TOY STORY 3 movie review

by Rick Grant
After 2 Toy Story films the toys and story could have been stale and dated. In fact, my expectations were low going into the screening. Surprise! I was delighted by the now dated toys coming alive again with distinctive characters uttering funny dialogue.
Stated differently, Toy Story 3 has not lost its luster and endearing characterizations. Of course, now it’s in 3D (whoop) which maybe added some excitement.
However, the screenplay by director, Lee Unkrich, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Darla K. Anders breathes new life into these adorable characters. The voice over cast stays true to the established personalities adding their funny spin on the fantastic plastic group.
The story is set 10 years after the last episode. Andy is off to college and the fate of the toy society is at risk. They are hoping he will store them in the attic and not throw them to the curb to be taken to the dump and ground up into recycled plastic. Donating the toys to another kid or day care center could be other alternatives. .
Woody is devastated by the change. He wants to stay with Andy and go to college with him. But, the other toys convince him this is not an option. How would it look for a college student to have a toy in his dorm room? So, the attic seems like a nice alternative. At least they would all be together.
After some odd circumstances the gang ends up in a day care center and put in a room where hyper kids come in and torture them. The place has ominous vibes and is run by a teddy bear, Lotso (Ned Beatty) who doesn’t plan to let anyone leave. The toy story group is stuck there but Woody has a plan to break out of this hell hole.
Seeing this 3rd episode of the Toy Story franchise is like reuniting with old friends who are still funny. Mr Potato Head (voiced by Don Rickles) is hilarious and Estelle Harris makes Mrs. Potato Head come alive again with her rough-tough personality.
It’s all great fun to join the toys again for this latest adventure, which is much more complicated than previous stories. When the wild toddlers are turned loose on the toys they are beaten up pretty bad. Woody complains but Lotso tell him they all had to endure this phase of their stay at the center before moving on to a more age appropriate room.
Barbie is back and finds true love with the center’s self absorbed Ken (Michael Keaton). Ken sides with the center’s Lotso gang but Barbie joins the other s trying to escape the dreaded prison. Each character has their individual personalities that we can relate to, endearing this movie to everyone.
Pixar has come a long way since the original Toy Story put them on the Hollywood A-list. They developed a smooth style of CGI that is true to the past but uses the newer time saving techniques, without sacrificing quality. The Pixar filmography is second to none in the animation field. But it’s their attention to detail and character development that makes them the standard to emulate.