The third installment of the "Toy Story" series has arrived to the delight of children (and adults) everywhere. And now because I have a 2 year old co-pilot, I can go to the movies with the kid in tow. Not only that, but I can also enjoy his enjoyment of the film, as well as ask him what he thought of Buzz and Woody. On a different note, today our party of friends created a critical movie going error... we decided to change seats and stand up in front of the rows behind us while everyone decided just where they were going to sit. After moviegoing eternity, we finally settle back in to our new seat assignments. Everyone can be guilty of a breach of movie theater etiquette... even me!
SYNOPSIS: As Andy is poised to head off to college, the toys are faced with a future in the attic, as donations, or at the curbside. They are mistakenly sent to Sunnyside Day Care and feel abandoned by their boy. They soon have more sinister issues to contend with as they are confronted with a day care filled with unruly children and a fuzzy tyrant!
Being a fan of the earlier 2 Pixar films starring Woody and Buzz, I was looking forward to seeing what the gang of toys would be faced with this time around. Most of the main players are back, but as Andy has grown into a 17 year old, many of the background toys have been donated or thrown away. What we are left with is the core, the heart, of the toys. Of course, Buzz and Woody are back, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, Jessie and Bullseye, Slinky Dog, Hamm, and the 3 Planet Pizza squeaky aliens. As in life, as the years go by most things change. As we have grown up with "Toy Story", we are sad to say that we miss RC, the etch-a-sketch, BoPeep, and the others.
This movie is a passing of the guards. And I think it may be the best in the series. The "Toy Story" gang is always getting into situations where they are separated from Andy and need to concoct an adventure to get themselves or one their brethren back home. They always look out for one another and stick together. That virtue has never been so necessary or true than in this film. Each face the threat of abandonment and need to rely on each other to get through.
The adventure itself is more dire than any that have preceded it. Donated to the day care center, all of the gang are man-handled by underaged tots - something they are not accustomed to since their idyllic times as Andy's toys. As if that weren't enough, the head of the day care toy welcoming comittee ends up being an formerly abandoned, heart-hardened, fuzzy bear smelling of strawberries named Lotso!
The story is more sweeping, and the themes are familiar to both kids and adults. There are plenty of laughs, especially involving Mr. Potato Head and a soft tortilla shell. But for every laugh, there are serious and sad moments. And if you, as an adult coming to the movies only to see "Toy Story 3" because your kid wanted to see it (yeah, right), do not shed a tear at the end of the film, then you may have never been a child at all.
Worth: Matinee & Blu-Ray