Toy Story (1995)

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Toy Story (1995) Movie Poster Image
Pixar classic is one of the best kids' movies of all time.
  • G
  • 1995
  • 81 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 80 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 152 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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, demonstrating courage. Both Woody and Buzz learn humility over the course of the film.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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
Language

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

Consumerism

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

What 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").

User Reviews

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... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bygorilla99swell August 24, 2015

SCARY

I have never been ever scared by a pixar film but this totally scarred me as a child. It even features mutiliating references in a kids movies. Do not even show... Continue reading

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?

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.

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

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendships, loyalty, and rivalry in Toy Story. 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?

  • The characters in Toy Story demonstrate many important character strengths. How do the toys demonstrate courage and teamwork? How do Buzz and Woody learn to be humble? Why are these important traits?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love great animation

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