some of the interactions with Delusional Buzz were funny, especially the first scene, but after that it just felt like it was shoehorned in and a bit annoying. It’s almost like they weren’t quite sure what to do with Buzz to give him enough screentime. Plus, there’s the irritating nagging in my head that there was a Buzz Lightyear cartoon including Zurg and maybe this could’ve just been a big plug for that.
They also rehashed a few too many jokes from the original movie, but it’s not constant.
I think that this movie is actually better now that I’ve seen Toy Story 3. It’s acts as a great mediator between 1 and 3.
The first movie is about being there for Andy, no matter who he may seem to give more attention to and knowing that Andy loves to play with all of his toys.
The second is about dealing with the fact that, despite this, there will be a time when Andy becomes too old to play with his toys, but until that time comes they’ll be there to play with him no matter what.
And the third is finally dealing with what happens when Andy grows up and stops playing with his toys as well as addressing the various futures of toys when their owners grow up.
While it is a bit OOC for Woody to ditch Andy to be in a museum, it’s understandable that he’d feel that way. After hearing Jessie’s story and being shelved, as well as seeing what could’ve been the fate of Wheezy, it’s perfectly reasonable that he’d be scared and, in a way, its a story of mortality. You either live a true and happy life that eventually ends or throw it away to chase immortality.
Also, it reminds me that in Toy Story 3 Jessie’s situation and feelings should be much worse considering she was already dumped once before.
I think Woody singing ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ on Woody’s Roundup was probably one of the best ways to handle Woody’s revelation that he needed to go back to Andy. It really was an incredibly touching scene…..Though I think the little boy on the show was a little on the creepy side.
The reprise at the end I could’ve done without, though, even if it is performed by Robert Goulet, especially given that Wheezy skips some lines during it.
Bottom Line: It’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Not as good as the original, no, and there are some annoying and seemingly pointless things in there, but most of the jokes are really funny, the plot’s interesting, and, like I said, it’s a great bridge between movies 1 and 3. I can see how some people may be disappointed with it, but I’d still gladly rewatch it several times.
Recommended Audience: There is very very slight innuendo that I doubt any kid would get, but otherwise nothing objectionable. E for everyone!
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2 thoughts on “Pixar’s Lamp: Toy Story 2”
Agree. It’s good, but it just can’t hold up when the other two are just plain better. But Buzz/Zurg at the end always crack me up.
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There was actually some kind of backlash against this sequel? That is really weird because I remember everyone raving about it even years after the fact or how people said it was the best of the Toy Story movies. I actually remember watching this in theaters when I was a kid which makes me feel super old given when this movie came out. In hindsight, it does get rough looking at the Jessie backstory/musical scene after watching The Christmas Toy (saying nothing about the existence of Buzz Lightyear in general after seeing Meteora in that Jim Henson movie) with a brief, yet eerily similar motif in on part of that film. You do bring up a good point about Woody supposedly being unaware of any previous owners especially if he’s an original much less not realizing how famous he was decades ago in-universe.
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