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Toy Story 3

November 8, 2010

It’s no doubt that when the upcoming Academy Awards take place in February the nominee for best animated feature will include Toy Story 3, now available on DVD. The winner of that very category will more than likely be the aforementioned title. Pixar has once again proved their superiority in the animated movie making genre with another gem and one of the best films of the year. Toy Story was original, witty and visually stunning as it showed viewers what we can only imagine, is the world through the eyes of a toy. This is where the sequel failed as Toy Story 2 was an inauthentic rip off of its predecessor and lacked humor or originality. However, Toy Story 3 is a return to form that instead of trying to outdo the first, merely continued an evolving story to finally give an ending for the characters involved.

Andy’s no longer the adorable kid playing for hours on end in his room with his toys. Now Andy is 17, done with high school and soon to be leaving for college. His room is significantly different, now complete with a lap top, posters and trophies. The only physical childhood memory still visible is his toy chest which has become his junk drawer where only a few old toys and knick knacks are buried. Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the remaining toys try on several occasions to move themselves to the top of the chest while creating diversions for Andy to open it and remember them. They soon accept the realization that they are now at a point in their lives when they must be moved to the attic. As Woody calms and prepares his friends for life in the attic, a misunderstanding lands them in the trash can. Determined to be with people who will play and care for them the toys journey to the local day care, Sunnyside, where veteran Lotso (Ned Beatty) along with hundreds of toys explain the joys of life in daycare. However, as time passes the toys began to realize that Sunnyside’s governing system isn’t as helpful as they thought and instead they try to find an escape back to Andy.

Toy Story 3 is narratively the most complex of the trilogy with much darker themes than the first two. Toy Story’s main theme was jealously and the second focused on fears of abandonment, but Toy Story 3 incorporates both themes and more. Its focuses are political systems, an ode to growing up, accepting ones fate and an overall realization that things change. Toy Story 3 is heartbreaking at times and in one of the most powerful ending sequences I’ve ever seen on film, caused me to go from sniffling to bawling in a theater…however 99% of Disney films do that to me. The stark emotion felt by viewers comes more so due to the connection with the characters as opposed to their situation. Their anxiety and fear is projected onto audiences and one can’t help but cheer when they’re happy, laugh when they crack a joke and cry when they suffer. Even new characters lead to impressive stories with funnier and endearing moments.

Pixar once again tops itself in visuals as Toy Story 3 is stunningly vibrant in the most beautiful way yet of any from the franchise. While the first film focused on framing the toys against their real world counterparts to emphasize the their small statures in the world, Toy Story 3 emphasizes the multitude of colors that exist within the toy world. A major part of the film is spent in Sunnyside, which almost felt like reliving my childhood at daycare center through the use of bright colors, walls filled with art work, messy rooms of discarded broken toys and cold, sterile bathrooms.

Toy Story 3 is a film for all ages but mostly geared to adults. Parents may find they have to confront thoughts of their children growing up and adults may nostalgically recall their childhood and wonder whatever became of that beloved favorite toy. Overall the film is an impressive sequel and rivals the original. However the only flaw I found with the film, besides the unnecessary use of Mrs. Potato Head, was the plot dependency on the garbage trucks but I had to remind myself it’s just a movie. Although with bonus features on story development, Cars 2 teaser trailer and a Mexican music video for “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” remembering it’s just a movie isn’t so bad.

SEE IT. Now.

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