I was about 8 years old when Toy Story first came out, and my favorite toy at that time was probably my American Girl doll Kirsten. Whether it was the beach, skiing, or just to the mall, Kirsten was always dressed for the occasion, and I took her everywhere. Every Christmas I would dress her in her St. Lucia outfit (white robe and crown of candles) for church. One Christmas (or birthday I don't remember exactly, especially because they are so close together) I got another American Girl doll, Josephina. Now Kirsten basically looked exactly like me (Scandinavian) and we basically had the same name, but Josephina was exoctic looking and had beautiful silky hair that I could braid and unbraid without ruining. (Kirsten's hair at that point looked like straw.) Josephina came with all new dresses and accessories and I was so excited. That Christmas, I was told I could only bring one toy to Pizza Planet.. I mean Christmas service, and guess which one I took. She had never had a Christmas experience and it was only fair! At least that was my 8 year old reasoning. But I am pretty sure that as soon as I got home, I ran upstairs and found Kirsten and gave her a big hug. After that, I took both of them everywhere I went, and was sure to try and not show favoritism. I'm not sure when I saw Toy Story in relation to getting Josephina, but I know that I probably was able to relate to the story line very well.
Now watching this movie almost 15 years later, there are other themes that stood out to me. As a kid you see toys acting and you don't think that you can relate to the situation they are in, because they are toys, not humans. Watching the movie now, I see how I can relate to those toys and their struggle with friendship. Growing up, and even today, I never had just one best friend. I have had many. Most of which were best friends with my other best friends. This always caused problems from when we were young, and still sometimes today, when it came to attention being paid more to one than the other. Just like Woody and Buzz, if one of us was invited on a "play date" the other best friend better have been invited too. Don't get me wrong, I loved and still love having a group of people I can call my best friends, but it doesn't come without effort, understanding and compromise. Once you have that balance, you find yourself surrounded by a group of people who all love each other no matter what, and that is worth all the effort.
Although my brother and I could probably still recite the lines from this movie, there are many aspects to this movie that we missed. Being a kid, you take movies at face value, and don't pick up on many things that the writers may have added. (Sometimes to keep the parents that are watching from going insane.) One thing that popped out, that many of you may never remember seeing, was Mr. Potatohead taking his lips off and kissing his backside. I don't think I would have understood this as an 8 year-old, but I found it pretty funny as a 21 year old. Also, I can imagine watching this movie as a parent and seeing the kid character Sid blowing up toys, and thinking "This child shows all the signs of being a mass murderer when he grows up" or "Where are the child's parents? Why are they allowing him to destroy his sisters dolls and order fireworks through the mail?". One random thing that stood out to me was that the main character Andy did not seem to have a father around. His mother never mentions him, but has a young daughter Molly that can't be older than a year, year and a half. They are also moving at the time, so I wonder did he leave them? Did he pass away? It bothers me that I do not know, but again, this is something I never would have noticed as a child.
Overall, this movie holds wonderful childhood memories for me and I am happy that it made the Top 100 list, because although it was probably added due to the honor of being the first Pixar movie, it can be related to, interpreted and enjoyed by anyone of any age differently. That is what a good movie is supposed to do.
Let me know what you thought of the movie Toy Story, and if you haven't watched it in a while (or ever) pick it up, I think it will definitely be worth your while. Also, share some of your childhood memories about your toys when you were young!!!!