It was sheer bliss when “Toy Story 2” debuted in cinemas in 1995. With its opening weekend gross of about $30 million, “Toy Story” went on to become a full-fledged franchise with the release of “Toy Story 2” four years later. There are now three legitimate sequels to the first movie, in addition to the newly released spin-off “Lightyear,” which serves as the source material for the Buzz Lightyear toy. (Consider it the Buzz take on “Woody’s Roundup” if that show had had its own movie.)
With so many sequels under its belt, “Toy Story” has established itself as a Disney and Pixar production that is really enjoyed by people of all ages. While each sequel has its strengths, the second entry in the series really raises the standard in terms of what follows.
“Toy Story 2” is one of those exceptional sequels in that there are instances when it nearly seems superior than the original. With the help of some brilliant in-jokes for the parents and the beloved toys with good hearts from the previous film, the movie masterfully expands on the world of the toys in new and interesting ways. When compared to “Toy Story,” which depicts the toys in their early years, “Toy Story 2” depicts the toys as they grow up and transition into adolescence, when their lives include more than simply choosing friends and playing favorites. But is this intentional character development, and if so, does “Toy Story 2” portend the tragedy that will occur in “Toy Story 3”? Let’s look at the conclusion and see.
An Upbeat Conclusion?
In “Toy Story 2,” Bullseye, Woody’s trusty horse, and Jessie the Cowgirl are introduced as two new, crucial characters. Woody had no clue that he was really a member of a gang of toys based on a vintage 1960s television program called “Woody’s Roundup” until his experiences in “Toy Story 2.” Woody meets and befriends the rest of the Roundup gang, including Pete the Prospector, as Al gets ready to send them all off to Japan to be exhibited in a museum after unintentionally buying them all at a yard sale. Of course, Andy’s other toys are desperate to stop this from happening, so they plan a rescue operation that results in Woody persuading Jessie and Bullseye to move in with them and become a part of Andy’s life.
In the movie’s last scene, Andy is thrilled to see Jessie and Bullseye among his toys after just getting home from cowboy camp (because apparently that’s a thing). He thanks his mother, who should surely be at least a little alarmed that two new toys have suddenly appeared in her home. Naturally, Ms. Davis isn’t the sort to alert airport security to abandoned, suspicious-looking luggage), and he seamlessly blends the new toys into his playing.
When the toys are eventually left alone to reflect on their previous trip, Buzz and Woody talk about their futures while Wheezy sings the film’s theme song. Buzz inquires as to if Woody is still anxious about what will transpire after Andy outgrows them all, but Woody is not. While it lasts, it’ll be enjoyable, says Woody. In addition, I’ll have Buzz Lightyear to keep me company when it all ends.
The anxiety of the toys about becoming Andy’s playthings dominates “Toy Story 2.” When Woody’s arm gets unintentionally torn during play and Andy is forced to leave him behind to go to camp, Woody is very upset. Toys don’t endure forever, Andy’s mother somberly informs her son as she “shelves” Woody prematurely (thanks a lot, Ms. Davis). He reacquaints himself with Wheezy, a neglected toy penguin with a broken squeaker, while it’s being shelved. Woody hears Wheezy say, “What good does it do to put off the inevitable? Each of us is just a single stitch away from being there “he says, pointing to the yard sale outside. This is when “Toy Story 2’s” existential dread begins.
If “Toy Story” is a film about rivalry and camaraderie, “Toy Story 2” finds its footing while dealing with mortality, which is unavoidable. Before “Toy Story 2,” Woody’s worries about losing his popularity were limited to the potential of being replaced with a shinier, newer toy (i.e. Buzz Lightyear). This mentality, which ignores the possibility of a youngster having many favorites, is very childish. Woody and the toys are on the verge of puberty in the sequel, much like Andy. They are suddenly struck by the idea that they are mortal, and this shocks them to the very core of their AA batteries and pull strings.
What do we do with the time that is given to us? is a key issue posed in the coming-of-age tale “Toy Story 2.” In Andy’s scenario, the toys choose to just enjoy it (i.e., life) while it lasts. They may eventually be consigned to the yard sale (their deaths), but in the meanwhile, they’re going to have a ton of fun playing it up.
What Follows and Predictable Events
The conclusion of “Toy Story 2” subtly teases the plot of “Toy Story 3.” Buzz is really laying the groundwork for the following installment of the series when he inquires of Woody whether or not he is still concerned about Andy maturing and going on. If you’ve watched “Toy Story 3,” you’ll be aware that the movie starts with Andy’s toys in a hopeless situation. Since Andy ultimately grew up and moved on, they haven’t been played with in years. The toys have now experienced their worst dread of being left behind by their beloved kid, and they have now reached what may be considered old age.
Toy Story 3 is positioned to be a reflection on Andy’s toys’ time with him at the conclusion of their life if “Toy Story 2” is their coming of age story. By the conclusion of the movie, they do experience a rebirth (becoming Bonnie’s new toys), but the most of the story is around Woody and his companions coming to grips with their continued existence as Andy’s toys. Every “Toy Story” movie may be considered as a reflection of the phases of life one experiences from infancy to old age. Even the fourth installment of the “Toy Story” series centers on what may be seen as a middle-aged experience of becoming lost.
In the end, “Toy Story” films have always been about much more than simply toys going on adventures. All of them deftly discuss the difficulties of growing up.