TOY STORY 3
Review by: Christopher Haskell
June 27, 2010
Travel back to 1995. The first “Toy Story” film was released and revolutionized animated films as we knew them. Not only was it revolutionary, but the film’s content was truly amazing. I remember being a kid back then and watching my VHS version of the film when it was released, transcribing the script from memory and seeing how well I did while re-watching and re-watching. Fifteen years later, I was still obsessed with the original and extremely excited to see “Toy Story 3.” The creators of “Toy Story 3” had a lot to live up to. Toy Story was such a huge hit and “Toy Story 2,” such a great follow-up. Eleven years following “Toy Story 2,” they needed to make something great to finish out the series. I would say they accomplished that, perhaps not to their greatest abilities, but they still brought the films to a decent enough ending.
Nothing will ever beat the first film. The first film’s plot was strikingly simple. A new toy shows up (Buzz Lightyear) and threatens Andy’s favorite toy (Woody) and his relationships with his owner and his fellow toys. Simple. They use the toys around them for everything. They move when humans are away. They use remote controlled cars and rockets strapped to them by humans. This is where the second and third film fail. The films get way too intense, to the point where toys are driving vehicles that are 100 times their size. The toys are left to escape elaborate daycare facilities and death-defying garbage dumps. They ride elevators and travel in plain sight. It was pointed out to me that, yes, they are talking toys that come to life, but beyond that stretch of the imagination, the first film was simply dead on perfect.
“Toy Story 3” does evoke all the appropriate emotional responses. You laugh when Buzz Lightyear is reset to the Hispanic version of himself, you fear the angry daycare minions, and the end will tear at your heart, but all of which engage you more and more into the film. I truly enjoy all that Pixar incorporates. Though the endless homages to the first two films gets a little overbearing, the inclusion of Sid and the Pizza Planet van really made the film come together. The toys that they use like the Chatter Telephone, the Big Baby, and Ken all bring me back to my childhood.
The dialogue in the film is exquisite, for example, when faced with the possibility of being thrown away, the little green army men go AWOL, stating that “When the trash bags come out, we army guys are the first to go,” which was so true when I was a kid. Though I wish the film could have been everything I imagined it would be, it simply could not live up to its standards. There were too many parts where I wished something different would occur and in the end, it did not feel like the entire franchise as a whole came full circle. “Toy Story 3” fits perfectly into the franchise however and I am sure there are going to be children with their Blu-Ray copies watching it over and over again as I did.
June 18, 2010
John Lasseter (story)
Andrew Stanton (story)
Lee Unkrich (story)
Walt Disney Pictures