Toy Story 3 (2010)
Well, FAO my Shwarz!
Directed by: Lee Unkrich
Written by: Michael Arndt/Andrew Stanton/Lee Unkrich
I wanna be a toy!
But before I do that, let’s see some previews.
TANGLED–I’m gonna go ahead and tread on dangerous ground here and say that I kinda want to see this one. It’s basically Rapunzel, but Disney has changed the focus from the girl to the guy. Why would they do such a thing? Maybe because even little girls are tired of princesses. They’re kinda boring. All they seem to do is get in trouble.
I’m not defending Disney’s decisions because, many times, they’re dumb. They haven’t made a truly classic film without Pixar since The Lion King back in 1994 (and even that wasn’t particularly original). What I saw in the trailer, though, was a dumb guy being put down by a much stronger and smarter girl. Without seeing the movie (or the trailer, I have a feeling) the movie has already been deemed sexist. This is much like people saying that Dogma was sacrilegious before seeing it. At least with that, though, there was a poop monster to complain about. Now it seems that we’re complaining because the princess is strong, but we don’t see her. Maybe Disney wants boys to want to see this one, something they haven’t had since maybe Emperor’s New Groove 10 years ago. And maybe they realize that little girls want to see action movies, too. They’re not so hung up on movies about sex, shoes and shiny vampires.
Yes, I’m saying it. Disney is actually being LESS sexist than the makers of Sex And The City 2 and Twilight. They’re at least making a movie that will probably end up appealing to boys and girls. (Although, the guy in charge did specifically say that he wanted to appeal to boys. Meh. All movies have a target audience.)
Or neither, which is probably closer to the truth. Unless there’s a huge uproar about the movie, it will probably not do well. If there is a protest, then it should do really well. Make your choice carefully.
Anyway, let’s move on.
THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE–I actually don’t know how I feel about this one. A lot of people seem to really like the trailer and think that it’s part of Nic Cage’s comeback. I think it looks pretty silly. Jay Bucharel finds out that he’s a wizard after years of living under a staircase…oh…wait. Huh?
Ok, nevermind about the staircase, but he is a wizard and Nic Cage is going to teach him the ins and outs of the wizarding world, including pointy shoes. I’ll see it, but I really don’t expect much out of it. Although there is a mop bit in there, so maybe…
So, how are the toys doing these days?
In 1995, a little animation studio partnered up with a big animation studio and made a movie that no one though would do any business at all. Sure, it had a great cast and a few appealing characters, but were there any to latch onto? Did the story intrigue the audience? Did they really feel for these characters? And would audiences be interested in a fully CGI world?
The answers ended up being resounding and emphatic YESes. Toy Story went on to make millions for Pixar and Disney while shortsighted retailers did not order enough dolls to meet demand.
Then it all happened again in 1999 when Toy Story 2 came out. Bigger, better and more award-winning, it was an even bigger hit.
So, why did it take so long for Pixar to make a third Toy Story movie? My guess is that they wanted to do it right. This is their tentpole and, if they screwed it up, the fans would never forgive them.
What they went with was fucking brilliant.
Andy is growing up and leaving for college. What’s to be done with all of his toys? Donate them? Trash them? Take them with him? Or put them in the attic?
Andy makes his decision. He wants the bulk of them in the attic, but he’s taking Woody (Tom Hanks) with him. Woody’s his best friend, after all. Unfortunately, he gets distracted and the bag of toys ends up being taken to Sunnyside Daycare. Woody, being the loyal guy he is, goes with them.
Most of the rest of the movie is a great prison movie. Woody breaks out and back in to Sunnyside, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) tries to lead, but is a bit too complex for his own good. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) get bigger roles. Rex (Wallace Shawn) is scared of everything. Jessie (Joan Cusack) is just as brave and loyal as Woody. Slinky Dog (Blake Clark taking over for his late friend Jim Varney) is always useful. Hamm (John Ratzenberger) is as snarky as ever.
Sunnyside is ruled by Lotso (Ned Beatty), a big Teddy bear that smells like strawberries. Unfortunately, he rules it with an iron paw with help from Ken (Michael Keaton). Ken falls hard for Barbie (Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel) when she shows up with our heroes. It’s as if they were made for each other!
Toy Story 3 is that strange thing: a third film in a series that’s also the best. Pixar always manages to outdo themselves in ways that we just can’t fathom. As much heart and soul as there is in the first two Toy Story films, this one has more. Woody and Buzz and all of their friends are real people, even if their made of CGI plastic. There’s a point in the movie where I’m sure the entire audience was holding their breath and tearing up at the same time. It was most definitely the end for our favorite toys!
Luckily, all’s well that ends well and this is the best possible ending for the story of Woody and the gang. It’s an epic the likes of which Pixar has never done before (although Wall-E and Up come pretty damn close…they’re pretty epic). If Pixar keeps raising their own bar, we won’t be able to stand it when they finally make their last film. We won’t survive such orgasmic glee!
So, yes. I loved everything about this movie. It’s big. It’s smart. It’s sweet. It’s heartbreaking. And, best of all, it’s like the embrace of old friends.