Toy Story 3

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In 1995, an animated movie with what was then state of the art animation caught my attention: Toy Story, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger and more.  Toy Story was the first full length fully computer animated film to ever hit the theaters and it completely renovated how animated films came to life and began a whole new generation of computer animated movies.  And of course, the storyline about a new toy coming in and possibly taking over Numero Uno status over the current favorite was very cute.  I unfortunately missed the sequel that hit theaters in 1999, but when I saw the hilarious previews for Toy Story 3, I knew I just had to see this film.

            All of our favorites from Andy’s toy collection are back for this sequel.  Woody, Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Jessie, Rex and Hamm are making every attempt to try to get their favorite human to play with them again.  But Andy’s gotten older and is preparing to go off to college.  He has no time for playing with his old toy friends.  Worse yet, Andy’s mom is pressuring him to do something about all the toys in his toy box, offering him three choices: garbage, donation or attic. 

            Woody makes a great case with the toys, telling them that they will surely be headed off the attic, possibly to be entertainment for Andy’s kids when he gets older, but the other toys don’t feel secure, especially when Andy opts to place Woody among the items he will be bringing with him to college.  However, Woody keeps them all optimistic until the bag they are placed in accidentally gets placed on the curb rather than in the attic. 

            Believing that Andy was going to throw them away, the toys escape the bag and enter a box of toys scheduled to be donated to Sunnyside Daycare.  Andy’s toys believe they are making the right choice, especially when the toys already at the daycare offer them a hearty welcome.  But there is something about Sunnyside that rubs Woody the wrong way.  Could it be that Sunnyside isn’t a haven for abandoned toys at all?  Could there be something more sinister going on there?

            I did not to see the 3-D version of Toy Story 3, opting instead to see the regular computer animation that I fell in love with the first time.  This new fascination with 3-D movie viewing is a fad that I can do without.  It was fun watching Scrooge in 3-D, but I didn’t appreciate paying more for a film just to get  3-D glasses only to be asked to return them after the movie was over.  In addition to what some may refer to as being cheap, I really don’t see the appeal of 3-D.  In my opinion, not every movie is meant to be seen in 3-D and the best movies rely not on  technology, but on an enjoyable storyline.  That being said, I felt that Toy Story 3 would have enough in the animation department and storyline that I wouldn’t need the special 3-D effects.  Happily, I was right on that score.

            The fun started with something I haven’t seen since my childhood - a cartoon short to start off the movie.  Ah, the days of the cartoon short, when you got more bang for your buck by being given the opportunity to view an amusing cartoon short before the actual movie you paid for.  It was like watching two movies for the price of one and Disney·Pixar’s Day & Night cartoon short was incredibly entertaining.  Featuring two creatures who are polar opposites of one another, the short’s message was loud and clear - we should shun the prejudices in the world and celebrate our differences.  Very clever and very well done.

            Then, it was on to the main feature, Toy Story 3.  Even after all these years, the characters of Toy Story still have a special place in my heart.  The toys in Andy’s toy box and at the daycare are very reminiscent of the toys I played with when I was young.  The adventures…or misadventures…of these toys, who possess very entertaining personalities (who would have thought that my Mr. Potato Head had so much character), are fun for kids of ALL ages.  There’s something for everyone in this film, from the very youngest who are in awe of the idea that their toys may come to life when they aren’t looking, to the adults who reminisce about their old toys while laughing at the special moments of adult humor added into the film just for them.

            I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear during the final moments of the film as I thought back on all of the toys I moved on from.  I still have one of the very first toys I ever played with and have kept it on display in decent condition, vowing never to part with it.  I am someone who can see the sentimental value in things, and though I know when it is time to part with something, it can be very hard on me.  Thus, I can relate to the events in this story completely and was touched by the ending.

            Toy Story 3 is just as enjoyable as the original film (I can’t judge the second Toy Story as I never saw it).  This is a great film to see with an awestruck child, whether you see it as I did, or with the special 3-D effects.  If you don’t have a child to bring to the theater, bring yourself - I went with a friend who is only a child at heart and we both loved the movie.  This movie is loads of fun for both kids and adults.  So, - what are you waiting for?!  Check out Toy Story 3 from Disney·Pixar in theaters now!


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