Movie Review: Toy Story 3

Woody, Buzz and the gang are back to face new challenges.
Photo courtesy of:
Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

The three Toy Story movies from Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Pictures offer an interesting paradox. The toys of the titled, though voiced by many well-known actors, are still….toys. They are mostly molded plastic, yet we in the audience seem most willing to put that fact aside and root for these characters as if they were really human.

The toys are voiced by Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Joan Cusack (Jessie), Ned Beatty (Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head), Michael Keaton (Ken), Jodi Benson (Barbie), Wallace Shawn (Rex), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head), John Morris (Andy), and many others. Those we met in the first two movies are facing a life-changing moment.

It is 15 years since we first met these characters (and 11 years since Toy Story 2.) Andy, their owner, is off for college and they are quite liable to be thrown away. Or – one choice they’d prefer – be packed away in the family attic. But, no, a series of unplanned events results in Andy’s toys being donated to a daycare center. There they are subjected to all sorts of challenges and humiliations they never knew in Andy’s house. The little kids in daycare are not gentle and show zero respect for toys. They face difficult times and, in dealing with all this, the one thing they have is each other.

Woody, Buzz and the gang have one thing that keeps them going — their love for each other. They, like so many humans, have suffered a grievous loss and must deal with it. Among the new toys we meet are Ken and Barbie, as vacuous as they look and the scheming Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear whose name is strongly belied by his venal behavior.

Toy Story 3 makes subtle use of 3D and, if the cost of admission to a 3D film is an issue, it really is fine to see it in 2D. Director Lee Unkrich and the people at the studio have done a marvelous job. By all means, do see Toy Story 3. It offers humor, pathos, action and suspense. It’s a really good movie. And, honestly, what more can one wish from any film?


One response on “Movie Review: Toy Story 3

  1. The really great thing about this “Toy Story” is that anyone can join the story now and know what’s going on. Lee Unkrich and the rest of the PIXAR team did a masterful job of weaving the back story into this plot. Each of the characters play vital roles in the final outcome and the design team did a through job of make the characters toy-like as well as being… well, like living toys.

    Really, a wonderful achievement and one that everyone can enjoy.


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