Monday, June 14, 2010

Stuff of the Week: "Toy Story"

With the new "Toy Story 3" opening this Friday (and I can't wait), I reminded of the revelation that seeing the first "Toy Story" was fifteen years ago. First of all, I love animation, and was a big fan of the various Disney golden ages. But this was something different. Not just the technological leap it represented, but the story telling itself seemed to be taking a leap as well. It was knowing without being cynical. The scene that did it for me was when Buzz Lightyear tied to fly and ended up breaking off his arm. That shot pulling back from his face at the bottom of the stairs (helped along by Randy Newman's soundtrack) made me completely forget the technology on the screen: I was just completely there with Buzz, my heart breaking along with his. The story never dragged, the songs served the story and it was the first time my then three-year-old daughter didn't have to take a bathroom break during a movie. And then, there's the toy shown here, one of Sid's mutant toy creations. It was creepy and weird and I was so glad they had the nerve to include it in the movie. Good story telling isn't when everybody gets along and everyone is nice and pretty. Sometimes you need a big, creepy doll head attached to an erector set spider body to push it over the top.

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