I absolutely loved Toy Story when it came out. It was so novel. I remember watching it with my dad and my siblings. Even now watching them I get filled with nostalgia.
But what I am realising, watching the older movies with my kids is that not all of them are actually that appropriate. There are awful plots filled with really scary villains, dark and flashing scenes. Have you seen the original Dumbo lately, it’s awful!! I had to turn it off.
With Toy Story 4 due to release in 2019, I’m looking back through the Toy Story movies to work out if they’re actually suitable for kids. Over the next three weeks, I’m going to share a movie review a week so you can catch up in time.
I’m going to start at the very beginning – Toy Story 1 and then work my way through the two others. If you’re going to watch Toy Story 4, like I sure am, you’re going to need to know whether you can show your kids the precursors.
Toy Story 1 – Toy Story
“You got a friend in me…“
Can you believe Toy Story was released in 1995. 1995! That’s almost 25 years ago!!!
But despite how long ago it was, who could ever forget that iconic song sung in the deep voice of Randy Newman. It really does set the scene of the movie. Can you tell how nostalgic I’m getting!
Moving on, I’m going to touch on the plot of the movie, hopefully without giving too much away. Then proceed on to the good and the bad and finally the age recombination for the movie.
The story focuses around the toys that belong to a boy named Andy. Andy’s favourite toy is a cowboy called Woody. Woody is the de factor leader of all the other toys and keeps an eye out for them and maintains some level of order in the bedroom.
All is well until the arrival of another toy. A far superior toy. A toy that thinks he can fly. Enter Buzz Lightyear.
Now Buzz Lightyear is taking centre stage in the bedroom, much to Woody’s frustration. Poor Woody gets so overcome with jealousy that he accidentally knocks Buzz Lightyear out the window.
Buzz Lightyear survives the outdoors but him and Woody have a showdown which leaves them stranded away from home and not sure how to get back.
The movie follows the adventure of the two toys trying to get back to the safety of Andy’s bedroom.
I’ve left a whole lot of the finer details of the plot out so that you will “enjoy” it whether you’ve not seen it before or whether you haven’t seen it in years.
Oh the characters are just marvellous and there is someone who represents everyone. There is the sweet and motherly Bo-Pepp, the scared dinosaur, the slightly irritable Mr Potato-head.
With the individual characters and their personality traits the movie explores how different situations cause different reactions and how those characters work to overcome some of those emotions and obstacles.
You watch as Woody grapples with his intense jealousy and then his guilt. Buzz Lightyear has to learn to deal with the disappointment of not being a real astronaut.
The main theme of the movie has to be friendship and how the two very different characters become friends. They realise that they have to work together to get home, rely on each other and sometimes
The downside to many children’s movies (except Charlie Brown which is virtually a perfect movie) are the baddies or the villains.
In this movie the villain is Sid, the brat who lives next door to Andy who spends time in his backyard trying to destroy toys. Given how the movie humanises toys, it can be quiet scary watching this child try burn a toy.
Not only do you see Sid trying to hurt toys, you also see the products of his labour. In one scene 3/4 of the way through the movie all the toys he has injured come together, one of which is a dolls head stuck onto some metal legs. My daughter absolutely hates this part. All these toys, despite their impediments help Woody and Buzz but visually they are NOT appealing.
To a lesser degree, and my kids have never been worried about this aspect, is the issue of separation. When the toys get separated from Andy and panic about how to get home may cause some children concern. I think that what helps alleviate this is that a) the toys are together and b) there is fun and humour in the adventure of returning to Andy.
I would think that out of all the Toy Story movies, this is definitely the least scary of the lot and would be my go to for younger kids. It’s also a relatively easy story line to follow as there is one main plot throughout without distracting sub-plots.
My son has been watching them since he was little but I know that some of the parts require a bit of distraction on my part. I think he has been watching it since he was 2 or 3. My daughter on the other hand wouldn’t watch it until 3 and a half because of Sid.
To be safe, I would say that the movie is suitable for 3 year olds plus as long as you are with them during the next door neighbour scene.