In its Australian Premiere, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra took to the stage to present Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story in Concert at the iconic Art Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, conducted by Guy Noble. This beloved feature animation has stood the test of time with its exciting storyline, its lovable characters, its beautiful messages, all accompanied with songs and music by Oscar and Grammy award winning composer, Randy Newman.
The story of Toy Story follows a bunch of toys owned by a young boy named Andy (John Morris). When no-one is around, the toys come to life and essentially have their own little community in Andy’s room with Woody (Tom Hanks), Andy’s favourite toy, who is also the leader of the group. When a new toy is introduced into the community during Andy’s early birthday party, Woody finds himself competing with a Buzz Lightyear action figure (Tim Allen) who thinks he is a real space man. With the gradual shift to Andy favouring Buzz over Woody, chaos ensues, and these two rivals find themselves needing to work together to get home to the boy who loves them.
Despite the film initially coming out in 1995, the animation still looks phenomenal. The colours pop, the facial expressions are fantastic, and the story is still incredibly moving. It is no wonder Toy Story is so beloved, as the film is practically timeless and a classic in its own right.
Iconic songs, ‘Strange Things’, ‘I Will Go Sailing No More’, and the anthemic ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ all are part of this wonderful experience, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra effortlessly and magnificently accompanying Newman’s honest and heartfelt vocals. It was also a wonderful addition to have not only both Woody and Buzz in attendance sitting with the orchestra, but for the show to have photo booths available in the foyer pre-show and during interval, with fans having the opportunity to get up close and personal with the human Buzz that inspired the toy from the upcoming new film in the Toy Story franchise, ‘Lightyear’.
What I love about these Melbourne Symphony Orchestra film concerts is that there is always someone in the audience that is witnessing a symphony orchestra for the first time, regardless of age. There were even little fans in the audience dressed in their best Woody, Buzz Lightyear, or Jessie costumes (even though Jessie does not make an appearance in the first film). Everyone was genuinely chuffed to be there and by the end of the concert, were delighted to have been part of something special. I mean, it’s not every day you get the opportunity to see one of your favourite films accompanied with a live orchestra.
It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen this film. Every moment is always heart-warming, hilarious and a wholesome adventure. Watching the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story had me on a special emotional journey, as it really felt like I was watching the film for the first time. I laughed, I cried, and I hung on the edge of my seat. I’m in disbelief that Toy Story is now 27 years old, and yet, I have no doubt that it will continue to charm and captivate audiences for years to come, and so will the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is holding three concerts for Toy Story on Friday the 29th of April at 7:30pm, and Saturday the 30th of April with two sessions at 1pm and 7:30pm. There is only one more concert left, so get in quick! If you miss out on Toy Story, there’s still plenty of wonderful concerts, or specifically film concerts that you can still attend.
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