“Woody, you’re not a collector’s item, you’re a child’s plaything. You – are – a toy!”
– Buzz Lightyear
Woody, Buzz, and their friends are back! This time, just when the toys are depressing over the fact that the are eventually going to be replaced and sold at a yard sale, troubles are piling up and up, involving our plastic and rubber friends to save one another from humans, and….villainous toys?
“Toy Story 2” returns to the world where toys are actually living and breathing when nobody is around to observe and play with them. One day, Andy accidentally broke Woody’s arm, resulting in him not taking Woody to the cowboy camp. The dejected Woody is further discouraged by a shelved squeaky penguin toy named Wheezy, saying that broken toys won’t be fixed and he is going to the yard sale soon. Indeed, Wheezy is taken to the yard sale, and on the quest of saving his penguin friend, Woody gets abducted by a collector who plans to sell him to a museum in Japan! Hence, begins Buzz and friends’ adventure to retrieve their sheriff, while Woody needs to resolve his dilemma on whether to return to his true owner or not.
Unlike the first entry, “Toy Story 2” features richer conflicts by including fellow toys as villains who are cunning and funny at the same time. We finally get to witness the rise of the Evil Emperor Zurg, whose relationship with Buzz is actually pretty darn funny (watch it! XD ), as well as another toy villain that will not be mentioned here for the sake of avoiding a major spoiler. This title takes the term ‘bad luck’ to a whole new level; our protagonists keep on encountering problem after problem, even when their current issue is not resolved, igniting our sense of frustration that gradually turns into satisfaction and awe as our favorite toys still contrive absurd, yet effective unique ways to counter their problems. I mean, look at Buzz: having another Buzz replacing him without his friends’ knowledge, he has to break free from his plastic rocket package AND go to his friends AND save Woody. Talk about life problems 😐 .
The movie features the usual message of cherishing toys on the surface, but it actually means much more than that; there are merits and indescribable feelings of fulfillment when you do the things that you believe you are supposed to do, even when at times, things may not seem to be that great at all. Still, let’s take a look at the message about toys; as mentioned earlier, there are also toy villains, and the main antagonist of this movie is somehow rousing the empathy from the viewers; his reasons for his actions are actually understandable, and we get to relate on why he decides to take that path. In the end, rather than directly hating the villain, I couldn’t help but viewing him as a toy that, to some extent, is correct. His mindset is just coincidentally different from our protagonists’. This motivation for them in doing things make there seems to be no straightforward villain, but rather, choices; viewers are choosing the real meaning behind toys’ existence and purpose.
All the things in “Toy Story” are present; from quirky interactions to great humors, all of those are executed satisfyingly in this second entry. With a far more dire consequence to face, the story really seems to be more urgent and deep, which is by no means a bad thing. “Toy Story 2” takes the formula of the first movie, complicates it a liiiiitle bit, adds some depth, and improves it in such a way that I believe nobody would call this a failure of a sequel.
It’s a success, for the movie, and for our interesting animate toys.
Rating from me: 4/5