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I finally pushed myself to see a Pixar release theatrically with Toy Story 3 this weekend (I’m still kicking myself over Up). I went into the viewing slightly skeptical, in spite of how great the first and second films are. My skepticism was undone by the how very, very good this film really is, though. Mainly, I wondered why Woody, Buzz and company needed a third installment and what story they could have left to tell. The creators had a very compelling story in mind, which carried over from the previous films perfectly.

Little Andy has now grown up and his beloved toys spend most of their days residing unattended in his old toy box, rarely seeing the light of day. As he prepares for college his mother insists that he clean out his childhood possessions, an act that ends up with the toys cast into a daycare center. The film, without hopefully giving too much away, then becomes a Hasbro version of a prison break movie, with callbacks to films such as Cool Hand Luke for the grownups in the audience.

The running theme of aging and identity plays out so well in Toy Story 3, and the characters feel so complete, that you get lost in their world. If they aren’t Andy’s toys, then what are they? Without Andy do they serve any purpose, do they have any place? The movie makes these crises real, and every near death feels similarly genuine. The scares, the reliefs, all of it is made sincere by the great voice work, too.

Most of the main cast has returned, save the late Jim Varney as Slinky, admirably handled by comedian Blake Snyder. It was great to be able to pick out Michael Keaton as Ken, too. It’s been too long since he was in a good film in theaters. There are the occasional winks, too, such as pairing I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With cast members Jeff Garlin and Bonnie Hunt.

I was utterly enthralled by the film. Pixar topped themselves again with this one and its incredible work. I highly recommend seeing on a big screen while you still can (though you’ve got a good month left, I’m sure). 5 stars, brilliant film


One Comment

  1. I don’t know if they topped themselves, but they certainly continue their streak of excellence.

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