Some films are just impossible to evaluate with any kind of objectivity. For me, Toy Story is one of those movies; when that Randy Newman theme kicks in I’m transported back to my youth in a nostalgic rush.
Even when trying to view the film with a critical eye, it holds up pretty damn well. The Joss Whedon-helmed screenplay still feels fresh and funny, full of cleverly-executed jokes grounded in character and circumstance. Seen with adult eyes, it’s an impressive amalgam of classic cinematic stories: sure, it’s primarily a buddy comedy, but it also gets to revel in action and horror movie tropes (the first scene in Sid’s bedroom is still proper scary), car chases (except one car is remote-controlled and the other is a dog) and even a pitch-perfect heist plot. The core buddy comedy is elevated by the flaws defining protagonists Woody and Buzz; the former filled with jealous insecurity (something any child can relate to), the latter a paragon of arrogance torn down by the devastating revelation that his self-perception doesn’t match reality (a very grown-up realisation).
Toy Story might be an important part of my childhood, but nostalgic glow or not it’s simply a great film.