April 25, 2010
Behind an unassuming storefront on West Read Street, clowns and animals cavort freely while prim and proper Victorian ladies and gentlemen look on. A "50s Chevy sits ready to pull its silver trailer cross-country, while music school benefactor George Peabody gazes sternly from a darkened corner. And a game of pingpong waits to get started. For eight years, Anne Smith's Antique Toy Museum has sat quietly at 222 W. Read St. on the outer fringes of Mount Vernon, housing a vast trove of mostly late-19 t h - and early 20 t h -century playthings.
October 30, 2009
Toy Story and Toy Story 2 **** ( 4 STARS) You shouldn't pass up a chance to see them in 3-D. "Toy Story" is a buddy movie, with cowboy raggedy-doll Woody and sleek Space Age action figure Buzz going through the roughhouse version of getting-to-know-you familiar from "48 Hrs." and "Lethal Weapon." "Toy Story 2" is warmer and harder to classify. It's an ensemble comedy about several unexpected matters, including Woody discovering his show-biz roots - and his "inner cowboy" - and Buzz soldiering on through a hall-of-mirrors-like experience similar to the one John Malkovich endures when he goes into his own brain in "Being John Malkovich."
February 18, 2007
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. JOURNEY THROUGH HALLOWED GROUND Capital Books / $20 Instead of spending Presidents Day weekend skiing or off at a spa, why not brush up on your U.S. history? This book charts a 175-mile historic driving trip from Monticello in Virginia to Gettysburg, Pa. Most appropriate is the "presidential journey" part of the tour, which takes readers to the homes of several presidents including Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. And though Camp David is closed to the public, the book recommends stopping at the nearby Cozy Restaurant, which has an exhibition about the presidential retreat.
June 9, 2006
John Lasseter, the creative chief and top director at Pixar and Disney Animation, long ago proved that he can create timeless fairy tales with insects, in the fractured Aesop's fable A Bug's Life (1998), and with toys, in Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999). He extends his reach in Cars, an ultracontemporary comedy-drama about the perils of careerism and speed for speed's sake. Now 49, Lasseter rooted this tale of a racing wunderkind who gets his comeuppance in his own recent experience.
January 27, 2006
Animation has always been a tip-of-the-iceberg art in which seconds of finished work represent weeks of thought and labor. Ever since he put Toy Story into production, John Lasseter, the reigning genius at Pixar and the new chief of Disney animation, has infused that arduous process with joy and a love for movie heritage - even as he's taken cartooning (in the words of Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear) "to infinity and beyond." For anyone who's followed Pixar closely, everything Lasseter has been saying in the wake of Pixar's sale to Disney - about the culture of Pixar being more important than its economics - rings as true as a church bell.
February 3, 2004
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -Steve Jobs, chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios, stunned the Walt Disney Co. and Wall Street last week by abruptly ending negotiations with the Burbank, Calif., entertainment giant to extend one of Hollywood's richest relationships, one that has produced five straight hit films. Disney executives and many independent financial analysts said Pixar was demanding too much, including sole ownership of the films the two had made under the existing pact, such as the Toy Story series and Monsters, Inc. But sources close to Eisner and Apple Computer Inc. founder Jobs said the stunning split was less about the math of the deal than about the personalties involved.