A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Shows teamwork in action.
Strong themes of loyalty, friendship, community, and teamwork. Toy characters go to great lengths to rescue their friend, demonstrating courage. Both Woody and Buzz learn humility over the course of the film.
Positive Role Models
Two toys are rivals, and one does something cruel out of jealousy, but he works hard to make amends -- and his hard work is rewarded and acknowledged. All the toys show lots of love and loyalty to their owner. A mean neighbor who mutilates toys gets his comeuppance.
Violence & Scariness
Some tense/scary scenes with toys in peril. A boy mutilates toys and straps them to rockets. Potentially frightening images of "mutant" hybrid toys. In the 3-D version, a couple of other scenes can be briefly scary -- like when Rex roars.
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Mild insults like "idiot" and "shut up."
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Products & Purchases
Several of the Toy Story characters are recognizable brands (like Barbie, Ken, and Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head). And beyond that, the Toy Story franchise has the potential for the most merchandising tie-ins of any kid-targeted movie series. Toys, action figures, books, party supplies, plush dolls, you name it -- Disney's Toy Story characters are everywhere, especially kid favorites Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is separation in Toy Story -- toys are separated from one another and from their owner (but if your kid made it to preschool without an issue, this should be fine). All of the dynamics behind sibling rivalry are here as well, so if your kids are going through that, this is a perfect movie to have them watch together. Kids may be scared by Andy's next-door neighbor Sid, who has a mean laugh and mutilates toys for fun -- but he does get a mild comeuppance. Really young kids may be confused by the toys being "real" here, especially when Buzz really thinks he's a star commander. Note: The 3-D version of the movie includes a couple of brief scenes that might spook the youngest viewers, like dinosaur Rex roaring, but otherwise the digital effects are played for laughs (or, as the green squeeze-toy aliens would say, "Oooh ... aaah"). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's plenty of cleverness throughout this film, and the story keeps moving at a great pace; there's truly never a dull moment in these toys' lives. This Pixar release was the first feature film animated entirely by computer. Although the dazzling technology is especially well suited to a story in which the major characters are made out of plastic, it's the unpretentious imagination and energy of the people behind the story and the outstanding vocal performances that make the movie an instant classic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.