reviews\ Jun 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Toy Story 3 3D movie review


After 15 years, the Toy Story series offers an ending that runs a gamut of emotions touching on lost relationships, memories of happier times, neglect and continuing hope.

Toy Story 3 is the culmination of the franchise and Monday night, on the precipice of the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, Disney and Pixar premiered the movie in Dolby Digital 3D. While the movie supposedly sums up the franchise, all the movie does is close the story that involves Andy and the Toy Story gang.

The movie comes in at under two hours in length, which feels a bit long at times, and some of the material might be a bit too intense or emotional for the younger set. Still the movie resonates with feeling, particularly at the end. The rest of the plot moves along with some moments that are light-hearted and fun, some that twist disbelief and some that are a bit dark - as though providing a biting reflection of human nature through these characters.

In 1995, audiences were introduced not only to Woody and Buzz Lightyear, but to the young boy that owned the toys. Fifteen franchise years later, Andy has grown up and is headed to college. Toys do not belong in college and Andy’s mom wants the young man to clear out his room, throwing out the things he no longer wants, storing other things he wishes to keep in the attic and only taking what he actually wants to college with him. Through a mistake, the majority of his toys end up in a daycare center where all the toys are controlled by a bitter and evil bear named Lotso. It is, of course, a misunderstanding, and the toy gang begins the core endeavor of the movie - namely finding a way back home.

Woody is, once again, the clear star of this movie and Tom Hanks manages to keep the story clearly on track as the voice of the character. In fact, all of the actors behind the characters do a solid job of infusing the toys with personality that is distinct. Tim Allen’s Buzz is, once again, a focal point for comedic relief and there are moments when the film turns a bit dark and that humor is needed.

The 3D element of the movie a bit understated, mostly using the effect to establish depth of field, but when it comes to the overall look of the film, Pixar plays it true to the license and does not deliver anything that leaps off the screen to stun theater-goers This movie is very much a love note to the characters.

It is unfortunate that the plot just seems to add too many elements at times and becomes one bigger hurdle after another for the characters, and much more convoluted especially with the very large threat near the conclusion of a unhappy ending. Even though things are all wrapped up, the film‘s final scenes are bit bittersweet and can tug on the heartstrings.

There is little doubt that Toy Story 3 will do well at the theaters. Pixar knows its craft when it comes to animated films and all the elements are here. Though a good movie, there is a sense that it could have been more, but after a 15-year run, maybe the ending - one of goodbyes, of moving on and of new hope - is precisely what was warranted.


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