(The Disneycember logo is shown, followed by scenes from Toy Story 2. The song "When She Loved Me" plays throughout)
Doug (vo): While A Bug's Life was a success, it didn't quite bring in the numbers that Toy Story did. And even the critical reaction to it seemed to be kind of mixed. So Pixar went back to the drawing board with Toy Story 2. I don't think people really knew what to expect with this. I mean, it's a sequel to a film they really, really liked. And seeing how this was a new production studio, we didn't know. Could they do sequels? Could they do follow-ups well? A lot of sequels are usually not as good as the first one, so people were kind of nervous, but at the same time, they were excited to see their favorite characters again. And from my standpoint, Toy Story 2 was not only as good as the original, I think it's even better. Okay, what's the story?
Doug (vo): Woody and Buzz are back again, but this time, Woody is in a bit of a predicament. A garage sale is going on, and sadly, one of the older toys is being sold off. Woody goes in to save him, but inevitably gets stolen by a nasty toy store owner, because we figure out that Woody is actually a very rare toy. In fact, he used to actually be part of a TV show. That's right. Woody's a collector's item, and he's not the only one. He also comes across a cowgirl named Jessie, a horse named Bullseye, and a miner named the Prospector. The race is on for the rest of Woody's friends to go out and save him, but it seems like Woody may have second thoughts about returning back home, because he knows that eventually, he has to face the inevitable: That Andy will grow up and someday forget about him. He has another choice where he can be taken to a museum where he can be enjoyed by children forever. People would come from all over the world just to see that he exists.
Doug (vo): And it's great writing like this that once again makes Toy Story great. Yes, there is kind of a villain in this movie with the toy store owner and, yes, even another one that's eventually revealed. But again, their motivations are understandable. It's just the fact that they want to force their point of views on other people that ultimately make them kind of bad guys. But the dilemma that Woody has to go through is actually a good dilemma. In fact, you're kind of siding with him going to the museum.
(Several new characters are shown)
Doug (vo): Heck, some of these toys even have backstories. Jessie's backstory is one of the emotional highlights of the entire film. But to balance it out, she's not just a sad stick-in-the-mud. She's a very fun, active character as well. In fact, all the new characters are. We have a Mrs. Potato Head, the evil Emperor Zurg, another Buzz Lightyear that goes through the exact same motions as the first one, and look, even Barbie makes an appearance in this. How cool is that that the marketing team that brought us Barbie, something so controlled and so protective of their identity, actually allow them to kind of make fun of their brand?
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): As I said before, I'm not a huge Randy Newman fan, but you know what? The song in here ("When She Loved Me") is a good song, probably one of his best, in fact. I'll admit, it's very well done. The CG on the people has gotten better, too. I mean, true, they don't look like actual people, but the textures are better, and, yeah, even a lot of the facial expressions seem to work pretty well. The dramatic moments are very strong. They're never out of place, they're very emotionally satisfying, and you relate with every single aspect of it. You relate with dealing with the inevitable, what will ultimately happen in the end. What should you do? What's the better thing for yourself and for others? What's the selfish thing? What's the unselfish thing? All this stuff plays in, and it's very, very smart and very, very well done.
Doug (vo): Just when you think something like Toy Story couldn't possibly get any better, they surprise us with this very well-told, well-written, well-developed, interesting continuation of a story, not a rehash. It's clever, it's funny, it's dramatic, it's visually interesting, it's musically interesting, the characters are wonderful. I've gone on about it long enough. See it if you haven't already.
(The video ends with the ending music to "When She Loved Me")