We polled our entire team and ranked every Toy Story film across six categories. We weighted each category based on their overall value to the success of the movie.
Plot - 25%
Character Development - 20%
Villain - 20%
Humor - 12.5%
Intangibles - 12.5%
Supporting Cast - 10%
Film: Toy Story
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 100%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 92%
Opening Weekend: $29,140,617
Gross US: $191,796,233
Gross Worldwide: $373,554,033
Synopsis: A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.
Analysis: The idea of toys coming to life and seeing the world from their perspective is brilliant and hilarious, especially when looking at how they react at birthday parties. On top of that, the story is centered around the classic battle of cowboys vs. astronauts. Westerns vs. Sci-Fi. By the end, kids everywhere were guilted into taking extra special care of their toys and their parents rejoiced.
Analysis: Imagine believing you are an astronaut and the galaxy's top defender against evil, only to find out you are one of millions of identical pieces of plastic whose sole purpose is to entertain children. Buzz's mental breakdown, Mrs. Nesbitt split personality, and state of depression are completely justified and quite frankly, it's a miracle he was able to recover as quickly as he did. It's wild that Woody was able to sell Buzz on the idea that being a toy and source of happiness for a child for a few years is better than being a Space Ranger. Speaking of Woody, he had to learn to share Andy's attention after taking being his favorite toy for granted. Basically, he had a character arc similar to that of a toddler.
Bio: Andy's next-door neighbor. Has a younger sister named Hannah. Definitely didn't go to medical school.
Evil Plan: Sid has fun with his toys by blowing them up, ripping them apart, and reassembling them with different parts. Planned to strap Buzz to The Big One, a fireworks rocket, and send him flying off to his doom.
Analysis: Sid is the polar opposite to Andy, making him the perfect villain in the original film of this franchise. However, we can't help but wonder what might have happened in Sid's upbringing that made him this way. There is an abusive father theory out there, so there may be more depth to the character than we know. Or perhaps he's just a rotten apple. Either way, the skull t-shirt and evil laugh will always make Sid a memorable kid's movie villain.
Buzz, Your Girlfriend, Woof!
Courage the Cowardly Dinosaur
Green Man Group
Analysis: You would be hard-pressed to find a more iconic voice acting duo than Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woody and Buzz. We are also treated to the late, great Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head where they even work in one of Don's catchphrases, "what are you lookin' at, ya hockey puck?" Each character is lovable and charming in their own way and seeing them work together as a group, swoon over Buzz, turn on Woody, and come together closer than ever in the end is what gives this movie its heart and soul. Plus, since this is the first Pixar movie, this started John Ratzenberger's run of voicing a character in every one of their films. One of my favorite parts of a new Pixar film became listening for John's unmistakable voice.
Analysis: The writers did a great job of capitalizing on every opportunity to work the toys and their characteristics into jokes to give the film its comedic flair. Some of the best examples of this are seen in the staff meeting scene in which Woody discusses "Tuesday night's plastic corrosion awareness meeting" and Mr. Potato Head removes his lips to imply Slink is kissing Woody's butt. There are also more subtle and slightly darker comedic elements for the adults such as the carpet in Sid's house resembling the carpet from The Shining.
Analysis: This little studio called Pixar made a hopping lamp one of the cutest things ever, so you knew they were destined for greatness. The unique art style and charm blew us away the first time we saw Toy Story and those same feelings come back every time we watch it again. You Got A Friend In Me became an instant classic song as well. If the feels was a physical part of your body, Pixar would hit it with the power and consistency of Muhammad Ali.
Analysis: Pixar's first feature film is still one of its best. Toy Story set the tone for what it means to be a Pixar movie. The laughs, the emotions, the unparalleled animation. Around the same time that Toy Story came out, Disney was still releasing some of its biggest two-dimensional animated hits (Pocahontas was months prior and Hercules and Mulan were 2-3 years AFTER), so our minds could hardly even comprehend what Pixar was doing in 1995. To infinity and beyond.
Image Credits: Disney