Toy Story Favorites

Songs Written & Composed by: Randy Newman

Performed by: Various Artists

Distributed by: Walt Disney Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Well, here we are, just a few days from the release of Toy Story 3, the third installment of the animated series of films from Disney·Pixar centering on the favorite toys of Andy Davis.  This time around, Andy is off to college and his beloved toys, including Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jesse (Joan Cusack), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Barbie (Jodi Benson), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger) and their friends are accidentally sent to the Sunnydale Daycare Center where the kids are not so civilized and don’t play very nicely with others.  An escape plan is hatched, but will it be foiled by the likes of Ken (Michael Keaton), Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton) and Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (Ned Betty) who have turned the daycare center into their private little toy prison.  Can Woody figure out a way to rescue the toys and get them back to Andy?

            This new, highly anticipated Toy Story adventure is in 3-D animated format and to celebrate the third installment, on June 15, 2010, Walt Disney Records will be releasing a very special EP entitled Toy Story Favorites featuring two songs from each Toy Story film, each written and composed by Randy Newman, an award-winning composer who has been writing songs since the late 1960s, topping the charts in 1977 with the tongue in cheek song Short People.  Turning to film score composition in the 1980s, Newman received great recognition for his work on films such as James and the Giant Peach, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc. and of course, the Toy Story franchise.

            The first track on the Toy Story Favorites EP, I Will Go Sailing No More from the original Toy Story movie, is a sad song performed by Randy Newman.  The song describes the plight of Woody, once the favorite toy in Andy’s collection, who now believes he will be cast aside to collect dust, never to be played with again.  Strange Things, also from the original film, is a more upbeat track performed by Newman which perfectly describes the new happenings in Woody’s life that lead him to believe all is right in the world of Andy’s toys.

            Sarah McLachlin performs the next tear-jerker, When She Loved Me, a song from Toy Story 2, in which she describes an intense love lost and then found again.  Woody’s Roundup, a fun country western song performed by Riders in the Sky, is the theme of the television series character Woody discovers he is based on in Toy Story 2

            This brings us to the new songs from Toy Story 3.  The first of the two songs is absolutely hysterical.  Performed by the Gipsy Kings, this track is the Spanish version of You’ve Got A Friend In Me, a song from the original film.  In Toy Story 3, Buzz Lightyear has a bit of an accident and a hasty repair leaves him speaking a different language.  Thus, You’ve Got A Friend In Me (Para El Buzz Español) is born.  The final song, We Belong Together, performed by Randy Newman, is a comfortingly happy song that ties things up in the Toy Story series explaining how the toys feel about each other and the mutual feelings between them and Andy.

            The Toy Story Favorites EP is a perfect celebration of the Toy Story movie series.  The EP offers a great variety in song styles as well as performers.  It also does an excellent job in conveying the story of each of the films - who could have thought that could be done simply by selecting two songs from each soundtrack?  Amazing.  And fun - I had a great deal of fun listening to this soundtrack…so much so, that I had already listened to it four times before I wrote this review.  Parents, you are definitely going to want to get your hands on this EP for your young Toy Story fans.  The songs are so enjoyable, you’re definitely going to want to buy it for yourself!


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