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"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Toy Story 3

MOVIE REVIEWS

TOY STORY 3 (2010)

Featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf, Jodi Benson, Emily Hahn, Blake Clark, Teddy Newton, Bud Luckey, Beatrice Miller, Javier Fernandez Pena, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Jeff Garlin, Bonnie Hunt, John Cygan, Jeff Pidgeon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Angel, R. Lee Ermey, Jan Rabson and Richard Kind.

Screenplay by Michael Arndt.

Directed by Lee Unkrich.

Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.  103 minutes.  Rated G.

 

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Toy Story 3 

In the fifteen or so years that Pixar has been revolutionizing animation a streak which started with the original Toy Story this franchise is the only Pixar picture which was rewarded with a sequel and now two.  (In fairness, word has it that a Cars sequel is also in the works.) 

Sequels can be a dangerous situation.  It is rare that they add to the story and the characters.  Much more often it is just a crass money grab.  Toy Story 2 got wonderful reviews, though personally I felt it was a step backward in quality. 

So what about Toy Story 3? 

Im going to go out on a limb here.  Toy Story 3 is the best Toy Story movie yet. 

Now before you write that off as sheer hyperbole, I suppose I should acknowledge that while I liked both of the first two Toy Story films, I did feel that they were both a bit overrated.  Particularly the second.  And this new addition to the franchise, as enjoyable as it is, probably is not quite as good as it will get credit for being. 

Still, I will say it again. 

As far as Im concerned, Toy Story 3 is the best Toy Story movie yet. 

It has just as much comedy, as much adventure and has significantly more heart and even a slight undercurrent of melancholy which was not as prominent in the previous chapters.

This is because Toy Story 3 confronts the inevitable period when a child grows out of his toys.  When a being exists entirely to bring joy and be played with, what will happen when the play is pretty much over?

Andy, the boy who owns the toys that make up the franchise, is now seventeen years old and getting ready to go away to college. 

Favorite toys, like Woody the cowboy and Buzz Lightyear space ranger have been spending more and more time in the toy box.  The toys realize that it is inevitable, and yet they fear they will be put in the attic or even worse get thrown away. 

Through a series of miscommunications between Andy and his mom, all the toys are donated to a local day care center, which turns out to be run with an iron fist by a fluffy bear named Lotso.

Thus the film turns into a cracked prison break fantasy, by turns funny, exciting and occasionally particularly towards the end just a bit scary.

The film ends on a nearly perfect bittersweet note, one that is both sad, a little inevitable and at the same time rather uplifting. 

The makers of the Toy Story films truly understand the bond between a child and a toy, but they also get the bond with an adult and a toy as well.  The relationship is more complicated, more nostalgic and in some ways even deeper. 

Just like this movie.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2010 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 18, 2010.

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Copyright 2010  PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 18, 2010.

 

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