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Toys To Life 2
Directed by Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise
Produced by Christopher Woodrow
Screenplay by Michael J. Wilson
Story by Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise
Irene Mecchi
Jonathan Roberts
Linda Woolverton
Michael J. Wilson
Earl Richey Jones
Todd Jones
Starring Owen Laramore
Ella Anderson
Dove Cameron
Will Arnett
Idina Menzel
Catherine O'Hara
Drew Barrymore
James Corden
John DiMaggio
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Robert De Niro
Adam Sandler
Music by John Powell
Edited by David Ian Salter
Production
companies
Paramount Animation
Nickelodeon Movies
Worldview Entertainment
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date March 24, 2023
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $90 million
Box office $323 million

Toys To Life 2 is a 2023 American computer animation comedy fantasy film produced by Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Movies, and Worldview Entertainment for Paramount Pictures. The sequel to 2020's Toys To Life, the film was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. In the film's ensemble voice cast, Owen Laramore, Ella Anderson, Will Arnett, Idina Menzel, Catherine O'Hara, Drew Barrymore, and James Corden reprise their roles. John DiMaggio voiced John's cab driver in the first film, but in the sequel, DiMaggio voices Smartypants. They are joined by Dove Cameron, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Robert De Niro, and Adam Sandler, who voice the new characters introduced.

Toys To Life 2 was released theatrically in the United States on March 24, 2023. Despite being positively received by audiences and grossing $323 million worldwide against its $90 million budget, the film received mixed-to-negative critical reviews for its mean-spirited tone, humor, and writing, although the animation. voice acting, and musical score received praise. Two sequels, Toys To Life 3 and Toys To Life 4 were released on March 6, 2026 and March 16, 2029.

Plot

One month after the events of the first film, John Playskool, his daughter Rebecca and his troopers: Ian the lion, Tina the train, Ouch the pillow penguin, Ribbit the frog, and Robone the robot dog have become heroes since saving the museum. One day, the Toytown toys discover a portal, but are ordered to fear it, much to their disappointment. On the way to work, John sees the city clock Toyomia break, causing everyone to evacuate and rendering them homeless. With Toytown to be auctioned off the next week, John laments the fact that he has been single since the death of his wife. Rebecca reveals that she found a replacement clock hand in a place called "WonderWorld" on her phone. Seeing this as a way to save Toytown, John, Rebecca, and his troopers jump into the portal, which leads them to WonderWorld.

A cheerful know-it-all named Smartypants directs them to the Clock Store. John, Rebecca, and his troopers win the right clock, but must collect $700 in 24 hours or they will forfeit the bid and lose the clock. They befriend a broke salesman named Guy Gamer, who explains they make enough money in time by visiting a popular but dangerous game called Jungle Girl. They attempt to bring Gamer Guy the car of its main character Claire X. Venable, but are forced to give it back after an intense high-speed chase. She and her crew, Stewart, Mary, Chad, and Kath explain that it is unnecessary to steal cars to make money and make a video of John. Claire suggests John, Rebecca, and his troopers to come see her friend Besst and her assistant Wickk and make more videos at VideoToons. Rebecca initially refuses, but is pressured into agreeing John and Besst sign a contract to make tons of videos to make $700. Rebecca calls her father and his troopers selfish for trusting someone they shouldn't, and runs off to see Guy Gamer.

As John becomes popular, Ian, Tina, Ouch, Ribbit, and Robone spread the word across WonderWorld. In a matter of time, they make $1,357. John rushes to the Clock Store and buys the clock hand. Claire appears and reveals to John that she decided to stay with him after learning of his popularity. John and Claire fall in love, although Rebecca is suspicious of Claire's motives. Rebecca follows Gamer Guy into the Dark Chamber, where an giant anthropomorphic talking snail named Slug offers her R, a potion that she thinks will split John up from Claire. Claire accidentally drops R, which detects Claire as an insecurity and reboots Jungle Girl. John rescues Claire before the reboot begins. Rebecca confronts the couple, culminating in Claire accidentally revealing that she was tryoing to keep him in Jungle Girl. Outraged at Claire's deception, John breaks up with her. Unbeknownst to them, R scans John and duplicates him.

Meanwhile, John's troopers discover R has created zombie clones of John and inform John and Rebecca. They find Claire hiding with Smartypants. As John's troopers try to fend off the zombie clones, Smartypants suggests John, Rebecca, and Claire lure the clones into a anti-potion trap with Besst's help. However, the plan fails, and the zombie clones form a giant John. The giant John grabs Claire and tries to kill the real John, but Rebecca intervenes, finally coming to terms with Claire's relationship with John. The giant John and R disintegrate, and John is saved from falling to his death by his troopers.

John and Claire reconcile and finally kiss with Claire's blessing, and Claire bids a heartfelt farewell to her crew. John, Claire, Ian, Tina, Ribbit, Robone, and Ouch return to Toytown. John and Claire marry at the museum and go off on their honeymoon.

Cast

  • Owen Laramore as John Playskool, a blue snowboarder action figure and Rebecca's father and who is a tour guide at the Toytown Museum.
  • Ella Anderson as Rebecca Playskool, John's 18-year-old daughter.
  • Dove Cameron as Claire X. Venable, the main character of Jungle Girl and later queen of Toytown.
  • Will Arnett as Ian, a smart-talking toy lion and one of John's troopers.
  • Idina Menzel as Tina, a toy train and one of John's troopers.
  • Catherine O'Hara as Ouch, a pillow-sized penguin resembling dachshund who is one of John's troopers.
  • Drew Barrymore as Ribbit, a Tennis ball-shaped toy frog and one of John's troopers.
  • James Corden as Robone, a British-accented robot dog toy and one of John's troopers.
  • John DiMaggio as Smartypants, a cheerful know-it-all in WonderWorld. DiMaggio previously voiced John's cab driver in the first film.
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones as Besst, a algorithm that determines the trending videos on VideoToons.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Guy Gamer, a desperate game salesman who can't make a sale.
  • Robert De Niro as Slug, an anthropomorphic giant talking helpful-but-pompous snail who resides in the Dark Chamber.
  • Woody Allen as Wickk, an algorithm who is an assistant to Besst.
  • Adam Sandler as Stewart Venable, Claire's father and the patriarch of Claire's crew.
  • Claire and Stewart's crew:
    • Bindi Irwin as Mary
    • BD Wong as Chad
    • Awkwafina as Kath
  • Brooklynn Prince and Ana Ortiz as Little Spence and Mamo, two Tonka trucks who are mother and daughter.
  • Sarah Vowell as Mousey, a 3-inch-tall elephant toy and Little Spence's best friend.
  • Warwick Davis as Ken the Color Worm a snake made out of snap beads who is an inventor.
  • The Red Monkeys:
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Ronald
    • Jim Cummings as Krasinski
    • Benedict Wong as Brad
    • Frank Welker as Creeko (uncredited)
  • Jodie Whittaker as Anji, a Christmas ornament who is a teacher. She was voiced by Annie Potts in the first film.
  • Fred Tatasciore as R, an insecurity potion.

Additionally, Bret Iwan, well known as the voice of Mickey Mouse, voices the store's alert messenger while Mary Elizabeth Winstead voices the store's clerk. Non-speaking characters include Goat, a goat and Guy Gamer's companion, and Johnzilla, a monster formed by zombie clones of John created by R.

Reception

Box office

Toys To Life 2 opened in select theaters on March 24, 2023, and was projected to fail at the box office due to its critical responses, but it did not. The film it grossed $100 million in its opening weekend. The film ended its theatrical run on June 22, 2023, having grossed $135 in North America and $188 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $323 million. Produced on a $90 million budget, the film was a box office success.

Critical response

Toys To Life 2 was met with a mixed-to-negative reception from film critics, who compared it unfavorably to Ralph Breaks The Internet and criticized the humor, put praised the animation, musical score, and voice acting. On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 35% approval rating based on 213 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "With a rehashed plot and potty humor, Toys To Life 2 is a lackluster disappointment, but it is still as visually appealing as any animated film from Paramount Pictures to much younger kids in general". On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 43 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.

Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film a mixed review, writing, "Although it isn't the worst Dice Animation film, Toys To Life 2 falls flat". Rosie Knight of IGN wrote, "The original Toys To Life has what the sequel should have: the original storyline that led it to winning an Academy Award. Instead, the sequel borrows overindulgently from other films, although children today will be entertained". In a mixed review, Samantha Incorvaia of Arizona Republic wrote, "Though created to be a kids movie, this animated movie has humor targeted toward the adults in the audience. That's disappointing. However, it will leave kids laughing out loud".

Conversely, Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a more positive review, writing, "With a fascinating return of our favorite heroes from the original, Toys To Life 2 will surely appeal to the children in the audience".