Sunday, July 11, 2010

Toy Story 3 (2010)


As Andy heads off to college, begins to bid farewell to his much beloved toys, Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) find themselves accidentally sent to the local Daycare. Believing they have found themselves a new home, they quickly find things are not what they seem.

"Sunnyside is a place of ruin and despair, ruled by an evil bear who smells of strawberries!"

When I first heard Pixar was heading back to Toy Story, now taking their only sequel and turning it into a trilogy, I feared they had run out of ideas. Were perhaps looking for a quick filler film to tie them over till the next year. I think it's safe to say, Toy Story 3 has well over proven that theory wrong.

While it can be simply marginalized to a tale about a boy learning to let go of his childhood toys, Toy Story 3 is more about the great changes in life. The farewells that must be said. The accepting that things will not always be the same. And the appreciating that no matter what changes, you never really lose the ones you care about.

Wrap that up in a hilarious hour and 40 minutes, and you've roughly got Toy Story 3. As fun a movie as I've seen this year, with all the heart to support what it seeks to portray. Intelligently created, blending genre cliches, with its own, finding a way to make each scene matter. If by no other method than appealing to the children in all of us... something Pixar does better than any other American animated company.

To cap off its appeal, Toy Story 3 brings to life a plethora of new characters for our entertainment. Ken (Michael Keaton) and Barbie (Jodi Benson) provide a colorful goofiness that just can't be shaken. And one can never be at loss when you add Ned Beatty to your cast list (not to mention the brief Totoro appearance). Support that with the return of Don Rickles, who always puts a smile on my face, and much of the old crew (of course minus Jim Varney replaced by longtime friend Blake Clark), and sweeping memories of my own childhood watching Toy Story comes back.

While it's story is a few years behind me, the message it carries still resonates in my mind. The leaving of childhood, entering adulthood, and what that really entails. Still, as the film quite well lays out, change is not bad. It's merely an opportunity to find something new, and just as meaningful as before.

Toy Story 3 doesn't seek to re-invent the series wheel. No, instead it relies on old tricks, wonderful characters, and great creativity to spin a whole new tale for its viewer. A tale filled with heart, longing, and acceptance, all of which reach deep into the psyche. Begging you to revisit your childhood one last time, no matter how "grown up" you are.

13 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

So here's my question - where did the last two points go? You've given it an 8/10, what held it back from a top score?

SugaryCynic said...

dude, finally! thought you were gonna miss it

Castor said...

Glad you enjoyed it, I gave it an 8/10 myself as I think it was very good but not quite a masterpiece. It didn't blow my mind but it was very effective entertainment that hit most of its intended targets.

Univarn said...

@Mad 10/10 is reserved for movies that are in my top 100. 9/10 is reserved for movies that are long term favorites or absolutely blow me out of the water. 8/10 range is "best of the year range," and limited flaws range. At least that's how I marginalize it in my head.

If I had to put out my one grump it's that far too often I could predict what would happen next. As such it took me out of a lot of the more tense scenes. Felt like I was waiting for it to happen rather than worrying if it would.

@Sugary Eh, no job = need people to take me to the movies :)

@Castor I fully agree

The Mad Hatter said...

I vote "scandal".

A great film is a great film, and should be noted as such at first go. You can quantify greatness later on, but to try and quantify it as you're going along is damned near impossible.

Univarn said...

@Mad The score is ultimately meaningless. The review reflects my general mood towards a film. I use the score as a way of placing my value on a film. As such I can do it however I want :).

Besides, I don't quantify greatness. I quantify favorite. Very big difference :)

Mike Lippert said...

8 out of 10 is about right. This is a very entertaining film but it's still one of Pixar's go between films when they need to make a movie but don't have a masterpiece in them and simply do as good as they can. My problem was, to spoil my review before I post it any day, that the beginning and end were good but the whole middle was too heavy on action and left the toys acting more like action heroes than toys.

Simon said...

This is my official Favorite Movie Ever, sir. Therefore, I resent the 8/10. Though I like your explanation. Conflicted.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Well this is your review, so critiquing would be generally pointless (for eg. if pushed I'd say 8 is too high) but I will say that it's a valiant ending indeed, unlike so many other franchises.

"And the appreciating that no matter what changes, you never really lose the ones you care about." That's such an accurate read on the positive intent film which, despite all its intents, doesn't seem realistic - but this is (mostly) directed at children.

Anonymous said...

He..he.. that's why I don't have ratings on my review, it's really tough to 'quantify' how I feel about a movie for me... but I think 8/10 sounds about right and your explanation satisfies, Univard :)

I like how you concluded your review... yes it's definitely an animated tale so full of heart and depth... and though I didn't really have the same reaction of parting with my childhood toys, I could totally relate and was really moved by that scenario.

Heather said...

I thought I had left the theater with my change intact and when I returned home my husband, who had already seen it with our youngest son, asked me if the final scene made me cry (he knows movies seldomly bring me to tears) and I calmly announced it choked me up, but I was okay, and my older son that I brought with me announced, "Yes she did. There were tears down her face, she didn't know I was watching her." Ahhh. So yeah, it made me have a good ole cry, and like you said, it didn't necessarily tread new ground. It was more action packed for sure, and definitely a little darker than the first two, but it maintained what was loved about the series while also managing to grow and give closure. That's a pretty epic feat, especially in the world of animation. I was doubly impressed by that. It wasn't the best of the series or Pixars best for me, but probably one of the best of the year, and a fine conclusion to a beloved series.

The Kid In The Front Row said...

I am so excited about seeing this movie!

Darren said...

Really looking forward to this one, damn World Cup staggering release dates over here! And I totally get what you're saying about grading scores - part of the reason I avoid giving scores is because of the difficulty keeping stuff like that "in line".

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