In 1995, audiences were amazed when Pixar released its first full length computer animated film, Toy Story. Overnight the country was swept up in Toy Story mania and its merchandise was in the hands of small children everywhere. At the time I was far too “mature” for childish cartoons and didn’t see it. Later, when I finally did see the movie, I was captivated. This wasn’t a cartoon made only for children, it was a family fun film for all ages to enjoy and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
It wasn’t just the technological advances of this movie that amazed me but the colorful cast of characters and the witty storyline as well. The creators of Toy Story expertly crafted a world of imagination using the latest CGI animation (Computer Generated Imagery) about a boy named Andy whose toys only pretend to be lifeless when people are around. If you haven’t seen Toy Story, I promise it will keep you laughing on the edge of your seat and wanting more.
In my opinion, Toy Story set a precedent for most CGI films made today with their endearing characters and heartwarming adventures that appeal to all ages. These feel-great films not only make us laugh, they inspire us with hope and courage, and try to teach us to live our lives with compassion and understanding in our hearts. They also remind us that despite adversity, we should always believe in ourselves.
The Oliver Wolcott Library has all three Toy Story movies and an extensive collection of computer animated films, from the “classics” to new releases for all ages to enjoy. Here are just a few of my favorites.
In Toy Story, a vintage pull string cowboy named Woody is Andy’s favorite toy until the hottest new toy on the market, Buzz Lightyear, joins the playroom. When an outing to the Pizza Planet restaurant goes disastrously wrong, Woody and Buzz find themselves in the hands of the toy-torturing boy next door. With time running out, Woody and Buzz must learn how to work together in order to escape and rejoin the playroom before Andy’s family moves to their new home across town.
In Toy Story 2, Woody discovers that he is a valuable collectible from the 1950’s Woody’s Roundup TV Show after he is toy-napped by a greedy collector. While in captivity, Woody meets the Roundup gang for the first time; Jessie the yodeling cowgirl, his horse Bullseye, and Stinky Pete the Prospector who are all about to be sold to a toy museum in Japan. Now it’s up to Buzz and the rest of the toys to plan a daring rescue mission before Woody is gone forever.
In Toy Story 3, Andy is preparing to leave for college with Woody when the rest of his toys who were meant for storage accidentally find themselves curbside. With nowhere else to go, Andy’s “unloved” toys decide to donate themselves to Sunnyside Daycare. Appearances can be deceiving when Andy’s toys find themselves under the “care” of Lotso bear who is the self-proclaimed boss of all the Sunnyside toys. This time, Woody rushes to save his friends from Lotso, the rough playing toddlers, and to convince them that Andy never meant to abandon them.
Finding Nemo– When a young clown fish named Nemo gets captured by a scuba diver on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, his over protective father, Marlin, immediately sets off on a rescue mission to save his only son. Along the way, Marlin befriends a blue fish with no short term memory named Dory. Laughs ensue as Marlin and Dory encounter vegetarian sharks, stinger jellyfish, surfer turtles, and hungry seagulls as they venture across the open ocean to save Nemo who is having an adventure of his own.
Surf’s up– This documentary style animated film tells the story of a young hotheaded Antarctic penguin named Cody whose greatest ambition is to win the Big Z Memorial surfing contest on beautiful Pen Gu Island. Along the way he falls hopelessly in love, challenges the top penguin to a surfing duel, and meets a washed up old surfer who may just teach him that a true winner doesn’t always come in first place.
Puss in Boots– It’s not easy to resist the charms of Puss in Boots; he’s a suave, sword fighting, milk-loving kitty with Antonio Banderas’s voice. In this adventure, Puss in Boots teams up with Kitty Softpaws and Humpty Dumpty to steal the Goose that lays the golden eggs. In the end, will Puss in Boots become the hero his hometown so desperately needs or remain an outlaw forever?
Pixar Animated Short Films volume 1– This collection contains thirteen entertaining short films including my personal favorite Lifted. When a nervous alien is taking his final exam on human abduction techniques with a million and one controls before him, everything that can go wrong will go wrong.
In the near future, we can all look forward to new CGI adventures including the sequels to Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. Despicable Me, and Rio. In the meantime, come and browse through OWL’s extensive collection of computer animated films available in the Children’s DVD collection or ask the friendly OWL staff for assistance. If you have your library card number and password handy you can use the easy access quick links below to reserve any of these family fun films for pick up right at the circulation desk.
The Adventures of Tintin, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel, Alvin and the Chipmunks Chipwrecked, Arthur Christmas, Astro Boy, Brave, Bee Movie, Cars, Cars 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Despicable Me, Disco Worms, Happy Feet, Happy Feet Two, Hop, How to Train your Dragon, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Incredibles, Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape to Africa, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Mars Needs Moms!, Meet the Robinsons, Megamind, Missing Lynx, Monsters Inc., Monsters vs. Aliens, Open Season 2, Open Season 3, Over the Hedge, Pixar Animated Short Films volume 2, Rango, Rio, Shark Tale, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, The Tale of Despereaux,Tangled, Up, Wall-E, and Wreck it Ralph.
–Tricia is the Library Assistant and Publicity Coordinator for the Oliver Wolcott Library.