the Toy Story franchise is a beloved series of movies as both kids and adults have learned to love this group of toys. While Pixar has plenty of other properties, Toy Story will always be its baby and Pixar treats it with care. Now, with light yearthe franchise is beginning to expand into spinoffs and possibly other endeavors.
However, it’s hard to beat the main franchise as each entry managed to create emotional stories with old and new characters. They’re all pretty great, but everyone has their own ranking for the Toy Story movies, now with light year included. Here is a ranking of the Toy Story movies from worst to best.
5. Light Year
light year is a rare misstep for Pixar as it bombed in its 2022 theatrical run. However, the movie isn’t bad. In fact, if it was made by any other studio not named Pixar, it would be considered one of their best movies.
light year stars Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear and labels itself as the movie that the toy is based on. After being marooned on a strange planet, Buzz goes on a mission to find a way home. Lightyear is an entertaining sci-fi adventure that plays around with interesting ideas. It’s basically Pixar’s mash-up of Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It has a solid voice cast and Evans does a great job of making Buzz his own without copying Tim Allen. what light year really lacks is the emotional heart that the Toy Story movies have. It has it in the beginning but loses it as the movie goes on. Again, this is a solid animated adventure from Pixar, but it never makes you as invested as the other movies do.
4.Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 had a difficult task as many felt Toy Story 3 was a perfect ending. This entry basically ends up being dessert: you don’t need it, but it’s still delicious. In Toy Story 4, Woody (Tom Hanks) goes on a new adventure to bring Bonnie’s new toy, Forky (Tony Hale), back home. Along the way, Woody also bumps into Bo Peep (Annie Potts) who shows him that not having a kid may not be as scary as it seems.
Toy Story 4 still manages to have a lot of the heart that had the previous three. It’s a charming story with wonderful new characters including the hilarious Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) and Duke Kaboom (Keanu Reeves). It also leaves the franchise on a good note, leaving Woody and his friends in a good place.
The movie does focus more on Woody, which means many of the classic characters end up getting sidelined. It’s still another wonderful Toy Story movie, but it doesn’t give many of the characters, besides Woody, the time they deserve.
3. Toy Story
Toy Story changed the world of animation as it was the first entirely computer-animated feature film. It was a massive hit in 1995 and still looks pretty good almost 30 years later, even if computer-animation has improved over time. It’s still a great movie and that’s mainly due to the friendship that develops between Woody and Buzz. They come from two different worlds but still find a way to form a great bond.
It also features a colorful cast of characters like Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), and Slinky Dog (Jim Varney), who we all learned to love after this movie. It’s very difficult to find anything negative about Toy Story, but it’s the third best on the list, mainly because the stories and characters continued to improve as the franchise moved forward.
2.Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 takes the franchise out of Andy’s house and into the world. After Woody is taken by a toy collector, Buzz and the crew leave the house in order to go find him. Meanwhile, Woody is greeted by new toys who have a strong connection to him. The additions of Jesse and Bullseye are great and Kelsey Grammer does a fantastic job as the villainous, Stinky Pete.
Toy Story 2 brings even more emotion to the franchise, especially through the exploration of Jesse’s past. It’s also a hilarious movie, especially during scenes where the toys are exploring the outside world. Toy Story 2 does everything a great sequel should do. It expands the world and introduces new characters, while also keeping what many loved about the first.
1.Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 now moves the toys to the daycare, where they encounter a new world of kids. Some know how to treat their toys, while others don’t. However, Woody is divided between loyalty to his friends versus loyalty to Andy, who is soon leaving for college.
There is a reason why grown adults balled their eyes out at the end of this movie. Watching Andy give his toys away is not only symbolic of what it’s like to transition from childhood to adulthood, but many grew up watching Woody and Buzz, so Andy saying goodbye is basically like the audience saying goodbye as well. In addition to its emotional impact, Toy Story 3 just manages to be an incredible movie.
Sunnyside Daycare ends up being a troubling place, led by Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (Ned Beatty), a cute but terrifying teddy bear. It’s intriguing to see how so many toys are impacted by their kids leaving or forgetting about them, something that the main crew is dealing with themselves. Toy Story 3 is everything you want in a movie. It’s heartbreaking, hilarious, action-packed, sweet, and dramatic. It ends the franchise perfectly (until Toy Story 4).
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