Toy Story 3 (2010)

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IMDb Rating
8.3 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

  • Not Rated Yet
(Based on 0 Ratings)
Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Lee Unkrich
Michael Arndt (screenplay)
John Lasseter (screenplay)
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Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on June 17th, 2010

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The Toy Story movies have always been kind of fundamentally weird. While the third in the installment isn't as scary as the original, or as funny as the second, it does seem to ratchet up the weirdness of the concept. It's the first time I've really been made aware of the basic tragedy of being a toy.

As you'll recall, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark, a good replacement after Jim Varney's passing), and the rest of the gang, are a group of outdated toys that live in a state of constant fear at the thought of their rapidly impending obsolescence. Each film, in one way or another, chronicles their dealing with various interferences that may serve to nullify the love of their owner, Andy.

Now, thanks to the passing of time, Andy is preparing to go to college. When we again meet the toys, they have been sequestered in a box for several years. They are aching for Andy's touch-to be played with. It's what toys live for, apparently, but Andy has grown up. The toys are now faced with one of two options: get thrown in the trash and face certain doom at the city dump, or get stowed away in the attic.

In what is the first of several strange revelations about the thought processes of toys, Woody and the gang unanimously agree that living for an eternity in the dark of the attic is the only sensible thing to do. There, they will wait and wait and wait for Andy to return, hopefully bearing children of his own.

And then, I guess, the cycle begins again.

But a third option reveals itself as, by way of a complicated series of events, the toys are donated to a local daycare. At first, the daycare appears to be heaven for lost toys. Every day, the toys are played with by children who really do seem to love and care for them. The toys are shown the lay of the land by Lotso (Ned Beatty), a big, pink teddy bear.

However, all is not right in this daycare, as the gang soon finds out. They are relegated to the room which houses the toddlers-violent, impetuous little freaks that desire nothing more than to chew, crush, glue, paint, and otherwise torment the toys. Meanwhile, across the hall, Lotso and his band of bad toys get to spend time with the slightly older, more respectful children.

The plot, then, revolves around the toys freeing themselves from the daycare, and possibly reuniting with Andy.

I'd like to talk, though, about 3D. I don't have much experience with the technology, save for its comparatively exciting use in the "Weird Al" Yankovic short, Al's Brain.

Toy Story 3 is projected in 3D for, I'd say, absolutely no reason. Nothing is lent to the film because of 3D's inclusion. All it serves to do is make things kind of hard to focus on. I'm now convinced that a backlash against the technology should and will be impending.

Beyond the misuse of 3D, the only other big flaw with Toy Story 3 is the obvious one: it's the third in the series. Unfortunately, Toy Story 3 reflects the now-archaic tradition of sequels. Since Toy Story was first made, great leaps in not only technology but creative ambition have been made in the Disney and Pixar world. No longer does it quite seem OK to milk these characters, when brilliant one-offs like Ratatouille and WALL-E have been made. I beg of Pixar to let this be the last Toy Story. It would be a shame for these characters to wear out their welcome, which I fear would happen awfully soon.

Nonetheless, Toy Story 3 has enough charm and ambition to be an acceptable continuation of the story. The ever-increasing weirdness adds a certain amount of depth to what might have devolved into a cutesy, boilerplate cartoon. That there's still such a deep well of sadness to the lives of these toys makes it even harder to simply walk away. 3 STARS

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