Theatrical Review: Toy Story 3

Young Andy isn’t as young as he used to be, he’s now 17 and he’s not playing with his toys any more. Andy’s about ready to go off to college and now Woody, Buzz Lightyear and all of the rest of our Toy Story friends are worried about their future. Woody, of course being the leader of the group tries to calm everyone down and tells them that they’re going to be going to the attic and still being all together and there for whenever Andy should need them next. But the worries continue, and now Andy’s mother has issued him an ultimatum that he needs to decide what he’s going to do with the toys- either put them in the attic or put them in the trash.

Well, Andy decides to put all of his toys except for Woody in the attic. Woody, gets to go with Andy to college. As Buzz and the rest are ready to be put in the attic, something unexpected happens and they end up mistakenly being put out for the trash. Well, Woody sees this all happening and naturally he wants to save his friends and he does, though his friends aren’t convinced that Andy wanted them to go in the attic. The toys make the jump to another box marked for donations and soon they find themselves in an all new adventure at a daycare center where it looks like their life after Andy is going to be rosier than ever… but of course, it’s not.

This is the premise to Pixar’s and Disney’s latest chapter in the lives of these magical toys for Toy Story 3 and right off the bat, I’m going to tell you this is the best movie I’ve seen all year.

This one has it all- comedy, action, adventure, romance and sentiment. It’ll probably end up being one of the funniest movies that you’ll see all year and at the same time it’ll get you all welled up by it’s end- it certainly did for me.

I’m continually stunned at just how well Pixar makes movies. Oh sure, we know that their computer animation is just the best all around, but the fact that all of their movies are terrific stories is truly amazing. They’ve come so far since the first Toy Story (and that’s still brilliant), especially with their cinematic techniques, but none of it has ever been at the expense of their stories or their characters.

Pixar has always managed to truly make something for everyone, and Toy Story 3 is no exception. There’s plenty of entertainment for the kids to be sure, but there’s always something there for the adults as well. I saw this preview screening in a packed house with probably a 50/50 split of adults and kids, and from what I could tell, all were entertained.

All of your favorites are back, but we also get introduced to some brand new characters- Lotso, the “kindly” but villainous old teddy bear who’s in charge of the toys at the daycare center, Big Baby, Lotsie’s “enforcer,” and my personal favorites, Ken and Barbie. Barbie starts off with the rest of the crew at Andy’s house, she being one of Andy’s sister’s toys and getting ready to be donated. We’re introduced to Ken at the daycare center and of course, it’s love at first sight for these two. For me, the funniest gags in the whole movie revolved around Ken and of course, his impeccable fashion sense.

The voice cast is truly fantastic. Of course Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn are all back and it wouldn’t be a pixar movie without John Ratzenberger. New to our main cast is comedian Blake Clark taking over for the late Jim Varney with the voice of Slinky Dog. New to this movie are Ned Beatty as Lotso and Michael Keaton as Ken, and they perfectly fit in with the main cast. Out there on the side though is Timothy Dalton doing one of the voices and it’s only for a couple of scenes, but he’s truly memorable with what he does.

I saw this in 3D, and much like the 3D was with Up, the 3D here is used mainly for depth of scenes more than give you an eye-popping effect. It’s good, but it’s not essential to your enjoyment of this movie. Like all of the previous Pixar features, we get a short film with this as well. This little film is called Day & Night and really this is more of a showcase for their use of 3D than the main movie. It’s a really nice combination of 2D and 3D animation that features two characters, one filled with night and the other filled with day and it will not disappoint.

Don’t miss this. As I said above, this has now become for me the best movie that I’ve seen for the year, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again in a couple of weeks. Pixar knocks another one right out of the park, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

18. June 2010 by Darren Goodhart
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