Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Release: 3D Toy Story 3

Pixar and Disney movies are often some of the best movies of the year.  Wall*E is still one of my favorite movies of all time.  This all started back before college with Toy Story and then Toy Story 2 when I was in college.  Now, more than 10 years later, I was excited to see the third installment, and after having seen it, I'd sign up for number 4 too.  Even more exciting, I'm in the big city this week so I got to see it in a huge theater in 3D even.  I can't say the 3D added a lot too the experience, but I can't confirm that until I see it again in only 2 dimensions.  They didn't do any of the "things flying at you" for effect, which is nice, but they also didn't take full advantage of it.  Avatar and surprisingly A Christmas Carol still did it the best I've seen so far.  Anyway, the story kind of relies on having seen the previous 2 movies, but I doubt you'd actually miss anything if you haven't seen them, you'll just enjoy it.  The movie picks up when Andy, the owner of all the toys, is packing up to go to college and has to decide what to do with his toys.  Some he packs up to go to the attic (though they inadvertently get thrown away but end up at a day-care center).  He wants to take Woody (Tom Hanks) with him to college, but he ends up at the day care too.  The other toys' feelings are hurt and they decide to make the best of their new life at the day-care center, run by Lots-O-Huggin' teddy bear (Ned Beatty).  Lotso makes nice when they first arrive, but then locks them in a separate room where the terror toddlers play roughly with the toys.  Woody still wants to get back to Andy, and leaves them (going home with Bonnie who is a good kid and appreciates her toys).  Meanwhile, the day-care center turns out to be hell for new toys.  Lotso runs it with an iron fist and Andy's toys hate it there, though Barbie does finally meet Ken (the Ken-is-gay jokes alone are pretty funny).  Woody finds out how horrible his friends have it, so he goes back to rescue them and they of course break out.
This is where the movie should have ended to make it just about perfect.  However, there's more drama at a dump before they of course have a terrifically happy ending that I won't spoil (though if you didn't think it would be a happy ending, you are cynical and should see this movie immediately).  It was only about 15 minutes too long, the dialogue is fun, moves the story along, and is particularly original as stories go.  The creators play on our natural tendencies to think certain toys are bad or evil (the cymbal playing monkey has always seems menacing to me) and others are good, but then surprise you pretty well with the fact that the cuddly teddy bear who smells like strawberries is actual a toy-dictator.  I also liked the fact that the movie celebrates imaginative play rather than just watching TV or playing video games.  Bonnie makes up scenarios and her toys are used to "improv" and they might be at a Paris cafe or in a hospital.  Overall, I really liked the movie, both on its own and as an animated kids flick.  4 of 5 lambs/stars.


Buttercup said...

This is definitely on my list, but I think I can skip the fancy version.

CMrok93 said...

Those last 15 minutes practically had me balling in my seat, as I noticed not only was Andy saying "bye", I was too. Great film, great review!