Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Toy Story v. Toy Story 2

Recently my oldest has been hogging the 42 inch plasma in the living room. She's living the high def dream in technicolor. Today's obsession, is Toy Story 2. Hearing it in the background has got me thinking about which TS I like better. One or two.

I posted a status update to various micro-blogs, facebook, myspace, etc. earlier this evening and got this response from my former photog pro·té·gé:

"wow, I am not up to date on my Toy Story facts, but I do recall thinking the first was better. I ask you to remember that the original Toy Story was revolutionary for kids movies. Due to my need to rewatch both to have an official opinion, I am open to hearing your side and expect a blog."

Well, this is the blog, and here is my expert opinion.

First off, what makes me an expert is that I am part of the cartoon generation. WE grew up watching the classics and grew up in a period when cartoons were blossoming and becoming THE baby sitting tool for all parents.

I have two daughters of my own and their Disney movie obsession is in full swing. Needless to say, I've watched bot TS' time and time again.

Here's why I think TS2 is better:

- better story line: this isn't about introducing the toys to the audience. it's about exploring their relationships and expanding their little group with the addition of bullseye and Jessie (my daughter's favorite).

- better animation: yes, the movie came out only a few years after the original, but technology advances so quickly. There are noticeable differences in "camera" work, colors and detail in the background from TS one to TS2

- better adult jokes: in classic Disney fashion, TS2 is full of jokes and innuendos that only parents can get. As a parent who us forced to watch these movies over and over again, it's great to know my demographic is not being ignored by the writers.

- more emotion: you're telling me the scene where Jesse talks about being given away is not touching? What kid doesn't get all torn up and squeeze their dolls or toys tighter because of that scene. I've seen grown women cry over that scene. There was nothing like that in TS1. Secondly, how about the struggle of Woody who almost breaks up the group and heads to Japan with the Round-up gang? Talk about suspense and keeping the audience on edge.

- the big secret we learn: who would have know that Zurg is Buzz Light Year's dad? Come on people?! That's the cream of the crop right there. It's right up there with Darth Vador and Luke Skywalker. You can't write a better story line than that!

The haters out there will say that Toy Story was the first movie that kicked off the animation craze. Not really sure if that's true or not. I do recall all the hype around it because, at the time, it was a cutting edge animated movie. However, the biggest point I can make over why TS2 is better than one is that it's probably THE best sequel to any animated movie. These days, most go right to DVD. TS2 is just as entertaining, if not more so than the first one.


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