The Great Debates: Which “Toy Story” Movie is the Best?

A couple of weeks back, during discussion of the Top Ten Pixar Movies several people surprised me by ranking the second chapter of the Toy Story saga as the best. Prior to that I had always thought that people were merely divided between 1 and 3. So, seeing as we have an opportunity to hash these things out here, let’s! Shall we?

Click through to read “The Tale of the Tape”!!

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“Toy Story” (1995)

Characters Voiced By: Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Don Rickles (Mr Potato Head), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Wallace Shawn (Rex), Annie Potts (Bo Peep), R. Lee Ermey (Sergeant), and Jim Varney (Slink)

High Level Overview: Toy Story introduces a world of talking toys who come alive when no humans are about. When a flashy new toy is introduced into a collection of older toys, the existing social order is shaken. Buzz Lightyear is a brash, arrogant, and slightly delusional addition to the mix that has Woody (the current leader of Andy’s playthings) a bit flustered. When their rivalry leads to an unintended accident, Woody risks his own safety to rescue Buzz, and along the way they become friends.

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“Toy Story 2″ (1999)

Notable Newcomers: Jodi Benson (Barbie), Joan Cusack (Jessie), Kelsey Grammer (Stinky Pete), Estelle Harris (Mrs Potato Head), and Wayne Knight (Al)

High Level Overview: Toy Story 2 continues the adventures of Andy’s gang of talking toys… this time out it’s Woody who’s in jeopardy. When a local toy collector discovers him out by the yard sale, he recognizes Woody for the rare collectible he is. When he’s told that Woody is not for sale, he steals him anyways, thus requiring Buzz and the gang to track Woody down and rescue him! Meanwhile Woody has a crisis of his own when he discovers his own merchandising history and meets the gang of toys that came out with him, not all of whom are keen on him going home.

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“Toy Story 3″ (2010)

Notable Newcomers: Ned Beatty (Lotso), Timothy Dalton (Mr. Pricklepants), Kristen Schaal (Trixie), Bonnie Hunt (Dolly), Whoopi Goldberg (Stretch) and Michael Keaton (Ken).

High Level Overview: Toy Story 3 finds Andy’s toys facing the ultimate crisis… being outgrown. It’s obviously an emotionally trying time for them, but the difficulties are compounded when they’re accidentally thrown out, and wind up donated to a day care. Once there, they discover the nightmarish reality of an environment where toys are played with without being owned. Even worse, they realize that the facility is run much like a prison by the stuffed bear in charge. Andy’s gang needs to break out of the day care center and go home… to see if there’s still any place for them there.

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I’m sure that most people have seen all three, they’re immensely popular, widely beloved films. Now it comes down to which of them is the best. Which is your favorite? If you could only pick one, which one would it be?

The choice is up to you, but be sure to tell us why below!

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60 thoughts on “The Great Debates: Which “Toy Story” Movie is the Best?

  1. I had to go with Toy Story, the very first one that launched it all. Man, what a classic. Though the 3rd would’ve been my next choice! Tough decision.

    and, even though you think No Country for Old Men is a great movie, you still “got a friend in me!”

  2. Oh man, why don’t you just ask to pick your favorite child? OK, maybe I don’t have kids, but this is a tough question! All three Toy Story films share the rare distinction of being “kids movies” that I love the hell out of. I’m voting for the original, but I guarantee you 90% of that is due to nostalgia. All three are terrific, though, and I’m surprised this race isn’t a little closer.

    • I think it might be due to the fact that a lot of people feel the same way you do. It’s too close to call, so they go with the first, crediting it with the genesis of the series, etc, etc. They are all great though.

      Thanks for the idea, man, I may try to figure that out one of these days: “The Great Debates: Which of your kids is your favorite?” :D

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