Toy Story fan at all, if you're a MOVIE fan at all, skip this review and go see Toy Story 3 immediately. Yes, it's good, it's really really good. I have a lot of "likes" on this one, so I want to get started already.
What I liked about the movie:
Here's a little known fact about Toy Story 3, the story took 2 and a half years to perfect. And perfect is the correct word to use. I never talk plot in my reviews, I'm not going to start now. But I will say the trailer gives you a general idea as to what happens to the toys. But overall, the story is terrific. There is a solid beginning, middle and end. The end of this movie is very fitting to arguably one of the best trilogies in history, animated or not. I Tweeted after I left the theater, that the world would be a better place if Pixar wrote every movie in Hollywood. Online petition anyone?
We all know them, we all love them, and they're all back. Woody, Buzz, Jesse, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, and more, are all in top form in this one. The voice acting is superb, as it has been throughout the trilogy. All the big names are back, i.e. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack. New comer Michael Keaton is awesome as the annoying, yet hilarious, Ken. Ned Betty plays one of the new major characters, Lotso the bear, also perfectly cast. Not everyone gets their fair share of screen time, but I felt that I got enough of all the major characters after an 11 year break from the previous Toy Story film. Great Job in this department.
The animation just keeps getting better and better from Pixar. In our second installment of "You know what's a good movie?" we showcased the first Toy Story. And in that article I talked about how Pixar's techniques have improved with every movie they've released. TS3 is no exception. There are so many details that it's impossible to appreciate them all with just one viewing. I can't wait to see the movie again just to catch more that I may have missed the first time.
The action in TS3 is phenomenal. There are new things we've never seen in the previous 2 films. There's a planned escape scene that has so much to it, only Pixar could have kept track and executed it as well as they did. No spoiler here, but the last half hour of the movie involves a lot of action that was awesome. Again, it's only because the animators have gotten so good at what they do, that the action is this good.
There haven't been too many movies that will tug at your emotional strings like this one will. In fact, I'll say this is the best movie of the year so far. There are several themes expressed throughout the movie. A child's coming of age. There is a fantastic scene in the movie where Andy is saying bye to his old room before he heads off to college. It's just Andy comforting his mom before he leaves, but it stays true to anyone who has experienced that situation. The emotion projected through the characters is nothing short of amazing.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT, not really giving anything away though:
Friendship is the other theme. Woody and Buzz' friendship. The friendship between Andy and Woody. The most talked about/ most Tweeted about/ most written about scene, will definitely have you in tears. I'm a man close to 30 years old. I haven't cried since the day of my wedding more than two years ago, and was crying like a high school girl on the night of a breakup. I can't express this enough, it comes down to Pixar's mastering of the art form. Without their amazing animators, none of the emotion would have came out of that particular scene where there is literally no dialogue, just emotion channeled through the characters.
END SPOILER ALERT.
Some trilogies leave you disappointed, and this movie did not do that. Everything is wrapped up very nicely. Every problem resolved and we, as the audience leave the theater very satisfied with the toy's fates. There is a great scene with Andy and Woody that will stay with me for a long time. Amazing.
What I didn't like about the movie:
I bet when you started reading this review, you didn't expect any negative feedback did you? Well 2 things, same category of negative. The first, too many plot points were similar in one way or another to Toy Story 2. I was reading this online before the movie came out and just sort of ignored it. But it's very obvious. By no means did it take away from experience though. In fact, I think they improved on all the material I felt they rehashed. Second was the latin Buzz, shown in multiple versions of the trailer. It worked, trust me, it's funny. But again, rehash. I can't really explain in detail about the Buzz scene without giving something away, so let me know what you think after you see the movie.
In conclusion, the movie is spectacular. I can't really do the movie justice with my review. The movie is so good on so many levels, to write about it in a blog format is not fair. Pixar is the best in the world at what they do, period. They knew to deliver this caliber a movie, it was going to take a long time. Like I said earlier, over 2 years writing and story boarding the movie. And it paid off. Unlike the rubbish that DreamWorks is banging out with their Shrek sequels, TS3 progressed the story and the characters.
One thing is for sure, I am going to miss these little computer generated toys a lot more than I thought I would before seeing the movie. To Disney, Pixar, the cast and crew... thank you for one of the BEST trilogies in movie history.