Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: Toy Story 3

Grade: A+

Woody, Buzz and the rest of our favorite toy box friends are back once again. It’s been many years since we last saw the gang and now Andy is all grown up and getting ready to leave for college. The toys are trying to cope with the very real possibility of finally being abandoned or worse, thrown out, by Andy when they are accidentally donated to Sunnyside daycare center. At first, the daycare seems like a dream come true where the toys can be happy forever. Then, they discover the toys there, lead by a strawberry-scented Lots-o-huggin Bear, don’t take well to new comers and have the toys locked in the toddler area where a toy is lucky to last a week. Woody helps the toys come up with a plan to escape the daycare and make their way back to Andy, where they feel they belong.

Pixar has done it once again. I was nervous at first but the third adventure with everybody’s favorite toys is spectacular. For all the true fans of Toy Story, the first scene alone is just awesome and amazing trip to nostalgialand with the first Toy Story. The movie is loaded with fun references to the previous movies, so keep an eye out. This movie introduces the character of Ken, as voiced by the great Michael Keaton (Post Grad, Batman), and the bits with Barbie and Ken are great, some of the best parts of the movie. As usual with Pixar, the story for the movie is absolutely wonderful. I was a bit worried as I feared a third visit to these characters might be a bit forced and unoriginal, but they proved me wrong. Toy Story 3 is more enjoyable than Toy Story 2 was, in my opinion. Just as a fair warning, all true fans of the Toy Story movies, especially those of us who grew up with these movies, the ending of this movie is very emotional and will bring most of you to tears, I know I welled up a bit.

The movie brings back that great ensemble cast we’ve all come to know and love with these characters including Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as Rex, Joan Allen as Jesse and John Ratzenberger (the only actor to do voices on all of Pixar's movies) as Hamm. It also brings in many new great characters with a great voice cast as well including Ned Beaty as Lots-o-hugs Bear, Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Kristen Schaal as Trixie, Jeff Garlin as Buttercup, Bonny Hunt as Dolly and many more.

As with most of the Pixar movies, Toy Story 3 brings us a new Pixar Animated Short. This one is titled Night & Day and is an absolute joy. It just might be one of the better Pixar shorts. It is hard to describe briefly what it is about but it is a very cool concept and Pixar pulled it off very well.

I recommend Toy Story 3 to absolutely everyone. I have to super recommend this movie to everyone around my age who grew up watching these movies when they first came out and were as mesmerized by the characters as I was and were amazed by Pixar's storytelling abilities. This movie is fantastic and well worth seeing however you can, standard 2D, 3D or 3D IMAX, it really doesn’t matter, just see it.

Great quote: “The thing about Woody is, no matter what, he’s always there for you.”

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