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Toy Story 3 (2010)
The Toys Are Back In Town!
A few years have passed, and it looks like "Toy Story" continues to delight audiences all over the world. It's sad to think that in an era of obsessive sequels, prequels and spin offs, that most of them tend to fail to live up to the original film. Luckily, "Toy Story" isn't one of those film franchises. No, like fine wine, the "Toy Story" franchise only continues to get better with age. Sure, like the plot for this movie (which I'll get to in a minute), you may outgrow a lot of your old toys, but you definitely won't outgrow "Toy Story 3" or any of it's other films, as Pixar continues to show why they're masters in the art of computer animation.
Over the years, Pixar has always demonstrated an uncanny ability to not only deliver thought provoking and powerful stories in animation, but they always manage to push the envelope in terms of visuals as well. "Toy Story 3" is certainly no exception to this, as Pixar not only delivers another great story to the masses in stunning 3-D. Although it seems sad that for most films, 3-D appears to be nothing more than a cheap gimmick that offers little value to most films that try to utilize it. However, that's not the case with "Toy Story 3", as the 3-D visuals do nothing but only enhance the colorful and visual world of "Toy Story" as it was always meant to be. Seeing these toys come to life in 3-D brings out the inner child in all of us. Giving us that sensation, some of us, used to have playing with our old toys. Needless to say, "Toy Story 3" was definitely worth the wait. Although I would love to see them try to top themselves yet again in another sequel, I think this film does a great job closing out the series nicely if this is the last one. As the ending does a great job closing out the trilogy, while leaving it open for a sequel if Pixar decides to make another one.
Over the years, Andy has finally grown up and preparing for a new life, as he's about to move off to college soon. Unfortunately, Andy has outgrown all his old toys, as they're forced to resort to all sorts of tactics, like hiding his cell phone, just to try to get him to play with them again. Sadly, it doesn't work, as Andy hasn't played with them in years. Thus, Woody (Tom Hanks) and the gang are confused about their futures, as they don't know what will become of them for sure once Andy leaves for college. Will they end up in the trash? The attic? Maybe donated? Or perhaps Andy might take one of them to college for sentimental value? Who really knows? Not even Woody is sure, as he's forced to lie to the others about what might become of them; just to ease their fears.
Due to a series of events, the toys are accidentally donated to the Sunny Side Daycare where at first, they think it's a beautiful paradise for discarded toys to always be played with and never outgrown. A place where a toy can live in blissful harmony for years, without ever feeling abandoned nor neglected by their owners. Unfortunately, they soon find out that's clearly not the case. Sunny Side Daycare seems like a paradise for them at first, until they discover they've been scammed by Lotso (Ned Beatty). A fuzzy teddy bear that may seem innocent and loving, but he's really a narcissistic, mean, power hungry and vengeful toy that organized the place into a pyramid. Placing himself conveniently on top, where he would force newer toys to be in the Butterfly room. A place where toys are abused and neglected by toddlers that aren't age appropriate for most of Woody's friends. Thus, turning the place into a prison for all new toys, while older toys like Lotso get to laugh at their expense.
Although the visual effects are nothing short of amazing, the real strength to this film is the story and it's characters. It always has been. Like all sequels, you continue to see new characters introduced into the fold, but the story is always focused on the key characters of the film. That's why Pixar has managed to remain successful for so long, as it never forgets that the heart of any story is it's characters. Such is the case with "Toy Story 3", as the film does a great job keeping it focused on the key characters. Sure, there's a lot of new supporting characters to broaden the "Toy Story" universe, but they never take anything away from the established characters like Woody, Buzz or Rex (to name a few). If anything they only compliment them even more, as it opens up the story in so many ways.
Plus, I loved the overall theme of this film too. As it shows in some relationships, people tend to grow apart in friendships, marriages or even with their toys. No relationship is ever certain to last forever, and "Toy Story 3" plays on this concept rather well. However, who ever said that the end of something great, isn't necessarily the start of something just as good? If not, then probably better, perhaps? Who's really to say? After all, goodbyes aren't always sad chapters in people's lives, but sometimes they can be the start of something new and exciting. As a great friend once told me, a lot of people fear change, as it often involves dealing with the unknown. As nobody really knows if changes will ever work out. However, that doesn't necessarily mean change can't be for the better sometimes. Add in the clever and witty dialogue by Pixar's movie production, and you have yourself one of the best films of this summer.
Even Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head) and all the other cast members were great in their perspective roles.
If this is the last "Toy Story" film we'll ever see, then it certainly does a great job wrapping up arguably one of the best film franchises ever conceived. Creating wonderful stories that will tickle the imagination and bring out the inner child in all of us. However, it does leave enough room too if Pixar decides to make another sequel. Although it would be pretty cool if Pixar made another sequel to this, it would be just as great to see "Toy Story" take the "Seinfeld" approach by going out on top. Either way, "Toy Story 3" is definitely one of the best family films of the year.