Movie Review – Toy Story 3

Plot: Andy (John Morris) is heading off to college and his long time toys are headed for Sunnyside Day-Care Center.  At first it’s a welcome and exciting change, but the toys are soon abused and misused by the toddlers.  Led by Woody (Tom Hanks), the toys attempt to break out of day-care and head back for Andy’s house.

This may be the best Pixar movie I’ve ever seen.  The other two Toy Story films are very good movies, but this one transcends very good.  It is truly a great film, and so far the best of the year.  Where so many third films fail horribly, this one outdoes its predecessors.  Kids will enjoy this just fine, but Toy Story 3 is made for adults, and especially those just entering adulthood.

What separates this from the other two movies is that they were solely focused on one character.  The first Toy Story primarily revolved around Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and his coming to terms with being nothing more than a toy.  The second film is about Woody and his desire to be special by being part of a collection to be gawked at in a museum.  Toy Story 3 is about these toys as a group.  We’ve always seen the camaraderie between the toys, but here it really hits home.

Andy, their owner, is leaving for college, and they don’t know what will happen to them.  But whatever decision is made, they vow to do it together.  The first act of this movie is very somber.  We all remember in the first film how there seemed to be hundreds and hundreds of toys.  When Toy Story 3 opens, it’s only a handful of toys left as they sit around in Andy’s dark and empty room as their last days loom.  This is some dark stuff for a kid’s movie.

The movie is also just as funny as the others though.  Unlike the Shrek films, the characters are still fresh.  The eleven year gap between films was good for this series.  Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are as great as ever as Woody and Buzz.  My favorite character was always Rex the dinosaur (Wallace Shawn), and I liked him just as much as I did before.  They introduce a fantastic villain and really develop him with a clever and sad back story.  Michael Keaton also voices Ken (of Ken and Barbie fame), which was pretty damn funny.  My only real complaint with the characters is what they do with Buzz in the middle of the film.  They have this long running joke with his voice getting switched, but it goes on too long.

Toy Story 3 uses a lot of the same tricks such as playing the environment against the toys’ size, which is always fascinating to watch.  As the movie is partially a prison break story, they really have a lot of fun with it.  Even if you’re not into the story, although I can’t imagine you wouldn’t be, you will be dazzled by the visuals, especially the first sequence of the film.

But the heart of the movie is in its last half hour.  I do not want to spoil anything, but the last action sequence was pretty emotional and heart pounding.  Although the end drags on a bit, I cannot think of a better way to end a trilogy.  It’s great for kids, but better for adults.  I’ve always enjoyed Pixar movies, but I think they finally made a masterpiece with this one.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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