Making the Grades
When you were a teenager, you probably drove too fast, stayed up too late, and even worse - discarded some of your best friends. Whether it was a teddy bear or a favorite doll, Toy Story 2 will bring back all those sentimental feelings, with a little guilt and regret mixed into a load of laughter.
When Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) is stolen from a yard sale he was accidentally placed in, his friends Buzz Lightyear (voice of Tim Allen), Hamm (voice of John Ratzenberger), Mr. Potato Head (voice of Don Rickles), Slinky Dog (voice of Jim Varney) and Rex (voice of Wallace Shawn), mount a rescue mission. They will overcome any obstacle to free their friend from Big Al (voice of Wayne Knight), the owner of a huge warehouse toy store who recognized Woody as the prized item he needed to complete a deal with a toy museum in Japan.
Locked in Al's apartment, Woody discovers he's a part of the Roundup Gang. At first Woody just wants to go home, but the other Roundup members, Prospector Stinky Pete (voice of Kelsey Grammer), a horse named Bullseye, and Jessie (voice of Joan Cusack), a wiry cowgirl, try to convince him to stay by showing him tapes of the 1950's television show that made them famous. Woody becomes star-struck and considering the probability of Andy abandoning him in the near future, decides "Why not become a famous toy that's on display for the world to see?"
Like the first effort, this sequel works its comic magic in a way that is equally entertaining to children and adults. (those of us who are husbands can relate to the caring Mrs. Potato Head packing her husband an extra set of "angry eyes" to scare Big Al.) It plays on the "natural" humor that evolves as such a diverse set of characters interact, along with superb writing, pacing, and animation.
The toys of Toy Story 2 demonstrate wonderful work together attitudes. The difficult decision Woody is forced to make brings additional depth to this hilarious film. It is everything a real family movie should be. But be warned, your children may be reluctant to part with their toys.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Toy Story 2.
Woody must decide between the Roundup Gang and a predictable life of safety in a museum, or going home to good friends and accepting an uncertain future. Like Woody, there are times in our lives when we want to take the "safe" way out, rather than facing what we really need to do. Encourage your children to make a list of their greatest fears. Now make another list of things they can do to overcome obstacles that are holding them back from reaching their goals.