Toy Story 3 may be the third best in the series, but there’s no shame in that; this is still probably the best movie I’ve seen at the theater this year (just by a smidgen, though. I loved ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ about as much as this one). The folks at PIXAR once again produce a movie that is of the highest quality in every way. For me, Toy Story 2 exceeded the original and was nothing short of an artistic achievement (as all 3 are). This one just added on to what was already there. It maintained the ‘magic’.
This time Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and company have reached the point that usually makes for a gloomy offering in a movie about toys that are no longer have kids to play with them.
Their owner Andy has grown up and the remaining toys (some have fallen by the way over the years) are under threat of being thrown out. But instead of lingering on the sadness of the situation,
Toy Story 3 sidesteps that and turns into a kind of prison break movie for toys. There were also some elements of horror (along with several nods to other films) that I enjoyed.
Along with the regulars [Buzz, Woody, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles & Estelle Harris), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Rex ( Wallace Shawn), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark) and Jessie (Joan Cusack)], there are several great additions. Most of the trailers have featured Barbie (Jodi Benson) & Ken (Michael Keaton).
I guess Mattel (or whoever owns the rights) finally gave in after resisting PIXAR’s advances/plans for the original film. Maybe Barbie sales are down.
Ned Beatty also had a pivotal role in the film as Lotso the Hugging Bear that smells like strawberries. They had their moments throughout, but I also got a kick out of some of the smaller roles.
Kristen Schaal had several great moments in the movie as Trixie, a Toy Triceratops that liked to surf the internet, as did Timothy Dalton as the toy thespian’Mr. Pricklepants’.
Woody and Mr Pricklepants (Hanks and the Daltonator)
And then there is “the Claw” (more carry over from the previous installments). Great stuff. Usually, any more than 2 sequels and you’re pushing your luck, but I hope to see another installment featuring these characters.
The only drawback to the film was the animated short before Toy Story 3. It was called Night & Day and that’s kind of how I view the comparison of the movie & short feature. Sure, it was imaginitive using 2 Shmoo-like animated characters as ‘masks’ or ‘keys’ over CGI background animation, but it wasn’t funny (at least to me) and I could have done without it. I wasn’t quite sure what they were trying to say even when it was sounding irritatingly preachy (towards the end of it). I don’t think they were sure of what they were trying to say, either.
Despite that opening FAIL, I still liked the main feature as much as some of the best PIXAR efforts. I give it 4.5 of 5 and would’ve given it the perfect 5 of 5 if I hadn’t had to sit through the short. It’s worth seeing on the big screen, nonetheless.