Movies: Toy Story 2: 3D * * * * *
(G, general release)
Normally a studio rehashing old movies and releasing them in 3D in order to promote a forthcoming sequel would be roundly condemned as an exercise in cynicism. But it's impossible to be cynical about the Toy Story films, which bring out the child in us all and remain as delightful today as when they first appeared.
The original Toy Story was rereleased in 3D last autumn, and this 1999 sequel now gets the same treatment. Toy Story 2 was one of those rare films the surpassed the standards of the excellent original, and as it happens the 3D format perfectly suits the peerless Pixar animation.
Buzz Lightyear and the gang are busily preparing Woody for his annual visit to cowboy camp with Andy when he tears his arm and the boy decides to leave him behind.
He's down in the dumps, but not for long because when he saves Wheezy the duck from a yard sale, he's kidnapped by an unscrupulous toy collector who plans to sell him to a museum in Japan. As Woody finds out more about his roots in a 1950s TV show, Buzz, Mr Potato Head, Slinky Dog and Hamm the pig set out to rescue him, leading to all manner of close scrapes.
With an excellent voice cast that includes Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles and John Ratzenberger, Toy Story 2 positively bristles with wit and invention, and is full of in-jokes and references to other films.
It's tremendous fun, and the 3D really does add something to the experience. If you don't have the moral courage to go and see it on your own, borrow someone else's kid and give yourself and them a treat.