Toy Story 3 (2010)
I’ll admit, when I initially heard that Pixar’s next project was going to be a third installment to the Toy Story franchise, I wasn’t sure what to think. Pixar is the top dog for creativity and I’ve been thrilled with their not-so-recent efforts of Up and Wall-E. Soooo another Toy Story? Haven’t we heard this story before? Twice? But then I thought some more, and I’m as big of a fan as any of Woody and his gang and those movies define my childhood. And Pixar is always right. So I trusted them.
It’s a good thing I did.
Toy Story 3 is about grown-up Andy leaving the roost to go to college. One card that Pixar played to solidify awesomeness was to release this movie just as the first generation Toy Story watchers are heading out to college themselves. It definitely hit me differently since I too was embarking on the same adventure. Good move, Pixar. You always did know how to tug at the heart strings.
Anyway, as so morbidly predicted by Stinky Pete in Toy Story 2, Andy has forgotten about his toys. In the confusion of packing and getting everything ready to leave, his box of the beloveds (Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Bulls Eye, Slink, Rex, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Hamm, 3 alien squeak toys, and even Molly’s old barbie) are accidentally taken to Sunny Side Daycare, instead of the attic where he wanted them. (p.s. I totally listed those characters from memory btw. Go me). Woody tries to convince his buds that they need to go BACK to Andy’s.
Woody eventually heads off on his own. Buzz and the rest of the crew are at first excited for their new lives – they meet a welcoming Care-Bear named Losto and his side-kick Big Baby, and Barbie finds true love in the apparently-straight-but-sooo-gay Ken (“That Barbie sure has nice handwriting!” “Uhh, Buzz? I don’t think Barbie wrote this…”). Unfortunately, our toys are assigned to the dreaded Caterpillar room, and tyrannically excluded by Lotso from the coveted Butterfly room. What’s the difference? Malicious torture by toddlers. Turns out Woody was right. They need to get out of this murderous mess.
Soo my first reaction told me that this was a little too much like Toy Story 2. The plot didn’t sweep me off my feet. The sequence of things felt all-too familiar, and I was slightly disappointed. On a side note, I honestly think one of the reasons I had these few drawbacks was due to Roger Ebert’s review, which gave it a positive rating but not a home-run score. I’m torn between reading critic reviews for movies or not, but that’s a post for another time. Anyway, the emotion behind it all outweighs this drawback. I was freaking crying like a little baby by the end. Seriously. Tears were a-flowin’. It’s a good thing it was 2 am and everyone else had fallen asleep so I didn’t even need to pretend that I got something in my eye. I mean, these were practically MY toys! Their camaraderie and care for each other is powerful, and in the end this is simply a beautiful story about friendship and looking out for one another. But really though, let’s not forget the classic humor and wit that always accompanies a Pixar flick.
Ken: “See, that time I said Love! See what I mean, it changes every time!”
Ken’s fashion shows, Spanish mode Buzz (heck, Spanish-DANCING Buzz), and Pickle-Potato-Heads. It’s hard not to giggle like a maniac at some parts. Technically speaking, everything’s essentially flawless. Perfect animation. Excellent voice acting (Tom Hanks and Tim Allen of course, but also Michael Keaton, Ned Beatty and Bonnie Hunt in her small role). Classic music. Everything.
Pixar, you do whatever you want. You have now successfully created a trilogy for the ages that is satisfying and complete. I will forever treasure the Toy Story movies and the characters in them. “So long… partner.” 8/10