I finally got around to watching Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 last night. Yes, the second movie came out years ago, but I couldn’t remember if I had seen it since the plot seemed familiar, so I watched it anyway, then watched the third movie since both of them were playing.
Both of these movies were extremely well-done all around. The characters were three-dimensional in more ways than one, the plots were tightly knit and well-written, and both movies kept me glued to my tiny TV screen for three hours straight, even through all the tears. The plot elements tied together so well that I could expect a seemingly tiny plot element to come up against later, and not in the expected way.
But the little elements that made the movies enjoyable for adults delighted me more than anything else. The little lines that the kids wouldn’t get (“I doubt he’s getting that kind of mileage”), the YO on the Toyota truck, the settings that went to eleven, a certain spoiler for the second movie that refers to a popular movie empire… The list goes on. These are the things that go over the kids’ heads until they see the movies again years later. I’m sure things like this exist in the first movie. I also found myself wondering which characters would be the name of a future Debian release. Yes, my flavor of Linux names all its major releases after Toy Story characters. The unstable branch is named Sid for the kid next door in the first movie.
The real experience came out of watching these movies as an adult. Toy Story came out in 1995, and I watched it that year or soon thereafter. I was a kid at the time, and back then the movie was one about toys that were alive. For months after that I found myself wondering what my toys were doing when I wasn’t around. This may have prompted me to alternate which stuffed animal I sleep with to make sure each one received equal loving. Now I see the movies and my childhood toys in a whole new way. The toys that haven’t been handed down to new owners are all over the place: in the attic, under my bed (for some of my dolls), in the spare bedroom, all untouched. Of course they’re not having their own adventures while I’m not looking, but what if they were? I like to think I was a good toy owner for the most part, even if my dolls won’t forgive me for having some artistic license with their clothes and hair, but what if I wasn’t? What if they’re discussing that in the back room right now? Maybe I should check on them now.
Verdict: Watch them. Watch them now.