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?
I’m 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 I’m concerned, Toy Story 3 is the best Toy Story
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.