Voices: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Michael Keaton, Ned Beatty
Writers: Michael Arndt/John Lasseter/Andrew Stanton/Lee Unkrich
Director: Lee Unkrich
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

The good thing about Toy Story 3 is that it lived up to the hype. The bad thing about Toy Story 3 is that I now feel the need to dig out my old toys from the closet and apologize to them. I think it says a lot about a movie if it compels someone to talk to inanimate objects. I’m not quite sure what it says, but it says a lot.

The movie opens with a thrilling action sequence of a train robbery. Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead are being chased by Woody, who is trying to save a runaway train full of orphans (well, actually, Troll dolls). All our favorite toys are back in this scene, Buzz Lightyear, Jesse, Slinkydog, Ham T-Rex. As the scene fades back to Andy’s bedroom, we realize the sequence took place in his head, and furthermore it’s all taking place on home videos. The nostalgia starts right of the bat, with a montage of all the great times Andy has spent with his beloved toys. And now, years later, he is heading off to college, and Woody and the gang are feeling unappreciated and unloved. 

In a sad twist of fate the toys end up at Sunnyside daycare, what seems like a heaven for old toys, with endless cycles of more and more children to play with them. However, it quickly becomes hell, as our gang is shut into the baby room where they are thrown around and put in numerous slobbery mouths. The rest of the movie follows their attempt at escaping Sunnyside and the evil tyrant Lots-o-Hugging Bear who runs things, to return to Andy’s house, even though they’ll just be put in the attic.

Honestly, Toy Story 3 was little short of perfection. It had all the humor and heart of its predecessors, along with some great new characters. Barbie and Ken are hilarious in their infatuation with each other and Ken’s wardrobe, exactly how you’d imagine the dolls come to life. Big Baby, an abandoned and abused baby doll, and the Monkey, two henchmen of Lotso, are almost too creepy. And there’s Bonnie, the loving Sunnyside student. All of these characters fit seamlessly into the Toy Story family, none seeming unnecessary of overdone. 

Actually, nothing seemed unnecessary at all, every moment flowed smoothly into the next, and the pace of the movie was perfect. The comedy balanced the tense action sequences well, and the overarching nostalgic feeling never got too sad or sappy. In the end, when Andy finally heads off to college, leaving his toys behind, we feel his regret and fear of the future, but we also feel that he will always be young at heart and hold on in some way to the love he had for his toys. And really, it seems that the message of the movie was aimed more at adults than children. Though the kids will definitely laugh and scream and love the characters, the adults in the audience are going to walk away with something to think about, and yes, a desire to play with their old toys once again.

Final Verdict:

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