Jun 21, 2010

My Take on TS3

OK, so due to Father's Day and a church picnic and grilling with friends, I didn't follow through on saying that I'd post on Toy Story 3 yesterday. So, I'll do so today.

First off, I'll say that it was excellent. Second, I'll mention that it's not for young children; this Toy Story is far scarier than the past two.

Now, the movie really runs the gamut of emotions. Somehow, in the span of two minutes, Pixar can take me from laughing hysterically to crying like a baby.

The opening ten minutes were brilliantly done--a way to remind us how abundantly creative the mind of a child can be, and how immersive the imagination is when you're young. We discover that a ridiculous battle between Woody and Mr. Potato Head is all a game in seven-year-old Andy's mind (not ruining anything...it's pretty easy to figure out what's going on)and that his mom is videotaping everything. This then slides into a home-movie montage, itself very sweet and sentimental. Both Andy and his toys are in heaven, and things are the way they should be.

We are then transported ten years on, into the present day. Andy's room is now covered in posters, his old toy box has been closed for years. The toys are desperate to be noticed again and to regain what they had when Andy was younger. But times have changed, and Andy is moving away. All the toys can hope for is to be put up in the attic, where they can live with the knowledge that someday Andy's kids might play with them. Woody holds a staff meeting--similar to the one at the beginning of the first film--except now, instead of a few dozen toys in attendance, there are fewer than a dozen. The core group is all that remains, and they're determined to stick together.

Now, as the trailers show, Andy's mom accidentally mistakes his garbage bag filled with toys for the attic as garbage, so she places it out by the curb. Through luck and happenstance, the toys end up at Sunnyside, a daycare center that seems like a dream come true. They soon find out, however, that it is more of a prison. The rest of the movie deals with their attempts to escape.

The last few minutes will have you tearing up, both because it is so sweet and because you know that it's the end of the long Toy Story road. As we say goodbye to the friends--both old and new--we know that happier days are ahead for them and for Andy. It's a fitting finale for one of the most original franchises in the last few decades.

Oh, and audience favorite? Definitely the Ken/Barbie romance. Even in the darker moments, the comedy of that bursts through.

Be sure to enjoy the new short film, Day & Night--far more abstract than past Pixar shorts, but very, very well done.

P.S. Opening weekend numbers are unofficially $109 million, giving Toy Story 3 the highest opening weekend for a Pixar film since The Incredibles opened at $70.5 million in 2004.

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