What everyone has suspected all along has now been verified. When left alone, toys come to life. "Toy Story", a collaboration between Disney and technical pioneer Pixar, is the world's first full-length, fully-computer-animated film. Don't be fooled by clips where the toys are cavorting outdoors; every detail in every frame existed inside of a computer before it was transferred to film. What has been achieved is nothing short of remarkable. Without Disney's help, though, it might have been one of those intricate wonders that dazzles but doesn't really entertain. With Disney's help it emerges as a satisfying character piece built around an enjoyable plot.
Woody (Tom Hanks), a traditional pull-string talking cowboy, is the undisputed king of the toys as the film opens. Soon, a new toy comes along that steals the heart of their young owner. This new toy is a Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) action figure with buttons aplenty and a wrist laser. The only thing is, he doesn't know he's a toy. The two find themselves almost immediately at odds but realize that they must work together when they get stranded far from home.
Although a bit on the sterile side when compared to the warmth of a traditionally animated film like "The Lion King", "Toy Story" nevertheless creates its own special kind of magic. With songs by Randy Newman and a supporting cast that includes Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, and Jim Varney, this enormous achievement is also enormously entertaining.