Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
"You never forget kids like Emily or Andy, but they forget you."
A far more complete film than the previous one. You don't need to look further than Jessie's (Joan Cusack) backstory as told to Woody (Tom Hanks), and by then you can really understand that Pixar swung for the fences here. Woody basically has an existential crisis, and he tries to find his own purpose as his fears of being disposed by Andy arise.
Search for purpose and fear for the future are two major themes sprinkled throughout the film, yet Pixar is able to take its time to expand the world that the previous film built. It does a lot of things at once, yet there's a much stronger sense of purpose here compared to the 1995 film. Toy Story 2 floats plenty of ideas with ease, and it still offers us many memorable moments jam packed in this film alone.
The animation is quite good, though it does show its age, but the way they were able to effortlessly stage the set pieces and the smooth movement of all the toys; it's absolutely spellbinding to this day. Crossing the road in cones is still one of the best set pieces that computer animation has ever offered yet. Sublime.
I've never hid the fact that I thought this was the weaker of the three, but as it'd been almost ten years since my last revisit, I can most certainly say this is the better film than the first. I still have the third to go, in which I'll get to shortly, but this is definitely one of Pixar's very best though I'd just place it on the lower spectrum of their best. That's early Pixar for you.