1 The Mickey Mindset: Top Ten Toy Story Moments

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Top Ten Toy Story Moments

Includes minor spoilers from the Toy Story films. 

Mark Hansen- I love the films of Pixar. Each one, to varying degrees, contains heart, humor and adventure. In particular, I love the Toy Story films. I cannot think of a trilogy that improves, one film to the next, the way these do. And in every possible way, from the quality of animation, to the story, to the performances. Now that I’ve seen each of these movies approximately 65 billion times (one the perks of parenthood), I’ve decided to list my favorite moments from each. Some of these are favorites for personal reasons, and I can’t really say that they’re in exact order, so keep that in mind when judging me harshly. Also, spoilers are present, so read with caution (or go watch the movies, seriously!)

10. “You are a toooooy!” The gas station showdown between Buzz and Woody really showcases the bravura performances of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. Allen’s Buzz is terrifically committed to the Space Ranger bit, but it’s Hanks that really sells the scene here. His manic frustration, in a futile attempt to convince Buzz he is a child’s plaything calls to mind his early, more purely comedic performances. This is also one of three or four moments from the Toy Story films I like to reenact with my son. 

9. Buzz Lightyear Dies! Spoiler! Another spoiler- he actually doesn’t. But the whole intro to Toy Story 2, with Buzz landing on an alien planet and having the kind of adventures toy Buzz dreamed of in the first film is a blast. And while you know this isn’t going to be the true direction the film is going to take, it’s a fun reveal when you realize we’re watching a videogame that Rex is losing. And Buzz’s death is one of those shocking moments where you don’t know whether to gasp or laugh. So you do both.

8.  Playtime with Bonnie Mr. Pricklepants has the right idea, I think. Playtime for toys is like acting. The child is your director, and each one has their own unique directorial style. While Andy seems to have scenarios pretty well planned out, Bonnie’s style is looser and much more stream-of-conscience. Or, as Buttercup says, “We do a lot of improve here. Just stay loose, have fun, you’ll be fine.”

7. Sid’s Comeuppance I feel slightly bad for Sid. Only slightly, mind you, because he does seem like a jerk. But look at all those crazy hybrid toys he created! There must have been some former Sid’s at Pixar. Babyface, Legs, all those guys are really creative. This scene is a terrific showcase for them, just a bit creepy and hilarious. And Woody’s speech is fun to recreate, spinning head and all, with your Woody doll. Take it from me.

6.  Woody’s Round-Up Reportedly, all of Woody’s dialogue about the various Woody’s Round-Up merchandise was improvised by Hanks. I’m not sure if this is true, but it certainly feels like it. Plus, this scene gave us the line, “Hey Howdy Hey, I’m on a yo-yo!”

5. Woody’s Nightmare Another great fake-out moment from Toy Story 2, and another scene that’s lots of fun to recreate with your Woody doll. All those arms pulling Woody back into the trash can is a thing of nightmares!

4. I Will Go Sailing No More Buzz’s realization that he’s just a toy is perfectly scored by Randy Newman’s song. For a brief moment, you almost believe he can fly, and then your dreams are smashed on Sid’s steps. This scene has most definitely been recreated over and over again as well.

3. Buzz Vs. Zurg The climactic elevator showdown between the Evil Emperor Zurg and the Wrong Buzz is both harrowing and hilarious, and provides some much-needed closure for Rex. Thankfully, Zurg isn’t killed by his fall, so that Buzz can catch up with his dad. As it turns out, Zurg’s a great dad. Yippee!

2. The Last Five Minutes of Toy Story 3 By far the most moving moment in the entire series, we watch Andy grow up before our eyes and pass the toy torch on to the deserving Bonnie. The moment he’s deciding whether to give up Woody never fails to get me, and watching them play together is such a satisfying conclusion to the series.

1. The First Five Minutes of Toy Story 3 No kidding, despite what a great film follows, if all of Toy Story 3 were in the same vein as the first five minutes, I would’ve been utterly delighted. I mean, you’ve got it all: karate potatoes, orphan trolls, force field dogs, pigs in monocles, death by monkeys. The prime ingredients for a blockbuster! I seriously love this scene, and even though the rest of the film is amazing, I’m sad this scene had to end.
And I’m sad this list had to end. But end it must. Cue Randy Newman.

The Mickey Mindset: mickeymindset@gmail.com


  1. What about the incinerator scene??

  2. If it didn't make the list, it means nothing to me.