Toy Story 3
Starring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Michael Keaton, and Ned Beatty
Directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 2)
Appropriate for all ages
As Andy prepares to head off to college, he decides to store his toys in the attic, but when they are accidentally donated to a local daycare instead, Woody wants to get back to Andy while the rest of the toys can’t wait to be played with by the new children. When they discover that the daycare isn’t at all what they expected, they ban together to mount a daring escape.
It goes without saying that you can always count on Pixar to deliver a quality movie and they are most certainly still on roll. With the first two Toy Stories, Pixar delivered not only two of the most wonderful animated films to date, but two of the most creative as well. In fact, Toy Story 2 was a major factor in bringing about the Academy Award for Animated Feature. That being said, Toy Story 3 brings it all up to another level of excellence.
First there is the story, which is creative, funny, heart-warming, sad, gut-wrenching, and awe-inspiring, all within in a hundred minute time frame. And while I am far from the expert on the escape genre, I would have to put this one up against any film as possibly the best escape film ever made.
Also, the emotional roller coaster this film takes its audience on is better than anything at Disneyland. The first two films moved me, but this film grabbed me, pulled me in, and towards the end of the film I felt like I was actually on their journey with them and essentially having an experience like no other I’ve ever had at a movie before. It was ethereal. And all of this was done with brilliant writing.
Then there is the animation which has come so far since the first two films. It is a big, bright beautiful film, filled with vivid colors and flawless execution of the computer animation. I will admit that I saw the film twice, on both 3D and 2D, and due to the fact that the 3D strips away some of the color and doesn’t really add much more than a gimmick to the experience, I have to say that the 2D is the better version of the film to see. I’ve had discussions with folks at Pixar who will admit the same, and would recommend you see their films in good old fashion two dimension.
Where Toy Story could have used a change up is in the music department, as I think “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” is a little overplayed at this point (although I did like the Spanish version by the Gypsy Kings). Also, Randy Newman’s new song “We Belong Together” doesn’t exactly say Oscar winner to me.
Still, I’ll predict now that Toy Story 3 will be one of the films nominated for best picture this year (along with How to Train Your Dragon), and if the year were to end in June, it would have a pretty darn good chance of winning. A+