Toy Story (1995)



Pixar classic is one of the best kids' movies of all time.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 81 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Shows teamwork in action.

Positive messages

Strong themes of loyalty, friendship, community, and teamwork. Toy characters go to great lengths to rescue their friend.

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.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Mild insults like "idiot" and "shut up."


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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is separation in the movie -- 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").

What's the story?

TOY STORY follows the adventures of the toys who belong to a boy named Andy. His favorite is a sheriff from the Old West named Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), who acts as the leader of the rest of Andy's toys -- including a skittish Tyrannosaurus Rex (Wallace Shawn) and Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles). All is going well until Andy gets a very special birthay present: a toy spaceman named Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). Woody gets jealous, and, in an effort to keep Andy from taking Buzz with him on an excursion, accidentally knocks Buzz out the window. Feeling very bad about what he's done, Woody follows, determined to bring Buzz back home to Andy before the family moves to its new house.

Is it any good?


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. There's plenty of cleverness throughout, and the story keeps moving at a great pace -- there's truly never a dull moment in these toys' lives.

Fans of the movie are in luck -- Toy Story is followed by two sequels, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendships, loyalty, and rivalry. Young kids are exploring all these issues, and the movie has great models.

  • Andy seems to spend more time playing with his beloved toys than watching TV or playing video games. Kids: What's great about playtime over TV time?

  • Kids: Do you really think that toys become "real" when humans leave the room? Why is imagination such an important part of playtime?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 2, 2009
DVD release date:May 11, 2010
Cast:Don Rickles, Tim Allen, Tom Hanks
Director:John Lasseter
Studio:Pixar Animation Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
Run time:81 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Toy Story (1995) was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byReviewer Mom April 9, 2008

Minimum age should be 8+

The "violence" in this movie is too intense for children younger than 8. The "bad boy" Sid decapitates his sister's dolls (adults will find a follow-up scene funny, but it will be confusing to younger children). Sid also blows up his toys, and plays with a rocket labeled "Keep away from children". Most reviews recognize the need to increase the age. Perhaps one reviewer is skewing the results with multiple submissions?
Parent of a 2 and 7 year old Written byvincent April 9, 2008

Great Movie, but not for pre-schoolers

The beginning of a beautiful record of movie making by Pixar. They're often the best movies of the year, live or animated. Good date movie (for my wife and I, for example.) And 6+ year olds are the right target. Pixar movies are not for 3, 4 or most 5 year olds. The scare factor is one obvious thing, but not just because it's scary. Being scared is a fact of life. Being scared by a big-screen, loud movie, crafted by professionals who can dial it up an order of magnitude past anything the kid is likely to ever possibly encounter in real life, is another thing. Just because your kid doesn’t melt before your eyes, but may even say they like it, doesn’t mean it’s ok. Basic child development hasn’t evolved as fast as film-making ability. We’ve got plenty of time to ramp them up to hyper-media. Another factor is how the characters, the friendly ones, treat each other. Constant insults, name-calling, bickering. Makes for a great film, but if that was what my household was like, I’d have some pretty obnoxious kids. 3-5 year olds are sponges, remember?
Teen, 14 years old Written byJusticeSeeker April 3, 2011

One of my favorites

I've watched this movie sinse I was little, 'really' little. It was always one of my favorites, and honestly not much of it scared me, except for the toys Sid 'created'. It makes you nervous when the toys are in a bad situation, like being stuck in Sid's house for instance and getting chased by a dog. Dispite some of these things, the movie is great for the family. My brothers watched it to the point that it distroyed the DVD (This was around when they were 2 and 4) I don't think it's as terrifying as some make out, but it depends on the child. The humar is great, the parol is exciting. Woody can be bossy, and they accuse him of being Buzz's murderer later on. It's pretty torturous. Still though- I rest my case by saying it's a good movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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