Thanks to Lasseter's sure sense of characterisation (and his technical wizardry), the first wholly computer-generated animation feature is a gem. From a familiar premise (toys come alive whenever humans leave the room) the ingenious, witty script proceeds to work marvels. Hitherto, the likes of Mr Potato Head, Slinky the dog, Rex the dinosaur, Bo Peep and Hamm the piggy bank have accepted as their benevolent lawgiver Woody, a pullstring cowboy and Andy's favourite toy. Come the kid's birthday, however, their world is thrown into disarray by new arrival Buzz Lightyear, a Powers Boothe lookalike in hi-tech spacesuit who not only usurps Woody's place in Andy's affections, but doesn't know he's a toy. While kids will get off on the bewitching colours, the slapstick and the action-packed (and expertly paced) story, the film will probably be more fully appreciated by adults, who'll love the snappy, knowing verbal gags, the vivid, deftly defined characters, and the overall conceptual sophistication. After all, Randy Newman songs, mutant toys reminiscent of Bosch or Svankmajer, and a surprisingly affecting foray into existential crisis are hardly conventional Disney fare.
Cast and crew
R Lee Ermey