Toy Story 2

I hung around the library for a while, listening to Top 10 songs from 1964 to 1967 and thinking about whether I could put together Ethan Hawkes’ Black Album from the tracks I have on my computer.  I returned home and watched “Toy Story 2.”  I think I’ve seen the first movie only once, and so whatever references were made to it in this one aren’t exactly fresh in my mind.  Besides other Pixar films, I did notice references to the Star Wars films, “Jurassic Park,” and “Goldfinger.”  The whole idea of the contemplation of immortality vs. love made me think of “Wings of Desire,” or maybe a Twilight Zone episode.  I like the movie a lot, although I think they were a couple of slightly disturbing aspects to it.  The movie seems to be trying to make children feel guilty about growing up and losing interest in their old toys when they are just going through normal phases in life.  Also, the toys don’t have the full range of emotions and thoughts that real people have because they are projections from a child’s mind.  They are loyal friends, but if they were more like real people, they would be capable of darker, self-motivated feelings and actions.  I guess Stinky Pete is an exception because he is bitter for never being bought.  How would a toy maker ever think that kids would want a prospector doll in the first place?  It is a little bit disturbing that being shipped off to Japan is supposed to be some kind of scary, terrible fate, rather like a baseball player having to settle for Japan in place of the major leagues.  One of the highlights is the song “When She Loved Me,” which was on the soundtrack during the flashback showing Jessie’s past.  The character of Jessie was a good addition, although I thought it might be the beginning of love type of love triangle, although the writers couldn’t go forward with some of these ideas in a children’s film.  Joan Cusack’s voice gave Jessie great life, and at least a good contrast to Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.  I found it kind of interesting that the toys would know about machines in the real world, like elevators, cars, and airplanes.  I supposed they must have watched television a lot.  I questioned whether a guy like Al would have so many Buzz Lightyear action figures in his stock.  Looking back on these Pixar movies, you see parts of a moviemaking formula, like the sentimental and sad sequence, which we would see again in “Up,” and the runaway vehicle, which we would see again in “Finding Dory.”  Time has passed since this movie was released, and Jim Varney and Don Rickles have passed away.  As good as this sequel was, it didn’t stick in my memory for too long because it was the original that made an impression on me.  This was also the start of something I didn’t really want to see from Pixar, which was too many sequels.  The outtakes during the end credits were amusing, although I found it hard to believe that the animators put that much effort to making them.  Some of the people who died on July 13 include Arnold Schoenberg (1951), Frida Kahlo (1954), Red Buttons (2006), George Steinbrenner (2010), Thomas Berger (2014), and Hector Babenco (2016).  Today is a birthday for Cheech Marin (71), Harrison Ford (75), and Patrick Stewart (77).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 13, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” starring Burt Lancaster and Michael York,” was released in 1977.  In 1984, “The Muppets Take Manhattan” was released.  In 1988, “The Dead Pool,” the fifth Dirty Harry movie, was released.  In 2006, Red Buttons died at age 87.

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