Top Movies Of The 1990's: #69 Toy Story
Box Office: $223.5 Million
Oscar Nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song
Oscar Wins: Special Achievement
Available To Stream: Disney+
I don't like cartoons. This will be the only animated movie on the list. I get some people think Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Lion King need to be on here but I've just never been a fan of cartoons especially movies. Growing up as a kid in the 1980's, the best movies for kids weren't drawn. We were much more likely to watch live action movies. In the 80's, you had Ghostbusters, Back To The Future, Gremlins, Goonies and then factor in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.
There are exceptions of course like An American Tail and The Land Before Time but for the most part, kids in the 80's weren't watching cartoons in the movie theaters. So I just never had that connection to them. By the time Disney had their renaissance starting with The Little Mermaid, I was much more excited to see Batman (which came out the same year).
Having said all of that, Toy Story is a really entertaining movie. Because they use older toys, it hits for many different generations. It's a brilliant concept that is so well executed. My only issue with the movie itself is they spend far too long at the bully Sid's house. It drags the movie down. The best thing about Toy Story is all the toys interacting with all the other toys.
It's also a huge move to get Tim Allen and especially Tom Hanks at their absolute peak. Allen was in the middle of Home Improvement's run and had just had the massive hit The Santa Clause come out a year earlier. That's nothing compared to Hanks had just won two Best Actor Oscars in a row! Mix in a really interesting group of supporting actors to play the other toys like Don RIckles, John Ratzenberger and Annie Potts and you have one of the greatest voice casts ever.
The reasons I don't have this movie higher on the list is the same issues with most cartoons: the story is predictable. I don't like rom-coms for the same reason. I don't find comfort in a rehashing of the same beats over and over again. The second you press play when watching this, you know it's going to have a happy ending. That may be an unfair critique on a movie built for children but it does effect my enjoyment of the movie. This came out when I was 16. I have no emotional or nostalgic tie to the film itself so I judge it only on it's merits.
If someone told me this was a Top 10 movie of the 1990's (and many people feel that way), I'd obviously disagree strongly but I'd also understand on some level. This is a brilliantly made movie. Pixar created a very successful franchise by establishing such a fun world. It even won a Special Achievement Oscar because it was so revolutionary. It's gotten to the point 27 years later where traditional drawn cartoons feel old-fashioned. Before Toy Story, that's all there was. It's the cartoon version of going from black and white to color. It doesn't take long to not even think about black and white anymore.
Toy Story might be the most innovative movie of the 1990's. But there are 68 movies I enjoy watching more.
69. Toy Story
70. Home Alone
71. Jerry Maguire
73. Billy Madison
74. Apollo 13
77. Cape Fear
83. Total Recall
84. Quiz Show
87. Men In Black
95. Dirty Work
98. Any Given Sunday