Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Disney Film: TOY STORY 3

I am happy to report that I did in fact make it to see Toy Story 3 in the theater, and in 3D to boot!

First let me say that this may be the best of the three excellent animated features in this series. It blends a touching story, plenty of action and suspense, and well done humor together seemlessly into a film that makes you forget that you're watching a movie about toys that come to life when their owners aren't present, just as the others in the series did. But for some reason I liked this one more. Maybe it's the fact that I've just seen this one and the others occupy a somewhat fuzzier, more distant corner of my memory by now. Maybe it's that this is the only one I saw on the big screen. (I'm sure I didn't see Toy Story 2 in the theater, and I'm pretty sure I didn't see the first until its VHS release.)

I am pretty sure, however, that it had nothing to do with the fact that I saw it in 3D. I really didn't think that the video gimmick added anything to the showing, unlike, say, Shrek Forever After or How To Train Your Dragon, both of which benefitted from the strong 3D effects. TS3 did not need the gimmick nor do I feel it helped make the film better in any way.

I think other blogs have probably discussed the subject matter already, but in a nutshell: Andy (the toys' owner) is going off to college, and there is a lot of uncertainty among the toys about what will happen to them. It boils down to three choices: Attic, curb (for garbage pickup) or be donated. When miscommunication between Andy and his mother results in the toys (except for Woody) being deposited at the curb on trash day, the toys decide for themselves that they'd prefer donation, and figure out a way to get to Sunnyside Day Care. Woody ends up with them in an effort to make them understand the mixup.

But all isn't peaches and cream at the daycare - it's run by a stuffed bear called Lotso and his baby doll enforcer Big Baby, and the toys end up getting "played with" by the violent toddlers. They decide that Woody was right and that it would be better to go back to Andy's house and be stored in the attic, but it isn't that easy. And therein lies the excitement and the fun of this tale.

I would recommend this one to anyone. It is a worthy conclusion to the Toy Story saga and is again among Pixar's best, which is saying a lot. I don't doubt the Lamp anymore (after UP!)but it is still good when they prove the expectations to be well-founded.


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