PLOT: In this animated three-quel, the toys are back, but their owner Andy is all grown up and about to leave for college. Woody (Hanks) and Buzz (Allen) must try to figure out where to go, but they run into trouble at Sunnyside Daycare.
WHO'S IT FOR? Everyone who even just kind of liked the first two films, and people who like Pixar films. Or, anyone that has a heart, and remembers what it feels like to be a kid.
EXPECTATIONS: Yes, I really liked the first two, and considered Toy Story 2 better than the original, but then again, I wasn't excited. It was almost like I simply assumed it wouldn't be bad, and didn't think about it after that.
Tom Hanks as Woody: I could watch Woody run all day, every day (this is only a slight exaggeration). He absolutely captures what it would be like to have a toy or puppet come to life. It's pure magic. His undying love for his owner Andy is adorable, passionate and even parental. When all the toys end up at Sunnyside, it's up to Woody to save the day. We've never been in better (or smaller) hands. Score: 10
Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear: He's a little more comic relief than Woody. After all, he's switched to "Demo" mode and once again returns to attacking his friends. Funnier than that is what originally looked like a cheap laugh from the trailer - the Spanish mode works. Heck, they even pull off getting a little romance into this movie. Score: 9
Joan Cusack as Jessie: Jessie is absolutely needed in this story because we need fear. She's scared for her future as a toy without an owner. Actually, she's petrified. So when she jumps at conclusions and wants to get to the daycare as fast as possible, we get it. Also, little lines like, "Don't worry, I know Buzz's Spanish mode," are just great. Score: 9
Ned Betty as Lotso: Hey, look everybody, it's the voice of Ned Betty! It's been a while since he was forced to squeal like a little pig. Sorry, shouldn't have brought up Deliverance in a kid's movie review. Lotso is a great character in that he can balance the super sweet with the nasty, and you truly don't know whether he'll end up on the good or bad team. Score: 9
Michael Keaton as Ken: Barbie finally meets her Ken. Whether it's him giving a tour, locking eyes with Barbie for the first time, or best of all, trying on clothes ... Michael Keaton's Ken is the funniest of all of the toys. This movie reminds you that Keaton has some of the best comedic delivery out there. It's been too long since he was given a chance to showcase it. Score: 10
TALKING: Every toy is given a chance to shine, Hamm, Rex, Barbie ... all of them. The new toys make their presence known as well. The toys at Bonnie's are hysterical. I'm just happy we got two visits with them. In piss-poor comedies, people always complain about the amount of fart jokes, etc. But we always forget to praise them when it's done well in good films. So, amongst everything else that Toy Story 3 has going for it, it can also sell a fart joke. Score: 9
SIGHTS: Mr. Potato Head does some original thinking to help with the big escape. The monkey toy with cymbals could give you nightmares, or just keep you laughing. One thing is for sure, kids will now have a newly appreciated deadly fear for the junkyard. I was actually worried. I'll leave it at that since it's so moving. I don't think the 3D is necessary, but it's silky smooth and doesn't hurt at all. Score: 10
SOUNDS: "You've Got a Friend in Me" ... are you sick of it? If so, you've got some troubles ahead with this movie. It comes up a couple of times, even in Spanish. The score is near perfection, just like with every Pixar movie. Score: 9
BEST SCENE: Simply watching Woody escape Sunnyside the first time around is an absolute thing of beauty. Almost no dialogue, and just an exciting thing to watch. I would talk about one specific moment for the group of toys at the junkyard, but I don't want to start crying again.
ENDING: At first I thought we were wrapping up with a Return of the Jedi type ending (think Darth Vader and the Emperor). But that's just the beginning of the end, when I was near tears for almost 20 minutes.
QUESTIONS: If trilogy simply means "three films," instead of just "a series of movies than ended at three," do we actually need to consider the Toy Story trilogy the best of the bunch? I want them to stop making these just because it's such a high note. I just don't think they can do better. Then again, I can't doubt these characters or Pixar, so if they make another, I'll trust them.
REWATCHABILITY: Um, yeah. I just watched the first two films in the last couple of weeks, and I have a feeling this one will actually be more rewatchable than those.
It's formulaic. And you know what? That's just peachy-keen with me. We begin in a fantasy action sequence just like in Toy Story 2. But instead of Buzz Lightyear and a video game, it's the whole gang and the power of imagination. There are definite storylines that are comparable to Toy Story 2 but this time it's done even better. This movie truly captures the pain and worry of being alone. Lotso and his gang try to sell the idea of "No owners means no heartbreak." Woody tries to sell the idea of being there for someone, even when they don't want you anymore.
If you want to remember your childhood, and the passion you can have for inanimate objects, then go see this movie. Actually, no matter what your thinking is ... go see this film, it's my favorite of the first half of 2010.
FINAL SCORE: 10/10