Friday, March 8, 2013

HOT: Toy Story 3

It's very tough for an animated film to come along that can come close to my favorite one of all-time in Toy Story. But, I guess if one was going to get close enough it would be a film featuring those same lovable characters.

Toy Story 3 comes out a full 11 years following Toy Story 2. A lot has changed in those 11 years - as Andy (John Morris) has grown up since we last saw him, and it has been a long time since he has played with the toys we have all come to love.

Andy is just a few days away from heading off to college and his mother is on his case about clearing out his room before he leaves. So, he must decide the fate of his old, favorite toys - put them in the attack, donate them or toss them in the garbage.

As he grabs a garbage bag and tosses many of the familiar toys, Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles & Estelle Harri), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Rex (Wallace Shawn), and Bullseye and those three aliens - he comes across Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen).

He decides to toss Buzz into the garbage bag and Woody into his box for college. As he begins to bring the garbage into the attack for storage - his sister stumbles out of her room with an oversized box for donation, and he leaves the bag on the floor to help her.

Then the real adventure begins. Thinking the bag is for the garbage, Andy's mother takes it down to the curb for trash pickup. Woody, though, does his best to rescue them - but the toys make it out themselves and decide to send themselves to Sunnyside Day Care in the donation box.

Woody tries to get them to reconsider, and he himself gets stuck in the box for donation. Sunnyside, though, proves to be the perfect landing spot for the toys. They are welcomed with open arms by a strawberry-scented bear named Lotso (Ned Beatty) and a metrosexual tour guide Ken (Michael Keaton), who immediately makes a connection with Barbie (Jodi Benson).

After Woody escapes, only to be picked up by Bonnie and taken to her house, the other toys soon to realize that Lotso and Sunnyside isn't all that its cracked up to be.

At Bonnie's house Woody is told by her toys, Buttercup (Jeff Garlin), Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Trixie (Kristen Schaal) and Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton) inform him how horrible Sunnyside and Lotso are - so Woody heads back to try and break his friends out.

Toy Story 3 was, at the time, what we thought was the perfect sendoff for the toys that we have grown up loving. And, it was done to perfection.

It was funny, exciting, sometimes 'scary' and definitely pulled at your heartstrings in more ways than one. They had done the impossible - created a film as close to perfect as the original Toy Story film.

Now, with Toy Story 4 pretty much a guarantee - I hope they can catch lightning in a bottle for a third time. Although I enjoy Toy Story 2, it isn't up to the standards as the first and third. Hopefully the fourth can buck the trend.


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