Trying to pick an individual scene from Toy Story that demonstrates why it is the best use of computer graphics is hard. Far better to forget individual scenes. The impressive, nay, mind-boggling thing about Toy Story is the use of CGI through the entire film.
Sure, other people had used computers for parts of films before. And since 1995, other computer-animated films have picked up the ball and run with it. But Toy Story was the original, the groundbreaker. After Toy Story, films would never be the same again.
Consider it; this is 1995 we're talking about. Anybody out there think that Windows 95 is still cool? Yet Toy Story still rocks.
Creating an entire world using computer-generated graphics was technically just way out there. Pixar had played around with making shorts before, but it's a quantum leap to go from those to feature films.
Take a look at the amount of CGI that George Lucas has put into his recent Star Wars films; then reflect on just how pants they've been.
With Toy Story, director John Lasseter created a believable, engaging universe, with characters that you could connect with. You might not like Buzz Lightyear - you might even not like Woody - but who could fail to fall in love with those little green three-eyed aliens?
Disney has limped on since Toy Story, desperately trying to convince itself that there's a future in cell animation. The box office takings for these feeble efforts tell their own story.
But Toy Story hasn't just affected animated features. The sheer level of detail that it is now possible to impart to animated characters means that scores of films have followed its example. Instead of being the preserve of one-offs like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, films featuring computer-generated characters now regularly have human co-stars.
In the case of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, such a set-up was the whole purpose of the film. But now, in features such as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the computer characters are blended seamlessly into the rest of the action.
If nothing else can convince you of Toy Story's greatness, consider this: how many other films starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen would you watch even once, let alone again and again?
Do you agree? Vote for Toy Story here:
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Check back on Monday to read Miya Knights's tribute to Lord of the Rings, the third of our nominations.
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