Toy Story is 21 years old this year. Pixar’s first feature film is still a family favourite, and is soon to get it’s 4th film. Yes that’s right, Tom Hanks confirmed nearly two years ago that Toy Story was happening again, and this year it was confirmed the story would centre around Woody and Bo Peep! Out of all the pixar films, Toy Story is one of the best, but why is it still so popular? What is it about these characters that are so attractive to children, and adults?
Before Toy Story and before Pixar made a name for itself, Disney was riding a massive wave of success from The Lion King! I had the toys, the lunchbox, stationary for school, a bed set and pyjamas. I remember it being very popular among my friends, and my family. But 21 years on from when I saw it, is it still as popular? Are children attracted to it as much as I was? In my opinion, I would say more children have watched Toy Story than The Lion King now a-days.
I have put The Lion King on for Jacob, thinking the bright colours, animals and music would be very attractive to him. But to my disappointment, he didn’t last two minutes watching it. He was very quickly distracted with playing with toys, than sitting and watching Simba sing “I’m gona be a mighty king…”
Yet, if I put on ANY of the Toy Story movies, Jacob will sit quietly with his head looking up at the TV, and watch from start to finish! If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you might have seen a couple of pics of him watching it. And today, we took him into the Disney Store, and low and behold, he found the Toy Story section and grabbed Buzz and Woody. It was very tempting to let him have them, but we managed to get them off him without a scene. We know what Santa’s bringing Jacob this year tho! And his cousin Zach, who also loves watching the films. It’s the only movies my sister can put on to keep him quiet.
So why Toy Story and not The Lion King? I know they are two very different stories, and different form of animation, but The Lion King has a lot of music, and it’s talking animals. Could it really be the simple lines and shapes of the toys that attracts Jacob to Toy Story? Both films are colourful. Both films are male dominated.
Do you think my 18 month old son understands that the characters in Toy Story are in fact toys, and loves the idea of them coming to life when Andy leaves the room? I guess i’ll find out Jacob’s reason for loving Toy Story when he can talk and tell me why.
Like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is to The Walt Disney company, Toy Story is the first and timeless classic of Pixar’s. Walt Disney chose his first feature animation very wisely, and it paid off. John Lassater wrote and created Toy Story without any knowledge or idea it would become the success that it did, and that it still is. Probably why he is in charge of both the Walt Disney and Pixar animation studios.
Ben and I can’t wait to take Jacob to the cinema to see Toy Story 4, when it’s released in 2018! It may just be the first movie we go to see in the cinema as a family, which would make it extra special!
I am trying out other films, as watching Toy Story 1, 2 & 3 every day can be hard work lol. So far, he likes Monster’s Inc, Zootopia, Meet the Robinsons, Pete’s Dragon (the original) and the singing parts in Mary Poppins. Some Disney’s i’ve been surprised that he has not sat and watched, like The Lion King, Bolt, and Robin Hood. There’s still time though… He may appreciate them a bit better when he’s a bit older. I’ll have to listen to “you got a friend in me…” that little bit longer!
Whatever the reason for Toy Story’s attraction to my son and it’s success, I’m just glad the rest of the members in our family enjoy watching them. Woody and Buzz have been in our lives for about a month or two now, and it looks as though they are going to be around for a while!
Do you know a baby/toddler who has a favourite Disney/Pixar film? Did you have a fav when you were Jacob’s age?
“To infinity and beyond!”