To Infinity & Beyond

The secret life of toys: With the 1995 Pixar animated classic “Toy Story,” Meridian Parks & Recreation’s free Outdoor Movie Night at the John A. Lomax Amphitheater returns on Memorial Day

MERIDIAN – Little does Andy know that all his toys come to life when he leaves the room. The seven-year-old’s favorite play thing Woody, is a cowboy doll with a pull-string-activated voice. But on his birthday, enter Buzz Lightyear, a Space Ranger, Universe Protection Unit astronaut with voice recordings, a laser and retractable wings, who lives in the illusion he is real.

Woody becomes intensely jealous when Andy picks Buzz over him as his favorite toy. But, when the toys are separated from their home during a relocation, a truce is formed between them all in an effort to journey home, with all sorts of adventures, including being held captive by the scary strange and terrorizing neighbor Sid and his manic bull terrier Scud.

Meridian Parks and Recreation invites people out for its free Outdoor Movie Night at the John A. Lomax Amphitheater in Meridian Park on Memorial Day, Monday May 29 at 8 p.m. to take off on an adventure to the stars and beyond with the highly entertaining 1995 Pixar animated movie Toy Story, with the voices of Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear and Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head.

Utilizing a state-of-the-art sound system, enjoy some music beginning at approximately an hour before show time at 7 p.m. And just like an actual movie theatre, Meridian Parks and Recreation offers previews and a cartoon before the main feature. As always, free hotdogs, popcorn, assorted treats and water will be available while supplies last. It’s a perfect way to start the summer vacation.

A collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, the movie was the first ever fully computer-animated motion picture. It was the first animated film in Oscar history to be nominated for a Best Screenplay Academy Award. It also received nominations for Best Music, Original Song. Randy Newman supplied the popular opening song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” As the final credits roll, the song is reprised, with the addition of Lyle Lovett. 

Director John Lasseter received a Special Achievement Award for the development and inspired application of techniques that made the first feature-length computer-animated film possible. The G-rated film became 1995’s the highest-grossing movie. At 81 minutes, Pixar’s first feature is the shortest Toy Story movie, and the shortest Pixar movie to date.

Toy Story is a marvel because it harnesses its flashy technology to a very human wit, rich characters and a perception no computer could think of: that toys, indeed, are us,” Newsweek’s film critic David Ansen said.

The wonderfully entertaining movie for all ages received 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer based on 96 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes is a movie reviews website. It ranks sixth on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Animation."

“Children will enjoy a new take on the irresistible idea of toys coming to life,” New York Times’ Janet Maslin said. “Adults will marvel at a witty script and utterly brilliant anthropomorphism.”

Lasseter, who also directed the beloved animated movie Cars, directed and co-wrote the movie. The theme of Andy favoring spaceman Buzz (a spaceman) over cowboy Woody illustrates a cultural phenomenon of the 1950s where kids generally wanted to be cowboys. But with the launch of Sputnik and the subsequent space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, more kids wanted to grow up to be astronauts and abandoned their cowboy fantasies.

What attracted Tom Hanks to the role of Woody was the fact that, during his childhood, he would always wonder if his toys were alive and moved around when nobody was in his room. What attracted Tim Allen to the role of Buzz Lightyear was the fact that, before him, they offered the role to his biggest influence in his career, Chevy Chase, who turned it down.

Billy Crystal was originally also offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined. After seeing the finished film, Crystal said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career.


©2023 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: