Song of the Day #4,476: ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ – Randy Newman

Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…

#12. Finding Dory (2016)
(up two spots from previous ranking)

Pixar’s best non-Toy Story sequel, Finding Dory worked even better the second time around.

Dory was played for comic relief, with a hint of melancholy, in the first film, but this one digs into the trauma her condition would understandably cause. The movie plays similar heartstrings as its predecessor, with Dory’s parents’ commitment to finding her mirroring Marlin’s determination to find Nemo.

The movie is also quite funny, and I love the addition of three great new supporting characters (septapus, whale shark and beluga) who I would gladly watch in a third installment.

#11. Toy Story (1995)
(down seven spots from previous ranking)

Pixar’s first film is a deserved classic, the movie that started it all, and yet it suffered the biggest drop in my rankings upon rewatch.

Part of that is due to the film’s clunky animation, which is jarring to revisit 25 years later. It hasn’t aged well. That’s a nitpick, but it’s worth mentioning.

My bigger disconnect with the film this time around was the lack of warmth and heart in the characters. The Toy Story series evolved into a deeply emotional saga, but out of the gate it had yet to find that tone.

Woody’s playroom pals are all too ready to serve him up to the sadistic Syd, suggesting something very ugly about him, them, or both. I think the screenwriters were more focused on the ingenuity of their imagined world and the clockwork plot mechanics than on the movie’s heart.

Setting aside that unexpected disappointment, I continue to marvel at the brilliance of the premise and the execution, and especially the instantly iconic details the studio nailed right out of the gate.

[Verse 1]
You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me
When the road looks rough ahead
And you’re miles and miles from your nice warm bed
You just remember what your old pal said
Boy, you’ve got a friend in me
Yeah, you’ve got a friend in me

[Verse 2]
You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ’em, too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
We stick together and we see it through
‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me

[Bridge]
Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am
Bigger and stronger too, maybe
But none of them will ever love you the way I do
It’s me and you, boy

[Verse 3]
And as the years go by
Our friendship will never die
You’re gonna see, it’s our destiny
You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,476: ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ – Randy Newman

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I was generally disappointed in Finding Dory, mostly because of how much I love Finding Nemo. At the very least, I would have ranked the non-sequel Monsters, Inc. ahead of Dory.

    As for Toy Story, it has admittedly been years since I watched the original from start to finish, but I can’t help but feel you are being too harsh in your re-evaluation and ranking. Certainly, Pixar animation has evolved, but Toy Story was the pioneer for this new style, and that deserves to be celebrated, not nit picked as “clunky.” And I would argue that it was the ability to fully develop the personalities, humor and emotion of the characters, particularly Woody and Buzz, that served as the foundation and springboard for the success of the sequels that followed.

  2. Amy says:

    I suppose you preferred Deep Blue Sea to Jaws because the shark was more realistic. Clunky?! Clunky? The movie lacks heart? The movie that introduced Tom Hanks’ Woody, whose iconic friendship with Buzz wound through all four films, lacks heart? I can’t fathom what you’re thinking. Woody’s anguish at the thought of losing Andy to Buzz is heart wrenching, and the movie remains one of the funniest of all the Pixar films.

  3. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Upon revisiting “Toy Story” admittedly in a plane on a very small screen recently, I came to a kinda similar conclusion. I turned the movie off about 20 minutes in because it just wasn’t fitting my vibe, but your points do resonate with me. I think I’d have to watch the whole movie again to see the character arc and fully appreciate it, but it’s currently sitting pretty low on my list as well.

    As far as Finding Dory I could really take it or leave it. Funny, has some touching moments. Would never actively seek it out again. Which is the exact opposite of how I feel about Monsters University which is amazing and deserves to be above this film! I guess it’s your list.

  4. Maddie says:

    Haha I suppose the Toy Story defense has already arrived. Of course the animation is older and more basic, but that script is absolutely perfect to me. It’s funny as hell and poignant and dramatic. Really just the top tier of Pixar writing. But I already knew we vastly disagree about the proper order of the Toy Story series (still mad I can’t call it a trilogy).

    As for good ole Finding Dory, I do think it’s a gem! I have a lot of fun with that one and I think it has a lot of great emotion as well. I will say, as I do in my dating profile, that this movie jumps the shark for me when *spoilers* they continue on past Dory’s reunion with her parents and have the octopus drive a truck full of marine animals on a highway. It loses points for that.

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