Toy Story 2

USA 1999

Reviewed by Kim Newman


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

The Tri-County Area, the US, the present. When his shoulder is injured, the cowboy toy Woody is left behind when his young owner Andy goes off to cowboy camp. While rescuing Wheezy the Penguin from a yard sale, Woody is spotted and stolen by Al, a toy-store manager. Woody is actually a merchandising tie-in for Woody's Roundup, a television puppet show from the 50s. He will complete a set along with Jessie the cowgirl, Bullseye the horse and the still-boxed Stinky Pete the Prospector, all of whom Al wants to sell for a fortune to a Japanese toy museum.

Buzz Lightyear, another of Andy's toys, organises a rescue party which tracks Al to his store. There Buzz is boxed up and replaced by a new Buzz Lightyear model. Woody is persuaded by Jessie, who was donated to charity when her owner hit puberty, to stay with the collection. But when the first Buzz and rescuers find him, they convince Woody to return to Andy. Stinky Pete, however, is determined to go to the museum and sabotages the rescue. The second Buzz stays behind to forge a relationship with his father. The toys follow Al to the airport and spring the others during baggage handling. Stinky Pete is tucked into the rucksack of a little girl, while Woody saves Jessie from the plane's cargo hold with Buzz and Bullseye's help. Andy returns and Jessie and Bullseye are adopted into his toy family.


Although a triumph of cutting-edge technology, demonstrating fully the possibilities of computer animation, Toy Story has become such a much-loved film because of its profound, almost old-fashioned humanity. Woody, Buzz and the toy gang, down to the merest walk-on sight gag, are alive in the way all great cartoon creatures are alive (in no small part thanks to canny voice casting that exactly matches the character design). Like this sequel, the first film has an extremely sophisticated, surprisingly melancholy understanding of the importance, resonance and tragically brief shelf-life of the average plaything.

The follow-up may be inevitably less fresh and misses the freakish presence of Sid's mutant toys (the three-eyed grab-machine aliens from the first film, however, have a nice cameo), but it makes a few minor, effective upgrades. Randy Newman's musical numbers, for example, are integrated so as to serve the plot points. Toy Story 2 focuses even more tightly than the first film on the plight of creatures who are only 'alive' so long as they can retain the attention of their quixotic owners. Their in-built obsolescence is ultimately as poignant as the tiny lifespans of the Blade Runner replicants.

So while the plot sets up Woody's rescue from the loathsome Al, affording the opportunity for all manner of extravagant action scenes - a road-crossing set-piece, with the toys hiding under traffic cones and achieving their end while causing human-level chaos they don't notice, and a splendid, protracted peril ride through the airport at the finale - the script takes care to show the downside of toy life. Jessie, for instance, sings about the loss of her owner's love, signified by the junking of cowgirl ephemera in favour of make-up and pop records. The toy villain, one of those sad but valuable items who remains pristine in his original 50s box, yearns for a life in a museum, but Woody and the film finally recognise that toys have no real value, no life, unless they are played with.

Of course, any film with this message that comes (albeit at one remove) from Walt Disney and with an attendant merchandising blitz, has to cope with an ironic bite. Those in the know, especially exasperated parents, will love the cynical gags about the toy business: Rex the dinosaur discovers a Buzz Lightyear video game can't be won without the purchase of a tie-in manual; in the store Tour Guide Barbie explains an aisle-load of Buzz figures by noting that "in 1995, short-sighted retailers understocked." Barbie's licensees refused to allow her to appear in the original, which means she comes in for some hilarious joshing here and generally comes off as an airhead next to the spunkier Bo Peep and Jessie.

Al, the discount-toy entrepreneur, comes in for a lot of criticism, but the film takes advantage of his obsessions to fill in the backgrounds of its own inventions. Video games and the Star Wars franchise are parodied as the film delves into the relationship between Buzz and Zurg, while it also perfectly evokes the ramshackle charm - represented by Howdy Doody in the US and Muffin the Mule here - of vintage 50s puppet television, with an attendant panoply of lunch-boxes, toy gramophones, cereal promotions ("Cowboy Crunchies") and snake-in-the-boot jack-in-the-boxes. Like The Iron Giant, the film revisits the 50s for much of its inspiration, rediscovering in the era the dawn of marketing. But a full measure of Toy Story 2's success can be gauged by its undeniable appeal for children who have never seen a Western television show or played with a cowboy toy.


John Lasseter
Helene Plotkin
Karen Robert Jackson
Andrew Stanton
Rita Hsiao
Doug Chamberlin
Chris Webb
Original Story
John Lasseter
Pete Docter
Ash Brannon
Andrew Stanton
Director of Photography
Sharon Calahan
Edie Bleiman
David Ian Salter
Lee Unkrich
Production Designers
William Cone
Jim Pearson
Randy Newman
©Disney Enterprises Inc/Pixar Animation Studios
Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures presents a Pixar Animation Studios film
Executive Producer
Sarah McArthur
Production Office Co-ordinator
A.J. Riebli
Director of Computer Operations
Greg Brandeau
Production Manager
Graham Walters
Post-production Supervisor
Paul Cichocki
Senior Manager of Editorial/Post-production
Bill Kinder
Ruth Lambert
Mary Hidalgo
Additional ADR Voice:
Mickie McGowan
Story Supervisors
Dan Jeup
Joe Ranft

Additional Story Material
Dan Jeup
Jeff Pidgeon
Joe Ranft
Lee Unkrich
Jim Capobianco
Colin Brady
Jimmy Hayward
Steve Boyett
Elias Davis
David Pollock
David Reynolds
Story Artists
Jim Capobianco
David Fulp
Matthew Luhn
Ken Mitchroney
Max Brace
Jill Culton
Rob Gibbs
Jason Katz
Bud Luckey
Ricky Nierva
Sanjay Patel
Bob Peterson
Jeff Pidgeon
Jan Pinkava
Bobby Podesta
Nathan Stanton
Mark A. Walsh
Additional Storyboarding
Don Dougherty
Davey Crockett Feiten
Stephen Gregory
Kirk Hanson
Steven Hunter
Charles Keagle
Jorgen Klubien
Angus MacLane
Max Martinez
Jon Mead
Floyd Norman
Karen Prell
John Ramirez
Tasha Wedeen
Story Department Managers
Renee Jensen

Susan E. Levin
Story Department Co-ordinator
Lee Cruikshank
Camera Department Manager
Perrin Cutting
Camera Supervisor
Louis Rivera
John Hee
Soo Lee
Matthew Martin
Drew TTV Rogge
Camera Technicians
Don Conway
Jeff Wan
Lighting Department Managers
Terry McQueen
Molly Naughton
Lighting Department Co-ordinator
Tom Kim
Master Lighting
Lauren Alpert
Cho Jun Han
Cynthia Dueltgen
Danielle Feinberg
Deborah R. Fowler
Christian Hoffman
Jesse Hollander
Rob Jensen
Ann Lacaze
Ken Lao
Joyce Powell
Kimberly White
Lighting Supervisor
Jean-Claude Kalache
Modelling/Shading Co-ordinators
Mark Nielsen
Vanessa Ross
Modelling Artists
Mark Adams
Paul Aichele
Lauren Alpert
Stephanie Andrews
James Bancroft
Lawrence D. Cutler
Ruieta DaSilva
Cynthia Dueltgen
Damir Frkovic
Christian Hoffman
Rob Jensen
Stephen King
Michael Krummhoefener
Kelly O'Connell
Eileen O'Neill
Guido Quaroni
Dale Ruffolo
Don Schreiter
Gary Schultz
Skeggi Thormar
Patrick Wilson

Modelling Supervisor
Eben Ostby
CG Painters
Randy Berrett
Robin Cooper
Yvonne Herbst
Glenn Kim
Laura Phillips
Supervising Animator
Glenn McQueen
Directing Animators
Kyle Balda
Dylan Brown
Animation Department Co-ordinator
David Orecklin
Animation Managers
Jenny Head
Kori Rae
Nicolas Alan Barillaro
Stephen Barnes
Bobby Beck
Michael Berenstein
Ash Brannon
Jennifer Cha
Scott Clark
Brett Coderre
Melanie Cordan
Tim Crawfurd
David Devan
Mark Farquhar
Ike Feldman
Andrew Gordon
Stephen Gregory
Jimmy Hayward
Tim Hittle
Steven Hunter
Ethan Hurd
John Kahrs
Nancy Kato
Patty Kihm
Karen Kiser
Shawn Krause
Bob Koch
Peter Lepeniotis
Wendell Lee
Angus MacLane
Dan Mason
Jon Mead
Billy Merritt
Karyn Metlen
Valerie Mih
James Ford Murphy
Peter Nash
Mark Oftedal
Michael Parks
Bret Parker
Sanjay Patel
Bobby Podesta
Jeff Pratt
Karen Prell
Brett Pulliam
Rich Quade
Mike Quinn
Roger Rose
Robert H. Russ
Gini Cruz Santos
Anthony Scott
Alan Sperling
Ross Stevenson
Doug Sheppeck
Doug Sweetland
David Tart
Warren Trezevant
Mark A. Walsh
Tasha Wedeen
Adam Wood
Christina Yim
Kureha Yokoo
Fix Animators
Paul Mendoza
Andrea Schultz
Animation Fix Co-ordinator
Jenni Tsoi
Animation Software Development
Darwyn Peachey
Team Leaders:
Tony DeRose
Kurt Fleischer
Peter Nye
Arun Rao
Wayne Wooten
Software Engineers:
John Alex
Brad Andalman
David Baraff
Ronen Barzel
Malcolm Blanchard
Mike Cancilla
Bena Currin
Thomas Hahn
Kitt Hirasaki
Jisup Hong
Michael B. Johnson
Steve Johnson
Michael Kass
Chris King
Eric Lebel
Bruce Perens
Chris Perry
John Singh Pottebaum
Sudeep Rangaswamy
Drew TTV Rogge
Michael Shantzis
Heidi Stettner
Robert W. Sumner
Dirk Van Gelder
Karon Weber
Andy Witkin
Audrey Wong
Rendering Software Development
Anthony A. Apodaca
Software Engineers:
Phil Beffrey
Sam 'Penguin' Black
Loren Carpenter
Rob Cook
Tom Duff
Larry Gritz
David Laur
Dan Lyke
Shaun Oborn
Matt Pharr
Tien Truong
Mark Vandewettering
Eric Veach
Rendering Supervisor
Don Schreiter
Effects Department Manager
Kelly T. Peters
Effects Technical Artists
John B. Anderson
Lawrence D. Cutler
Lisa Forssell
Michael Fu
Leo Hourvitz
Jeffrey Jay
Ewan Johnson
Stephen King
Bill Polson
Guido Quaroni
Brad Winemiller
Additional Effects
David Baraff
Andrew Kinney
Brian M. Rosen
Eliot Smyrl
Andy Witkin
Layout Supervisors
Rikki Cleland-Hura
Ewan Johnson
Layout Department Manager
Molly Naughton
Layout Department Co-ordinator
Heather Field
Sequence Lead
Shawn Brennan
Jeremy Lasky
Patrick Lin
Gregg Olsson
Senior Layout Artist
Craig Good
Layout Artists
Robert Anderson
Wade Childress
Roman Figun
Craig McGillivray
Stephen Moros
Mark Sanford
Adam Schnitzer
Derek Williams
Additional Layout
Stephanie Andrews
Christine Z. Chang
Kevin Edwards
Ross Stevenson
Matt Uhry
Layout/Set Dressing TD
Brad Winemiller
Daniel Campbell
Second Editor
Robert Grahamjones
Additional Editing
James Austin Stewart
Ken Schretzmann
Richard Halsey
Mildred Iatrou
Editorial Co-ordinator
Anne Pia
Editorial Department Manager
Lindsey Collins
Art Department Co-ordinator
Jen Kinavey
Art Department Manager
Matt White
Shading Supervisor
Brad West
Art Director - Shading
Bryn Imagire
Shading Artists
John B. Anderson
David Batte
Kirk Bowers
Kevin Edwards
Mark Fontana
Michael Fu
Larry Gritz
Ben Jordan
Michael R. King
Stephen King
Andrew Kinney
Ana Lacaze
Daniel McCoy
Eileen O'Neill
Keith Olenick
John Singh Pottebaum
Mitch Prater
Guido Quaroni
Brian M. Rosen
Steve Upstill
David Valdez
John Warren
Additional Modelling/Shading
Michael Fong
Patrick James
Steve May
Steve McGrath
Tim Milliron
Cynthia 'Kiki' Pettit
James Rose
Human Team Lead TD
Lisa Forssell
Mitch Prater
Human Modelling/Shading Team
Jason Bickerstaff
Lawrence D. Cutler
Mark Fontana
Ben Jordan
Leo Hourvitz
Sonoko Konishi
Michael Krummhoefener
Guido Quaroni
John Warren
Kimberly White
Adam Woodbury
Sketch Artists
Randy Berrett
Mark Holmes
Dan Lee
Nathaniel McLaughlin
Paul Mica
Laura Phillips
Jeff Sangalli
Gary Schultz
Bud Thon
Set Dressing Supervisor
David Eisenmann
Norm DeCarlo
Jerome Ranft
New Character Designs
Randy Berrett
Ash Brannon
Colin Brady
Jill Culton
Dan Lee
Bud Luckey
Nathaniel McLaughlin
Ken Mitchroney
Jim Pearson
Visual Development
Sean Hargreaves
Dave Gordon
Harley Jessup
Title Design
Susan Bradley
Optical Titles
Buena Vista Imaging
Jonathan Sacks
Ira Hearshen
Randy Newman
Additional Arrangements
Bruno Coon
Executive Music Producer
Chris Montan
Music Production Director
Andrew Page
Music Production Manager
Tom MacDougall
Music Production Co-ordinator
Deniece LaRocca
Supervising Music Editor
Bruno Coon
Music Editor
Lisa Jaime
Temp Music Editors
David Slusser
Barney Jones
Music Recordist/Mixer
Frank Wolf
Additional Recording
Greg Reely
"Woody's Roundup" Theme Song by Randy Newman, performed by Riders in the Sky; "When She Loved Me" by Randy Newman, performed by Sarah McLachlan; "You've Got a Friend in Me" by Randy Newman, performed by (1 - 'Wheezy's Version') Robert Goulet, (2 - instrumental version) Tom Scott
Sound Design
Gary Rydstrom
Sound Supervisors
Gary Rydstrom
Tom Myers
Additional Dialogue Recording
Bob Baron
Bill Higley
John McGleenan
Brian Reed
Re-recording Mixers
Gary Rydstrom
Gary Summers
Original Dialogue Mixer
Doc Kane
Ronald G. Roumas
Mix Technicians
Jurgen Scharpf
Juan Peralta
Supervising Sound Editor
Michael Silvers
Temp Sound Editor
Rona Michele
Sound Effects Editors
Teresa Eckton
Shannon Mills
Dennie Thorpe
Jana Vance
Frank 'Pepe' Merel
Tony Eckert
Mary Helen Leasman
Susan Sanford
Supervising Technical Director
Galyn Susman
Technical Directors
Oren Jacob
Larry Aupperle
Voice Cast
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Buzz Lightyear
Joan Cusack
Kelsey Grammer
Stinky Pete the Prospector
Don Rickles
Mr Potato Head
Jim Varney
Slinky Dog
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Annie Potts
Bo Peep
Wayne Knight
Al McWhiggin
John Morris
Laurie Metcalf
Andy's mom
Estelle Harris
Mrs Potato Head
R. Lee Ermey
Jodi Benson
Jonathan Harris
The Cleaner
Joe Ranft
Andrew Stanton
Emperor Zurg
Jeff Pidgeon
Jack Angel
Bob Bergen
Mary Kay Bergman
Sheryl Bernstein
Rodger Bumpass
Corey Burton
Rachel Davey
Debi Derryberry
Jessica Evans
Bill Farmer
Pat Fraley
Jess Harnell
John Lasseter
Nicolette Little
Sherry Lynn
Mickie McGowan
Andi Peters
Jeff Pidgeon
Phil Proctor
Jan Rabson
Carly Schroeder
Madylin Sweeten
Hannah Unkrich
Lee Unkrich
additional voices
Buena Vista International (UK)
8,527 feet
94 minutes 45 seconds
Dolby digital surrounf EX/Digital DTS sound/SDDS
In Colour
Prints by
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011