Toy Story 3

What a lousy summer it’s been for movies. I haven’t seen anything in a month. There’s hasn’t been anything I wanted to see. And when you consider that the studios load their most promising prospects for the beginning of the summer things are really looking bleak. Fortunately, here comes the mighty Pixar with the even mightier franchise of Toy story to save the day at least for this week.
One aspect of the Toy Story premise is the fact that its main characters, the toys are in a very vulnerable position. They are liable to be abused, lost and eventually abandoned when the kids who own them grow up. The geniuses at Pixar have chosen to incorporate this aspect into their plots–it was certainly a large part of Toy Story 2. Thus they turn a potential liability into a strength. I suspect that lesser talents would’ve ignored the situation altogether, granting the child character perpetual childhood.
At the beginning of Toy Story 3 Andy, the child who owns Woody, Buzz and the rest, is about to go to college and the toys are worried with, it turns out, good reason. Andy’s mother, in the tradition of mothers everywhere, donates the gang, by accident, to a day care center. At first it seems like a good deal. As Lotso, the blue teddy bear, who leads the toys in the center, and who is voiced by Ned Beatty explains, as the children in the Play-care grow up and leave, new ones come in. A toy need never fear being abandoned. But when the gang finds out that the children are not as careful with them as Andy was and Lotso proves not to be the benevolent leader he seems, escape becomes imperative
The original cast from the first two films is back including Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Joan Cusack as Jesse, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn is Rex the plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex, John Ratzenberger as Hamm, and Estelle Harris as Mrs. potato head. Needless to say the voiceover work is perfect as is the computer animation which takes excellent advantage of 3-D. Nobody does 3-D better than Pixar at this point.
The only quibble I have, and it is a quibble, is with the plot. It’s the same formula as the last two. They get in trouble and then they have to make some kind of wacky escape to get out of it, usually under an impossible deadline. This happens several times in the movie and at just under two hours it gets a little repetitive.
But that’s a minor flaw and only detracts a little bit. The things that make this franchise and indeed this company great, the real characters, the inventive situations, spectacular technical achievements, and most of all, the genuine emotional warmth, are all there. The ending, which of course I won’t reveal, is deeply moving without being maudlin. You should see this film in the theater and in 3-D.


1 Response to “Toy Story 3”

  1. 1 happening June 21, 2010 at 2:17 am

    thanks for the review.. i certainly can’t wait to see the action of the toy story gang. especially that silly green dinosour. love it!

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June 2010
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