I must be getting more emotional as I slowly close-in on forty. It used to be that I never cried at movies or books. I still remember the first book I cried at the end of (Magic's Price by Mercedes Lackey, the book series that also helped me come out), and that was when I was 19. I was twenty-five before I cried at my first movie (Titanic). It wasn't until three years later when I saw A.I. - Artificial Intelligence that I did it again. So I'm not overly sentimental, as you may have gathered from this and most of my blog.
But lately I've been crying like a baby at a bunch of different movies. Everything from The Red Balloon, to Up, to Where the Wild Things Are, getting me to cry at a movie is getting easier and easier. Maybe they're just shamelessly manipulative, or maybe I'm starting menopause.
To that list of films that had me all weepy we can now add Toy Story 3. I'm not a long-term fan of the Toy Story franchise. I only saw the first and second one a few weeks ago when Amazon had blu-ray versions on sale for $30 if you bought both. I saw them and liked them, so I was looking forward to this newest version.
Our film opens with Andy, the boy who owns the toys, getting ready to head to college. He's seventeen and hasn't played with his toys in years. These days Woody, Buzz and the rest spend most of their time sitting around in the toy box inventing new ways to get Andy to come open it and peer inside. This does not make for a happy set of toys.
Eventually the day comes when Andy is packing up to go. He plans to take Woody with him to school and put the other toys in the attic, but due to some confusion on his mother's part all the toys end up out on the curb ready to get picked up by the garbage men. Woody, seeing this, rushes down to help and through a series of unfortunate incidents the toys then end up at a daycare center.
Life there seems to be ideal, especially for Barbie once she meets Ken, but Woody's main concern is getting back home to Andy. He tries to rally the other toys, but no one wants to come along. Eventually he leaves as the toys that remain learn that paradise isn't what it seems to be.
There's plenty of action and peril in this movie, a bit more so than in the others. In addition to a menacing purple teddy-bear and his creepy baby-doll henchman, there's also many sharp blades, a grinder, flames, and, perhaps most dangerous of all, toddlers. The resolutions to the various bits of peril were entertaining and satisfying, including one resolution that I'll describe as machina ex machina.
The film isn't perfect (I could really do without Randy Newman's music. Ever), but I really enjoyed it, and the final scene is fitting, moving and deeply wonderful. This is one of the few movies I've seen this year that I actively look forward to seeing again, and while that's not saying much given that this summer has included films like Grown Ups, it is nevertheless a great recommendation.
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 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 … 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
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 ...