Monday, May 16, 2011

Toy Story 3

As I began watching Toy Story 3, I couldn't help but notice one of the first lines of the film: "I always wanted to go out with a bang!" Spoken by an evil Mr. Potato Head (voice of Don Rickles), this line sets the tone for the almost definite end of the billion-dollar Toy Story franchise from Pixar Studios. The usual suspects are back with Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack returning to voice Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie, respectively. The third installment also brings forth some more star power with the voices of Ned Beatty as Lotso Hugginbear and Michael Keaton as Ken. Andy's toys are coming to their end as their owner goes off to college. A series of events leads the toys to be dropped off at the seemingly idyllic Sunnyside Day Care. As the gang meets the resident toys of Sunnyside, their fortunes seem to be picking up. However, the dark side of these new toys soon comes to fruition. Once again, it is up to Woody to save himself and his friends, and get back to Andy in time to say one last goodbye.

I knew I was going to enjoy Toy Story 3 from the opening scene. I was instantly transported back to my childhood, back when I played with toys and the first two Toy Story movies came out. Clearly this was a main point of the film as the producers realized that the kids who grew up with Toy Story were now on the verge of being grown-ups. Because of this, an essence of nostalgia permeates throughout the film, and the desire to have what has long passed infatuates the viewer. In his second attempt directing a Toy Story film, director Lee Unkrich grabs the audience with the familiarity and comfort of Woody and Buzz and he doesn't let go until the very end. Toy Story 3 does exactly what it was designed and intended to do; it gives it's younger audience a fun ride with the twists and turns that Pixar has all but perfected, and it provides it's older viewers with and emotional roller coaster in which they can see themselves.

Grade: A

Sequel of a successful franchise - Box Office
Emotional growth of characters - Oscar
Appeals to all audiences - Box Office
High-billed Actors - Oscar and Box Office

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