Toy Story 3
- Reviewed by: LaRae Meadows
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Current Rating 8.67/10 | 3 Votes
After years of being banished to the toy box, Andy’s toys have to ask themselves, what comes next? Charming, chock full of adventure, and emotion, Toy Story 3 lives up its predecessors and delivers a beautifully animated, heartwarming experience for viewers of all ages.
Andy, a 17 year old boy, has had the same toys since early childhood. Now residing in the toy box are a cowboy named Woody (Tom Hanks), a space ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen/Javier Fernandez Pena), the Potato Head pair Mr. (Don Rickles) and Mrs. (Estelle Harris), and many other toys. They long to be played with; not locked in the box. When Andy heads off to college, his mother tells him he has to clean out his room. While trying to put his toys in a safe place, they are accidently donated. The toys find out the true meaning of the old adage: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Director-writer Lee Unkrich and writers Michael Arndt, John Lesseter, and Andrew Stanton gently take the audience by the hand and lead us gingerly through moments of rejection, heart break, redemption, peril, and bravery. They do not emotionally shield or drag us. They guided us through the story, giving us the opportunity to feel what it is like to be useless, find purpose in unexpected places, and everything that goes with that.
Moreover, every character has depth and dimension. No character is above being selfish or selfless. Being a villain is not a character stain, but a symptom of overwhelming pain and necessity. Even the “good guys” sometimes aren’t. As a consequence, I felt like I could relate to antagonist and occasionally see myself in him.
It is easy to get lost in the animation of Toy Story 3. There is a great balance between realism and fantasy. An animated movie that attempts to be too realistic will lose the audience when they have physics or movement errors. One that goes too far from reality will have a suspension of disbelief problem. Toy Story 3 is familiar and novel, the perfect combination for comfort and interest.
I saw the 3D version. Much to the credit of the directors and the writers, there are no scenes written in just to show off the awesome 3D. Instead, the 3D is used to make the fantastical story of sentient toys feel more real. Toys don’t fall into your eye, making you jerk back in your seat (the way so many directors use 3D), they fall away, making you want to reach for them. You don’t feel in danger, you feel like you are watching an innocent in jeopardy.
I was worried that this third in the series would suffer from sequel-it is, but the writers and director prevented it with the appropriate use of context and complete plot. The characters are introduced appropriately; the previous stories are integrated and explained without being redundant or tedious. Much to my relief, the plot does have a beginning, middle, and an end. When I left the theater, I was glad I had seen Toy Story 3. I suspect you’ll feel the same way.
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