First off, let me just say that I made the mistake of not immediately writing my review for this movie after seeing it. I remember liking it…and crying… Note to self: In the future, write reviews immediately after viewing. You see, I was called for jury duty about two weeks ago and am STILL serving. Now instead of my brain being filled with thoughts about cute cartoon characters (per usual), it’s full of legal thoughts and testimony notes.
I really can’t think of a movie that had higher expectations going in to it than Toy Story 3. Not only is it the third chapter in a highly lauded trilogy, but it is also the latest release from Pixar. Pixar has (what I’m going to call) the only undefeated streak in movie production ever. They have yet to release a box office bomb or a critically slammed movie. There is a reason for this success – they are just really dang good storytellers.
The story is about (from my slightly hazy recollection) the toys we have all come to know and love as Andy’s being retired, or at least the make-believe toy version of retired. Through a series of events, they end up being donated to the Sunnyside Daycare Center. The daycare is full of toys that have been donated by the parents of their original owners. We are introduced to all sorts of new characters as the daycare – Lotso, the dictator of Sunnyside, Ken, and Big Baby, the scariest doll since Chucky. My favorite newbie, however, is introduced as part of the backstory of Lotso – Mr. Pricklepants. Mr. Pricklepants is a community theatre-loving hedgehog in lederhosen. He is pretentious and adorable. Back at Sunnyside, things are not the Shangri-la that they initially appeared to be, however. Our hero toys have to stage what is basically a prison break to escape.
Joining and subsequently leaving Sunnyside is really only the surface level of what Toy Story 3 is about. Underneath that plot, like in all the Pixar movies, lies comments and themes with a much deeper emotional resonance. They delve into the disposable nature of our society (seen before in Wall-E) and the feeling of uselessness that comes as part of the ageing process (seen before in Up). Expect to let go of some tears in this film. I did and I know of several grown men who did as well. Toy Story 3 is totally worth seeing at any price.
Toy Story 3 melted my heart. I’m not saying my heart was actually made of ice, but if it had been (like the bad guy in one of the Care Bear movies) it would have melted, leaving me with an embarrassing puddle on my shirt and pants. Me: “I swear it’s not pee. My heart just melted while watching this film.” And then Jessica would have just shook her head at me. I’m getting a bit off point… my point is I loved Toy Story 3. I watched it in a state of absolute glee. Well, glee and some misty eyes at certain points in the story. I watched it with three other friends who were equally moved and entertained.
I know this blog may have sounded like a tribute to Pixar in the past, but how can one not kneel at the feet of the people who brought us WALL-E and now Toy Story 3? Thank you Pixar!!!
LA Viewers: Totally worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight. I don’t know if you need to pay the money for the 3-D. It looked great, but for me the story was much more important than the 3-D effects. So if you’re pinching pennies (as we all are), go for the non-3D matinee.
Translation for non-LA viewers: Go see it immediately! You will laugh, cry and start to wonder about your own toys in the attic.