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Toy Story 3

The 2010 third installment in Pixar's Toy Story series.

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You Gotta Friend in Me

  • Jun 21, 2010
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 teenage stage.  It's been eleven years since Toy Story 2 dropped down.  And as Toy Story 3 drops into theaters I've discovered one very true fact of life: I'll never be too old for Toy Story. 

The movie begins in such a way that it's like watching a flashback.  Those who loved the first Toy Story will die of nostalgia as we hear a few familiar lines and as we see a very familiar set up.  And we ARE in a flashback.  A home movie of Andy as a boy when he played with his toys all the time.  Particularly his favorite toys.  There's Jess, the cowgirl and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.  Yet one toy has always stood out as Andy's favorite of all time: Woody.  When the flashback is over, Andy--and the audience--are forced to realize that they've grown up.  Andy no longer has nearly as many toys as we once did.  In his days before college he only kept but a few.  His favorites, Rex, Ham, Mr. and Mrs. Potato head and the Slinky Dog.  The others?  Gone.  And at seventeen, Andy doesn't play with them that much.  They spend a lot of time in the toy chest.  If there's one thing Toy Story 3 let's you know right off the bat... it's that a toy likes to played with.

With Andy getting ready to leave for college he has to decide what to do with the last of his remaining toys.  Unable to figure out what to do he stuffs them in a trash bag.  All except Woody.  Even Andy can't grow up entirely... because he decides Woody is coming with him to college.  The others?  Andy decides to put them in the attic.  Except when he leaves the bag unattended, his mother thinks its trash and decides to put it out on the curb.  After narrowly escaping the garbage the toys find themselves in the Sunny Side Daycare... away from Andy.  But at the very least being in this daycare means they'll be played with.  The place is even run by a jolly old bear named Lotso.  Except the toys discover that being at the Sunny Side Daycare is not as glamorous as it seems.  And it leads to one final adventure to escape the confines of a daycare run by a corrupt toy.

The Toy Story films in and of themselves are among the best films ever produced by Pixar.  Toy Story 3 ups the ante.  Of the trilogy the third movie is the darkest and most mature of them all.  Your inner child will love the toys being back, but you'll also like the perilous adventure they're on this time around.  It's hard not to like what you see on screen.  After eleven years it still feels like only a day or so since we've seen some of these iconic characters.  There are a few new characters introduced, such as Barbie and Ken along with a horde of toys at the daycare, but you're not going to spend a lot of time getting to know them.  Nor do you really have to.  The ones that you DO need to know are the same toys we've known for years.  And not a beat has changed.  The new characters that we need to know may not be as well developed... but most of us haven't had fifteen years to get acquainted.  It's a bit of a shame we don't get to know the new characters as well as we've come to know the old, but in the end what we get is a nice fun adventure.  We've already seen these toys deal with a psychopathic child who loves to torture toys just for fun... and a greedy toy collector, but we've never actually seen them deal with another toy as an adversary. 

This is what's so golden about Toy Story 3.  The characters are the same, but the movie still manages to feel fresh and original at what it does.  Not because of introducing new characters... but because the situation here is totally different from either Toy Story.  Sure you still get a couple of inside jokes, but it's still a totally different story all together.  If anything, Toy Story 3 does have to be given credit for being able to push the series in such a different direction.  It's a totally different, but it keeps the magic in tact.

Beneath the layers of Toy Story 3's central plot, however, is that same old theme that children grow up and sometimes that means putting their toys away.  This even plays off on the audience, a great deal of whom are like myself... they saw the first Toy Story as a child and are now watching the third one as an adult who couldn't bear to grow up and leave his old toys behind.  Likewise... the boy who voiced Andy (John Morris) returns here too.  The movie also isn't afraid to go through darker territory either.  At one moment you're laughing, the next you're in fear for the characters well being... but in the end it's hard not to cry as these toys get the send off they've deserved for more than a decade.  It's a fun adventure because the story is so enticing, the characters so magnificent... but most of all it's that there's a lot of emotional energy to keep you going through the films moments. 

When I say the movie has jumped up in maturity and how dark it can be I'm not kidding.  It's still a very family oriented film.  But the humor has been toned down significantly from the first two films.  There are plenty of amusing moments that you'll laugh at, but be warned: much of Toy Story 3 is a non-laughing affair.  It may not be as funny as the first two, but the emotional punch it packs (especially at the end) is more than enough to make up for the downgrade in comedy.  Again, that's not to say it isn't funny.  There are plenty of funny moments in Toy Story 3.  It just means that the movie isn't afraid to be serious when it needs to be.  And when it really pulls on your heart strings it's hard not to feel something.

In the end, Toy Story 3 will make you laugh and cry.  It leaves off on such a good note that to make a sequel would more than likely destroy the emotional impact the movie has.  The themes of togetherness, family and innocence is part of what makes Toy Story 3 so good.  We were introduced to these marvelous characters in 1995... and they've been given the best send off they could possibly be given.  To try and follow it up would be a mistake.  The ending, in spite of the events which lead up to it, is one of the best conclusions to a trilogy you'll ever see in a movie.  Simply put, Toy Story 3 does everything right.  The adventure is bigger than ever, but the heart is still there.  To summarize: You need to see this film.  If you saw the first two Toy Story movies and enjoyed them, then the third one is the icing on an already delicious cake. 

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July 01, 2010
Yes, yes and yes! Toy Story 3 totally made me laugh and cry, too. Such a great movie. Thanks for the great analysis!
June 23, 2010
great review Sean. Wow. My take away... I need to see this film! thanks for sharing it.
June 23, 2010
Amazing review I loved the first two films there childhood favorites of mine and I hope to see this one and it is probably as good as the first two.
June 22, 2010
I agree with everything you said. I loved Toy Story 3 (and yes, I saw it the day it came out!), and I am almost 21 years old. It brought out all sort of emotions in me; I wanted to laugh and cry! I did not expect the movie to be so "dark," but I ended up loving it. The characters are loveable and the deeper meaning of the story can serve as a learning experience for all! Dare I say it's the best Toy Story yet! I have yet to see a Disney/Pixar collaboration gone bad, and Toy Story 3 was so witty and fun that it lived up to the hype! **SPOILER** Buzz speaking Spanish and Ken modeling his outfits were by far the highlights of the film!!
June 22, 2010
I've still go a soft spot for the first one... but I did like Toy Story 3 more than Toy Story 2, perhaps because of how dark it was willing to go.  But I enjoy all the Toy Story films for the most part.
June 21, 2010
Good to see you back. The sad truth is that if this film provided a perfect conclusion, you can bet there will be a part 4.
June 22, 2010
Yeah, I'm worried about another film being made still...franchises love to milk popular products such as this one.
June 22, 2010
To death.
June 22, 2010
I KNOW! Terrible shame too!
June 22, 2010
That'sthe problem with with merchandising, they don't know when things have met a dramatic conclusion.
June 21, 2010
I skimmed through your write up because I am seeing this in a few days and I want to go in with no expectations. I'll be back to comment further once I see it--Thanks for the review, Sean!
June 22, 2010
Just came back from watching this. This was darker than the first two films (not dark actually but just darker). I loved the toy baby (creepy) and Ken and his closet was hilarious. I think you have this covered real well, so I don't think I'll be reviewing it. Thanks!
June 21, 2010
Another great review from you and another great review for the film. It's funny, I keep hearing people saying that this film is darker and more mature and I've even read some rumors that a character gets killed off. Seriously, the anticipation has become painful... good thing I don't mind pain. LOL! I'm hoping that I'll be seeing this sometime this week. By the way, what happened to Bo Peep, Etch-a-Sketch, and the Army Men? You didn't mention Andy still having them...
More Toy Story 3 reviews
review by . June 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Bittersweet Look into the Secret Life of Toys
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, …
review by . June 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ Stars: No Toy Gets Left Behind In The
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 …
review by . August 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I want my toys, NOW!!!
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 …
review by . February 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . March 16, 2011
Toy Story 3 is another great film that definitely would have been on my Best of 2010 list had I seen it in 2010. I missed this in theatres and it killed me. But I finally caught it on DVD and concluded a great series. I love all things Pixar and I think Toy Story is easily their only movie that made a viable series. I still want to see Cars 2 and Monsters Inc 2 because even a bad pixar film would be fantastic, seeing as it has been established that Pixar can do no wrong. Anyway, Toy Story 3 is …
review by . June 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A worthy completion of a classic trilogy
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 …
review by . July 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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, …
review by . June 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Some toys never get old.
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 …
review by . June 21, 2010
In a word: flawless.
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 …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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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 ...
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Director: Lee Unkrich
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: June 18, 2010
MPAA Rating: G
Runtime: 103 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar Animation Studios
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