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Toy Story 2

Directors:John Lasseter and Ash Brannon
Writers:John Lasseter, Peter Docter, Ash Brannon, Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlain, and Chris Webb
Disney; G; 92 minutes
Release:11/99
Voices of:Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Estelle Harris, Jodi Benson, Laurie Metcalf, John Ratzenberger, Wayne Knight, Annie Potts

Believe it or not, Toy Story 2 actually surpasses the original Toy Story, both in storytelling and technology. Borrowing from the bag of tricks that made Pixar's second full-length feature, A Bug's Life, such a visual wonder, TS2 reveals more textured, lifelike skin and hair on the human and animal characters (Andy's dog Buster has 4 million hairs) and more emotive expressions. Improved shading technology makes Woody's pants look like real jeans. The appearance of dust bunnies, the fuzzy little critters that hide under beds, are considered a major accomplishment. The characters this time around reveal an even more profound depth of character, experiencing the pain of having love and lost.

TS2 introduces a toybox-full of new characters to the big screen, including the much-anticipated feature debut of Barbie, voiced by The Little Mermaid's Jodi Benson, Wayne Knight as greedy toy collector Al McWhiggin, Estelle Harris as the irrepressible Mrs. Potato Head, Joan Cusack as the tormented Jesse the Cowgirl, Kelsey Grammer as Stinky Pete the Prospector, and Joe Ranft as Wheezy the Penguin.

As in the original, TS2 features a rescue mission, but this time the roles are reversed and it's up to Buzz to save the day. When Andy heads to Cowboy Camp, he leaves his toys to fend for themselves, and an obsessed toy-store owner, Al McWhiggin kidnaps Woody. As it turns out, Woody is a remnant of a 1950's television show, Woody's Roundup,and worth a hatful of money.

While in captivity, Woody meets other collectibles from the show: Jesse the Cowgirl, an emotional tour de force; Bullseye the Horse; Stinky Pete the Prospector. With his collection now complete, Al plans to pack up the toys and send them to a museum in Japan. With the clock ticking, Buzz leads the search-and-retrieve mission that takes him and his army of toys through a crowded downtown, in and out of Al's well-stocked Toy Barn, his Art Deco apartment, and a chaotic airport baggage area.

The film took in an unprecedented $80.8 million in its five-day opening weekend, becoming another digital dynamo.


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