Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, G)

Just about every movie is using 3-D these days.  This film would have been just as good without it.



People grow up, but their favorite toys remain pretty much the same. Most Pixar lovers are kids and children at heart who enjoy busting out their Cars and WALL-E wear to attend screenings. In the monumental Toy Story series, Pixar director John Lasseter started this animation trend that is still in mint condition. Fifteen years since Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (voice of Tim Allen) made their first appearance, it is an occasion to dust off those fan duds. Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3 shows a changing world for an expanding audience and toys that remain consistently affective.

Woody, Buzz and everyone else in Andy’s room are gearing up for another transition. They have already survived invasive toys and a big move. Now, the toy chest is sending Andy off to college, where playing gets traded in for partying. His room is passed down to his now preteen sister. His toys are passed on to Sunnyside. This seemingly happy home is a daycare for kids and a nursing home for new toys. Andy wouldn’t want them to end up in such a place. While they try to fulfill their playmate fate, the Toy Story gang meets other toys and experiences new adventures.

It is 2010. A new generation of Toy Story fans is emerging. This new audience wasn’t even born when “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” was composed or when Pixar didn’t follow the word “Disney.” They may not even notice that Andy has a laptop and cell phone and his once baby sister has an mp3 player. But older fans appreciate these signs of growth. Pixar has to not only keep the attention of loyal fans, they also have to appeal to a group that wants Woody or Buzz bed sheets. Disney Digital 3-D paired with formulaic storytelling makes everyone happy. Just about every movie is using 3-D these days. Some wacky consumers even want it coming out of their television sets. This film would have been just as good without it. It looks great, but the story and animation could stand on its own just like it has in the last two movies.

Besides the picture quality, other additions are noticeable. Unkrich couldn’t get rid of classics like Hamm (voice of John Ratzenberger) or Rex (voice of Wallace Shawn). Still, he introduces even more characters in this third film than in the second. There are so many characters it is hard to remember their names. Unkrich has recruited some big voices like Michael Keaton and Whoopi Goldberg, and it is nice to play a “Whose Voice is That?” game while you watch the film. Some of the new characters aren’t as enjoyable as the old favorites. A similar style is there, but the depth of the classic Toy Story dreamy, heartwarming, and nightmarish scenes work best with the toy cast from movies past.

Toy Story 3 is like digging into a box in your basement and remembering how much you love your old toys. A lot has changed in this hectic world, but the toys are just as enjoyable and affective the second and third time around. No matter whose voice is highlighted or what kind of people fill the seats, hopefully the films will flourish to infinity and beyond. | Alice Telios


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