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Julian’s Rating: 10/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 9.5/10
(6 reviews total)
What is it that has always made Disney/Pixar films so special, even the rare misses (I’m looking at you, Ratatouille)? Is it the incredibly tongue-in-cheek humor or the scripts’ brilliant plot twists? Nope and think again. It’s the heart of the characters. Just to name a few, there’s the uptight Marlin and the carefree Dory in Finding Nemo. You also have the grumpy Carl, the inquisitive Russell, and the absent-minded Dug in Up. You laugh with them, you cry with them, and over the course of less than two hours, you really do come to love these characters. Then, you have the gang from the Toy Story series. This is perhaps the group of Disney/Pixar characters that resonates the most. We have definitely seen them more than other Disney/Pixar characters, and they have captured the hearts of millions worldwide.
Now we arrive at the third installment, which sees Andy going off to college. As he’s packing up his things, he gets his beloved toys mixed up. This results in Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the gang being mistakenly sent to Sunnyside Daycare. There they meet tons of new toys, including Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear, also known as Lotso (voiced by Ned Beatty), Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton), and Stretch (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg).
It seems like the perfect place for the toys. Despite this initial impression, they get placed with the younger children who don’t exactly know how to play with toys. Rather, they get thrown around and abused, while the Sunnyside veteran toys get to have playtime with the older children who actually know how to play with them. Meanwhile, Woody has left in an attempt to get back to Andy. However, he ends up being taken home by Bonnie, a child who goes to Sunnyside. When he arrives in her room, Woody meets the unicorn toy Buttercup (voiced by Jeff Garlin), the rag doll Dolly (voiced by Bonnie Hunt), the method acting hedgehog doll Mr. Pricklepants (voiced by Timothy Dalton), and the triceratops figure Trixie (voiced by Kristen Schaal).
However, Woody also learns a terrible secret about Sunnyside. It is up for him to get back to the daycare center, help the gang escape, and get everyone back to Andy before he takes off for college.
The geniuses at Pixar still have a unique way of making something incredible out of the ordinary. That has certainly not changed with Toy Story 3. You can find their creative touches everywhere in the film. The voice cast, as usual, is spot on. From Tim Allen’s confident Buzz Lightyear to Tom Hanks’ hesitant and slightly in-denial Woody, everyone is terrific. Even the new entries are amazing. Lotso is perfectly voiced by Ned Beatty, and Timothy Dalton truly stays in character with his interpretation of Mr. Pricklepants.
What really makes Toy Story 3 one of the best films of the year, as we’ve come to expect from Disney/Pixar, is its big heart. So much emphasis is placed on the emotional aspect of the film. However, it takes something truly magical to make a film about toys so powerful.
Toy Story 3 speaks to everyone about the realities of growing up but also teaches that everyone, no matter what walk or stage of life one may be in, is important. A gem among gems, Toy Story 3 is a classic for all ages.
Toy Story 3
Directed by Lee Unkrich
Written by Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
Starring: (voices) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Joan Cusack, etc …
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Steven thought: “I don’t cry at movies — ever — but three films in the last three years have pushed my tear ducts to their limits: this is the third from Pixar and Toy Story 3 is every bit as intelligent on its own as its Oscar-winning predecessors. The film stays unwaveringly true to its heart and message as all Pixar films and great family films do. Kids won’t be able to pick up on the toys’ existential contemplation as expressed by their desire to be “played with” and the feeling of loss and rejection at Andy’s going to college, but the humor and physical adventure is right in their wheelhouse. There’s so much darn good in this movie. From sticking together and helping others to the idea of sacrificing something you hold dear so that someone else can get that same joy from it — it’s all part of that special emotion Pixar captures every single time it embarks on a new project. It proves that touching films start with ideas about human truths. Then the geniuses like the brains at Pixar find ways to wrap clever, funny, entertaining, relatable and lovable concepts around them.” Rating: 9/10
Kieran thought: “Pixar has such a simple philosophy: story comes first. It is surprising how something basic is readily ignored. But Pixar knows how to make films and with Toy Story 3 made a perfect family film. Toy Story 3 has everything: clever verbal jokes, fun physical humor, drama, action and characters we all know and love with well-developed new ones. Spanish Buzz was a great comic creation. Unlike rival animated films, Toy Story 3 relies on the strength of it’s story rather then cultural references. The film has one of the most touching endings in a film I have seen in a long time and a fitting end to the series. The Toy Story series can join the original Star Wars trilogy, Lord of the Rings and the Bourne Series as a rare example of a perfect trilogy. And most importantly of all, Barbie and Ken are finally reunited.” Rating: 10/10
Simon thought: “The “Toy Story” series is iconic and groundbreaking for so many reasons that I see little need to iterate them again here. What I will say is this third instalment, while still unable to match all the masterful qualities of the first, is an improvement over the overrated –though still excellent — second and a wonderful conclusion to what is arguably Pixar’s greatest accomplishment. Among the many kid-friendly elements, Toy Story 3 is drenched in melancholy nostalgia that will satisfy mature newcomers as well as those who have grown with the series. After a shockingly tense build-up that finds the beloved Buzz, Woody and friends in a dire situation, the film morphs in tone towards its wrenchingly-touching finale that perfectly encompasses when this series has always truly been about: friendship, growing up and the pure love we can have for something so simple.” Rating: 9/10
Dinah’s Rating: 10/10
Max’s Rating: 9/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 9.5/10