I went to the San Francisco Film Festival screening at Pixar Studios last night not really knowing what to expect. Toy Story has been with us for 15 years now (20, in terms of actual development) and I had a sinking feeling that maybe all the character potential had been used in the first two and this was some shameless plot by Disney to exploit the franchise ("Little Mermaid 2", anyone?). Well, shame on me for underestimating the capabilities of Pixar, who once again have shown how a small studio in Emeryville is a storytelling powerhouse that leaves the rest of the industry in the dust.
Toy Story 3 is the tale of Andy, the toys' owner, going to college and their quest to determine their future - headed between the attic or a daycare center. If you've enjoyed the way the first two films blend character drama with innovative action and humor, this cocktail hits its stride in the third film, which draws on everything we already know about the characters and then adds two new entire sets of toys to the plot. There's a new villain, two very amusing romance sub-plots and a litany of visual gags that push the envelope even further. I'm not allowed to go into any details but the second half of the film is a familiar set piece performed in a completely new way that will forever change your view of certain toys and day care centers.
Apart from a level of animation that sets the bar in the industry and an attention to detail that makes you wonder what most "real" films actually do in pre-production, the real genius of the third film is to provide a satisfying conclusion that gives every character a completed character arc. About 20 minutes before the end, I was wondering how they would do this since there were some fairly dark moments (similar to those in Wall-E and Up), but naturally they manage to pull it together. There's literally not a single wasted shot, let alone a wasted scene, and the pace quickens throughout to keep the tension mounting.
Overall, this is another Pixar classic that easily has enough for both kids and adults (and movie aficionados). It's not difficult to see why each of their movies takes five years to complete - yet despite the technical wizardry, the success of their movies is fundamentally routed in their stories, a fact which most other studios seem to forget these days. As to whether the stage is set for Toy Story 4, I suppose they could always pull it off given the creativity at work here, but I think there was a deliberate attempt to make this the last in the series.
I don't often make my way to the movie theater, but as a lifelong Pixar fan and in particular, of the Toy Story series, I just had to make my way out to watch the third installment on the big screen. And needless to say, I loved it. Absolutely loved it, just like I knew I would, and was told I would, even before watching it. The short preceding the film was fantastic as well. Though this is a seemingly far fetched film about a bunch of attention-starved, … more
The original “Toy Story” revolutionized the way CGI-animation was seen in the U.S. in 1995. The film defined the words “computer generated graphics” with its stellar animation and the fact that the film itself appeared to specially highlight this technological advancement in animation. It sure helped that it also had a stellar voice cast and an endearing story. The first movie made “Pixar” what it is today. Given its widespread success, it spawned a sequel in … more
Toy Story 3 came alive for me, in more ways than one. It is in ways like many animated movies, it takes human’s characters, personalities, fears and hopes, packaged them into a life-like situation, portrayed it in live on the screens and takes the viewers beyond what is real and surreal. Whether the stars are real or not, as in human beings and living things, is not of utmost importance. What is important is that it embodies human universal values. Afterall, this is a production by humans … more
After watching this film I have to admit that the Toys are my favorite Disney characters ever! In this one, Andy has grown up and is preparing for college. The toys are worried that they will be thrown away as Andy is no longer interested in them. Only Woody is sure that Andy would never do that. In fact Andy packs Woody to take to college with him and sets the other toys aside to put in the attic. Andy's mother accidentally thinks the toys are meant for the garbage and puts … more
In 1995, Pixar Animation Studios launched their first film. A movie called "Toy Story," that centered on the toys that belonged to a boy named Andy. When the franchise first began in 1995... Andy was just a boy. As was I, for a matter of fact. I was nine years old. I saw Toy Story, loved it and when Toy Story 2 dropped in 1999 I felt that I was not too old for it just yet despite blossoming into a teenager. Luckily, we never had to see Andy in his clunky … more
Considering the Toy Story trilogy spans 15-years, viewing it back to back can almost be used as a visual guide to the advancements made in the computer-generated feature film industry these past decade and a half. The fact that this is animation pioneers Pixar (coupled to the Disney promotion machine) means that while the pixel popping visuals have improved exponentially in that span, the charm, heart, and timeless story telling elements introduced the first time around never … more
I tried to convince my wife to be the one to take my kids to Toy Story 3. My youngest son, especially, was begging to go, but while I was impressed by the first two, a long ways back, and saw them as showcases for the increasingly sophisticated animation techniques at Pixar, I didn't really love either one of them as much as A Bug's Life or The Incredibles or Wall-E or Ratatouille. Perhaps it's just the devoted toy concept that didn't quite move me. I'm not quite sure why, but … more
In a single word - perfect. While Toy Story 3 was in production, a friend of mine at Pixar (who was sworn to secrecy) would only describe it as "like visiting old friends". I have to agree with that sentiment. I was worried that Pixar had an uphill battle. After all, they were tasked with producing a worthy sequel to two of the most treasured animated films of all time, and the commercials that appeared on TV didn't do much to alleviate those concerns. However, … more
TOY STORY 3 Written by Michael Arndt Directed by Lee Unkrick Voices by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty and Michael Keaton Hamm: C’mon, let’s go see how much we’re going for on EBay. There comes a point in every boy’s life when he has to grow up. Ok, fine. There are many points in a boy’s life when he must do this but going off to college is certainly an undeniable turning point. You … more
This 3rd installment of the 20-year-old Toy Story franchise is simply the most touching Pixar film to date. It combines the sense of wonder and nostalgia of the previous installments with a fresh plot—a perfect evolution to the story and characters that we already know—and top-notch animation that is equally enjoyable in its 2D or 3D presentation. In this new adventure, the story is as much about Andy, the toys’ owner, and the inevitability of change, as it is about the … more
Toy Story 3 is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated film. It is the third installment in the Toy Story series. The film was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Lee Unkrich, who edited the previous films, and co-directed the second, takes over as director. In his place, Ken Schretzmann is the editor.
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn, Jeff Pidgeon, Jodi Benson, R. Lee Ermey, John Morris, and Laurie Metcalf all reprised their voice-over roles from the previous films. Jim Varney, who played Slinky Dog in the first two movies, and Joe Ranft, who played Lenny and Wheezy, have both died since the second film was released. The role of Slinky was taken over by Blake Clark, while Ranft's characters and various others were written out of the story.
Toy Story 3 was released in theaters on June 17, 2010 in Singapore; June 18, 2010 in the United States and Canada and June 24, 2010 in Australia. It will be released on July 19, 2010 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Originally the UK release was set as July 23 but has since been pushed forward due to its anticipated high demand in the country. Toy Story 3 broke the record of Shrek the Third as the biggest single day gross for an animated film, but it was unable to top Shrek the Third's opening weekend and, with a $110,307,189 gross, it received the second highest opening weekend for an animated movie. It is also the highest ...