Pixar Rewatch: “Toy Story” | “A Bug’s Life”

Welcome! In lieu of the release of Lightyear — ah, who am I kidding? My wife and I started rewatching Pixar from the beginning, and I want to talk about it.

Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story is a radical achievement in filmmaking — the first ever 3D computer animated movie.

The animation may not have aged like a fine wine (Sid’s dog didn’t look the best, and Molly’s hair was, well, something), but this movie absolutely was a perfect storm.

It was *this close* to being a raunchy animated movie that totally would’ve tanked; they didn’t go that way (at least mostly didn’t) and it’s amazing that it turned out so well.

That being said, it’s not my favorite. As much as I love Tom Hanks, Woody is annoying as all get out in this movie. “Strange Things” is somehow both awesome and annoying as a montage. Buzz is impeccable, but even his space ranger beliefs are a little obnoxious at points.

The movie really sits on Buzz and his story. This scene where Buzz sees the commercial,

“*Not a flying toy”

And then Buzz tries to fly and Randy Newman’s music SWINGS back in! Incredible.

Then Woody and Buzz reconciling their differences is fantastic. All in all, it’s not the best, but the cast is great and it paved the way for a generation of awesome stories to come.

Underrated Character

Hands down it’s Rex. I love Rex, he’s hilarious.

A Bug’s Life (1998)

A Bug’s Life is…

… something. I’m really skittish on bugs/spiders, but I’ll try to keep that from my thoughts here.

I really like the early creativity Pixar had in making movies, just using these way, far out there ideas. Yet, they’re still movies that are grounded in family ties, aspirations, and journeys. It’s a wholesome vibe.

There’s definitely some repeat of the Toy Story formula here by casting famous actors of the day. Dave Foley of many things plays Flik, Julia Louis-Drefus of Seinfeld fame plays Princess Atta, David Hyde-Pierce of Frasier plays Slim, Denis Leary plays Francis, Brad Garrett as Dim, and so on.

The tale of Flik is a familiar one, but maybe it trail-blazed the way for so many we’ve had in my generation?

I love the Magnificent-Seven-but-with-bugs story. But essentially, I have to point it out, this movie’s plot is almost entirely moved by things being ruined by P.T. Flea:

  • Burns down circus
  • Calls out the “warrior heroes” as circus clowns
  • Burns up the ant’s Trojan horse aka the fake bird (that’s right I understand parallels)

That all being said, it’s fun and a solid second entry for Pixar. I also love a good pun, of which this movie makes a great many. 6/10.

(Should mention that this is the first Pixar movie to have animated outtakes which is so good! Such a funny concept. I have thoughts on this one though, more on that next time)

Underrated Character

Slim is hilarious. So many stick/sword/pole puns. And Niles from Frasier as a stick bug? We love to see it.

  1. Toy Story
  2. A Bug’s Life

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Marketer, Writer, National Park Junkie, Podcaster. Drinks too much coffee.

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Spencer Price

Spencer Price

Marketer, Writer, National Park Junkie, Podcaster. Drinks too much coffee.

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