With Pixar expanding the Toy Story universe to infinity and beyond with the upcoming spin-off, Lightyear, now is the perfect time to look back at this franchise’s highlights. After the original Toy Story literally changed animation forever with its technical innovations in 1995, a sequel was certainly expected. As the follow-up carefully avoided a direct-to-home media route, along with a now-infamous computer error that almost caused the entire nearly-finished film to be deleted, the sequel finally arrived with TOY STORY 2. The film was released in November 1999 to universal acclaim and commercial success, practically guaranteeing another sequel.
After an even longer and more tumultuous road to production, the third installment would hit theaters in June 2010. TOY STORY 3 would continue the franchise’s hot streak and was also released to critical acclaim and even higher commercial success, even being nominated for Best Picture at the 83rd Academy Awards and winning the franchise’s first Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
Both films are extraordinary sequels, each pushing the story in new and bold directions. They both build expertly on what came before, rather than rehashing and repeating the previous film. They are emotional, hilarious, wistful, sharp, poignant films that stand firm in the pantheon of not just the greatest Pixar films, but some of the best films ever made. So when we put these two masterpieces up against each other, which one will be Andy’s favorite? Let’s ride like the wind and… FACE OFF!
This episode of Face Off is written by Paul Cooper, narrated by Dave Davis, and edited by Paul Cooper. Let us know in the comments which is your pick — Pixar’s first sequel, Toy Story 2, or the climatic trilogy capper, Toy Story 3!