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July 1, 2019

Toy Story 2 (1999) --- “The Toys Are Back In Town.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
    Things have been going great for Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen), and the toys are all eagerly anticipating Andy’s return from summer camp. On one such day while their waiting for their kid to come home, Woody is accidentally placed in a yard sale where he is stolen by a greedy toy collector named Al (Wayne Knight). While Buzz and the gang enter the real world in order to save Woody before Andy comes home, Woody seems to have met new friends Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl (Joan Cusack), Bullseye the horse, and Prospector “Stinky” Pete (Kelsey Grammar). But things begin to take a dark turn when Woody uncovers what Al really has in-store for Woody and his new friends. Can Buzz and the gang save Woody and his new friends before it’s too late? OR will they never see Woody again?

    Directed by John Lasseter (Cars 2), Ash Brannon (Rock Dog), and Lee Unkrich (Coco, Toy Story 3) and co-written alongside a whole host of writers, Toy Story 2 (1999) continues 4 years after the original and over the years there have been some attempts - Jungle to Jungle (1997), George of the Jungle (1997), Flubber (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and Home Alone 3 (1997) - that failed to live up to the same success. Although I enjoyed a number of these films, not all of them worked for the majority of the population but that comes as no surprise considering that it is rare when a family film entertains both kids and adults equally.
    Now in terms of the story, Toy Story (1995) was largely confined to Andy’s room and then his dreaded neighbor’s house but Toy Story 2 expands the film’s set by venturing into the world outside of Andy’s bedroom. As a result, the story expands beyond what we saw in the original film and gives us something we have not seen from the series yet. The story brings happiness to an otherwise uninspired plot and creates a fantastic new conflict for Woody which forces him to make a difficult decision. It forces the toys to question their ultimate purpose in life, are they meant to play with their kid only to be discarded later on when the kid grows up. The interesting thing about this conflict is that it doesn’t only effect Woody, but rather it affects all of Andy’s toys and even Andy himself.
    In addition to the film’s main conflict, Toy Story 2 continues to tell the story that was left unfinished in the original and adds more adventure and humor to it., which significantly improves the film’s story. This is a surprising sight considering that most sequels fail to live up to their predecessor's success. Not only that but many critics have come to the conclusion that Toy Story 2 is better than the original and while I do agree that Toy Story 2 surpasses our expectations and is my favorite film of the two, I wouldn’t go so far as saying that it is better than the original, which was a cinematic landmark that forever changed how animated films are made.
    As always the music (Randy Newman - Toy Story series, etc) and the voice acting are excellent. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their roles as our beloved main characters, while the supporting cast members have much bigger roles this time around. The new characters are also great additions to the film and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them.
    Overall, Toy Story 2 (1999) is a sequel that equal to its predecessor. Some will say its better and others will say the opposite, and while this is my favorite of the two I cannot forget that the original is a piece of cinematic history. This time around there is more humor, adventure, and heart with an interesting new conflict for our main character. The music and voice acting are excellent by paying respect to the original but also improving upon what we’ve already seen. I highly recommend that you see this if you have not already, especially if you have plans to see Toy Story 4 (2019) this summer.

Final Vote --- 8.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
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Cars (2006)
Cars 2 (2011)
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The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles 2 (2018)
Inside Out (2015)
Planes (2013)
Planes: Fire and Rescue (2014)
Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Wreck-It-Ralph (2012)
Wreck-It-Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2017)

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