Flashback movie review: Toy Story 3

April 22, 2023 9:31 pm39 commentsViews: 226

Received wisdom tells us sequels are never as good as the original films. From The Phantom Menace to Shrek Forever After, countless rehashes that failed to capture their predecessor’s magic litter the Hollywood landscape.

Toy Story 3

But someone forgot to send Pixar the memo: Toy Story 3 is not only the strongest installment in the franchise, but it’s the most emotionally intense film the studio has produced to date. Director Lee Unkrich – and scripters Michael Arndt, Unkrich, John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton – have produced a movie that not only honours the previous films but makes this world deeper and richer.

Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 Stars Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, John Ratzenberger

The day foretold in Toy Story 2 has finally arrived: Andy is going to college and he can’t decide what to do with his old toys. Woody (Tom Hanks) counsels his gang to trust their owner, but Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and Hamm (John Ratzenberger) suspect they’ll just end up in the trash.

Thanks to the toys’ machinations, they end up donated to Sunnyside Daycare and welcomed by the resident toys, ruled over by the ascot-wearing Ken (Michael Keaton) and the apparently genial Lots-O’ Huggin’ Bear (Ned Beatty). However, this new paradise has a dark and dangerous side.

These days, movie fans walk into a Pixar movie expecting nothing less than brilliance; Toy Story 3 not only matches those heightened expectations but surpasses them. Far from being a quick cash grab, this film builds on its predecessors, and ups the emotional ante while delivering a ton of laughs. Michael Keaton stands out as the hilariously shallow Ken, while the results of Buzz Lightyear getting his reset button abused are worth the price of admission alone.

Some of the best jokes comes from the well-developed characters’ interactions, and that richness of character is this flick’s not-so-secret weapon. Every character in this movie is interesting and unique, whether hero or villain. Like Anton Ego in Ratatouille and Charles Muntz in Up, Toy Story 3 gives its antagonist a compelling reason for being the person that he is, although his comeuppance too closely resembles another Toy Story villain’s fate.

It should be noted though, that parents should gauge their kids’ sensitivities. In addition to some very dark and emotionally intense scenes, there is also one frightening sequence where our heroes are in serious jeopardy.

Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 a Clear Winner

It’s become cliché to say, “Pixar has done it again,” but it’s also stone truth. The studio’s 10th movie is not only the most powerful in the Toy Story franchise, but it’s also an emotionally resonant film that brilliantly deals with love, loss and letting go.


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