Though heralded as the first feature length film to be produced entirely on computers, it's the human input that makes "Toy Story" work so well. A deceptively simple story 'peopled' with charming, funny, and well-realised characters and highly enjoyable fare for anyone who ever owned a toy.
The story goes that our toys have a life of their own when we're not looking, and they form a hierarchical community where the most-played-with are the natural leaders. Sheriff Woody (Hanks) currently rules the roost and ensures the smooth operation of their owner's playtime. But an early birthday gift in the shape of Buzz Lightyear (Allen in delightful deadpan) upsets this harmony when he takes Woody's coveted place on the bedspread. Things are complicated further by Buzz's conviction that he is a real space ranger, and not a battery operated plaything.
But ground-breaking CGI animation on its own doesn't make a classic (as proved in "Final Fantasy") and it's the top class voices which breathe life into an intelligent and witty script. Hanks plays the kind of amicable all round hero that he's built his star persona on, with superb support from an array of toys such as Mr Potato Head (Rickles), Bo Peep (Potts), and Slinky Dog (Varney).
Shot through with an exuberant and enviable sense of its own brilliance, "Toy Story" will continue to impress long after its technical virtuosity has been upstaged. Perhaps even "to infinity... and beyond!"
Read our five-star review of "Toy Story 2".