I remember going to see the first Toy Story and just walking out stunned. I saw it five or six times in the theater. I couldn’t get over the computer animation. It was stunning, even though they couldn’t do a tenth of the things they can do now. But it was more than that: the movie was amazing. All kids believe their toys have lives of their own when they shut the playroom door. That Pixar was able to take that concept and weave a story that touched and amused all ages was the beginning of what we know now is their formula for success. Woody and Buzz are the two most iconic characters added to the Disney canon since Mickey and Donald. For kids born in the last twenty years, they’re much MORE important than Mickey and Donald.
There are so many great scenes in the film. I came down to this and the scene at the gas station where Woody is screaming at Buzz that he’s a toy and Buzz treats him like someone off his meds. However, I love the squeezy zealots. Love them. The idea that they live in the prize machine and have developed a cult based upon worship of the claw still slays me. Nearly 20 years and it’s still as good as the first time I saw it.