Toy Story 2

Dir: John Lasseter
Star: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger

This arrived, with much ballyhoo at the Odeon Leicester Square as the first digital projected film in this country: no film, just a hard disk. It's really a gimmick, no better (as yet) than film, and a lot more expensive, though I'm sure screenings will eventually be interrupted, not by the print jamming in the projectors, but by a General Protection Error. As for the film; it's less startling an experience then the first since technology has slowly advanced rather than making a great leap. Mind you, some scenes are clearly just showing off: a sequence involving hundreds of bouncing balls reminded me of some of the 3-D stuff in House of Wax for sheer gratuitous trickery. But these are minor gripes: the strength in all of Lasseter's work, back to Luxo Jr., is the characterisation, and that's as spot-on as ever.

The story is a little sameish - once again, a toy must be rescued from the clutches of an evil human, in this case a store owner intent on exporting Woody to Japan. But it's hard to complain, with so much else to appreciate that several viewings are almost essential. Classic one-liners, nods to Jurassic Park and the Star Wars trilogy, vicious jabs at obsessive collectors, deft switches from comedy to pathos, and the now-traditional (well, twice!) Pixar out-takes, help ensure there'll be fewer more entertaining movies this year.


The toys are back in town
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