Every time I review a Pixar movie, I feel like I have to start by saying, I’m not a fan of their movies. While all their films are technically brilliant I just found them to be too glossy to connect to. Toy Story 3 isn’t a great movie, I think it’s a notch below How to Train Your Dragon, but it’s the rare sequel that easily surpasses the original and rarer still a concluding chapter that wraps everything up in a perfect manner. The movie takes you on an emotional roller coaster and come on it had an evil Bear! An Evil Bear! Would have been great if his name was “Huggy.” I didn’t leave the theater feeling like I wanted more, or disappointed, I left satisfied.
Normally, I hate everything about Tom Hanks but Woody is just the ultimate character that it’s impossible not to fall in love with him in TS3. His unwavering loyalty to his friends is inspiring, and watching him during play time is fun. I’ll admit it, I’ve never been one for wasting time with dolls and plastic toys. My thing was reading comics, playing piano, etc. The Toy Story series, for my mild dislike of it, always did an amazing job of making me regret never really getting into playing with dolls.
I still don’t like Tom Hanks (Woody) or John Ratzenberger (Hamm) voice, but in Toy Story 3 they didn’t bother me as much. The new characters, really sold me on this, I loved the idea of Ned Beatty as the evil bear Lotso and Michael Keaton as the randy Ken. The reason Toy Story 3 works so well is it really does focus a lot more on the secondary characters this time. There’s still a lot of Woody and Buzz (Tim Allen) in this but everyone – Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles, Estelle Harris), Barbie (Jodi Benson), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and even the human owner Andy (John Morris) get good moments.
The 3rd act starts to drag a bit and the big escape sequence starts to feel like it’ll never end, but the end of the sequence is so touching that it makes it all seem worthwhile and the final resolution choked me up a bit. It was an almost perfect way to end this series. Toy Story 3 isn’t the best movie of the year, but it’s certainly one of the top 3. It’s revived my sagging interest in the summer movie season. It also helps that I skipped the 3D Press Screening and watched it in good old 2D.
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Originally posted 06.19.2010