Saturday, June 19, 2010

Toy Story 3 - 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

Who Would Love This Movie: People who enjoyed the first Toy Story,teenagers who have grown up with Andy, and kids of all ages...basically, everyone. :)

Best Mood to Walk In With:Sentimental

Don't See This Movie If: You are a parent sending their first child off to college this fall and don't want to cry about it

Toy Story 3 was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was charming and funny like its predecessors, touching when it needed to be, and more sentimental than I was expecting. And although I am someone who has based my career off of parents sending their children off to college, it is a movie everyone can relate to.

That being said, I want to start off with what annoyed me, since they are small complaints. As you can see from the poster above, Bo Peep is featured along with the words "The toys are back in town". However, Bo Peep is not in this movie, and the lack of continuity irks me. Also, the reason B.P. (unfortunate initials given the present oil situation in the Gulf) presumably does not appear is to make room for all the new characters. In Toy Story 2, I got a little bored with the focus being on introducing a new character (Jessie), rather than focusing solely on the characters I already loved. In this third round, the same issue arises. It's not that Lotso (the Bear character) isn't interesting, but I wanted more screen time for Buzz, Rex, and the other beloved gang that I met in 1995. After all, if you attended a dinner party filled with strangers as well as dear friends you hadn't seen in years, who would you gravitate towards?

However, these end up being observations that did not ruin the overall experience. Like the first two, the animation is incredible, the script can reel in children and adults, and the voices continue to be more indelible than some of the celebrities live action roles. Basically, score another hit for Pixar...another BIG hit.

But more important than all of these elements are the lessons that are gently emphasized throughout the movie. The values of loyalty, compassion, and fairness have been showcased in other children's films, but not always as seamlessly. And for those of us who remember watching Andy and his toys as younger versions of our own selves, it is a bittersweet reminder that becoming a grown up is inevitable. And although this sounds depressing as I write it, these tender emotions that the movie evokes are what makes it so wonderful. I have always been impressed how Pixar can make me feel more connected to a computer generated image, than most of Hollywood can make me feel about real people.

Keep Your Eyes Open For: The climatic furnace scene where the characters reflect all the reasons they are known by name, rather than just thought of as toys
Also Keep Your Eyes Open For: The garbage man...does he look familiar to you? ;) (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can Google it. Actually, searching for all the Easter Eggs in the movie is fascinating. Pixar's attention to detail is incredible. Check it out here:

All in all, a touching and funny chapter in the Toy Story series that leaves me wondering if it is finally "The End" for Woody and Buzz, or simply another beginning...

Movies Are Life. ~ K