4. TOY STORY & TOY STORY 2 (1995/1999)

When Toy Story premiered in November of 1995, the quality of the computer animation blew everybody out of their seats. It all looked so real. Sure, there was a story in there somewhere too. Woody, a toy cowboy, is afraid of being replaced in his owner Andy's heart when Andy gets a new Buzz Lightyear toy. The rest is pretty much what you'd expect: Woody and Buzz help each other get out of tight situations, they become friends, and Andy loves them both equally. Story, schmory, Toy Story was amazing because it showed that computer animation was just as viable an art form as the old-fashioned hand drawing kind.

The bigger feat occurred in 1999 when Toy Story 2 premiered. Audiences were now used to computer animation (having seen Antz and A Bug's Life) and they walked into this sequel with some huge expectations. Astonishingly, their expectations were more than fulfilled. Toy Story 2 picks up where the first one left off, with Buzz and Woody living harmoniously in Andy's room. That is, until, Woody discovers that he's actually a member of "Woody's Roundup," a TV series for which he represents collectable merchandise. Thus, Woody faces a moral dilemma: should he spend his life on a display in a Tokyo museum, forever enshrined but no longer with Andy, or should he return home, where he will eventually be discarded. And you thought you had problems?

We suggest that you watch these two flicks back to back and have a party. Everyone can bring his or her favorite childhood toy, and while the tapes are rewinding, you can act out little scenarios where your toys are the stars. OK, so that sounds pretty lame, but you won't think so after watching these.


  • Toy Story was nominated for 3 Academy Awards (including Best Screenplay). It won none. It was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards (including Best Picture)

  • Toy Story 2 was nominated for 2 Academy Awards (again, winning none), and for two Golden Globe Awards. It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture, making it the ONLY sequel to win a Best Picture Golden Globe Award (in 1975, Godfather II lost to Chinatown).

  • Toy Story is considered to be the first full-length 100% computer animated film