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July 3, 2019
Toy Story 3 (2010) --- “The Great Escape Where No Toy Gets Left Behind.”
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Hello, Movie Buffs!
Woody, Buzz and the gang are back. Andy is now grown up and preparing to leave for college and his loyal toys find themselves in a state of unease as to what it means for their future. Due to a misunderstanding, Woody and the toys find themselves being donated to the local daycare. With the prospect of being played with every day and never having to worry about being forgotten by when their owner grows up, the toys seemed to have found themselves the perfect “retirement” home. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm is short-lived when they discover that the uncontrollable kids do not play nice and the day-care is run as a dictatorship by the evil strawberry-scented bear Lotso. Now it is up Woody and some new allies to rescue his friends and plan a daring escape in order to return home before Andy leaves for college. Can Woody save his friends in time? Or will they remain trapped forever?
Directed by Lee Unkrich (Coco) and co-written alongside John Lasseter (Toy Story 4) and Andrew Stanton (Toy Story 4), Toy Story 3 (2010) continues 11 years after Toy Story 2 (1999) and 15 years after Toy Story (1995) forever changed how animation films are made. All three of the Toy Story films carry similar plots lines about the toys living in fear of being discarded, unwanted, forgotten, and unappreciated and there is almost always some sort of obstacle to overcome that usually entails getting back to Andy. Toy Story 3 continues that trend in an even stronger way as it takes us to a reality where Andy has actually grown up and doesn’t play with his toys anymore. In fact, he has long since stored his toys in a trunk after outgrowing them years ago and no matter how hard they try to get his attention, it seems to be all in vain as their worst fears come to life. But despite an element of gloom and forebodingness, Toy Story 3 is a beautiful illustration of the first two films and is filled with fun surprises, adventures, and interesting character development that is both concise and witty. There are similar themes of abandonment, new beginnings, adventures, and having a purpose but it is all done in a whole new way. There is also an emphasis on the bonds of friendships, loyalty, and courage that adds a level of the heart to the story that we have not seen before. All in all, this is an impressive installment into the series.
The visual effects are impressive and the music is reminiscent of the original film. But the highlight of the film, aside from the story, is the cast performances. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are great, especially Allen who produces some interesting character changes for Buzz. The rest of the cast - Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn, Blake Clark, and Jeff Pidgeon - all give great performances that are given equal screen time and some witty humor to boot. The new characters also add to the film's story and provide some new and interesting characters to the series overall.
Overall, Toy Story 3 (2010) is a must-see film, especially if you are a fan of the series and if you have plans to see the most recent installment. The story is reminiscent of the original two films by using similar themes of adventure, abandonment, and searching for a purpose but there are also some old elements that have been greatly expanded up since the first film. The visual effects are impressive, the music pays homage to the original, and the cast performances were even more interesting.
Final Vote --- 8.9 of 10 stars
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Toy Story 2 (1999)
Toy Story 4 (2019)
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at 6:00 AM