Yesterday, I went off to watch what I’m hoping is the definite final movie in the Toy Story franchise because I’m not sure how I’d feel about another sequel after having seen such a fitting finale. I wasn’t actually planning to see it since I didn’t feel quite as strongly about the series as a whole some of my friends did. The first full CG movie released more than a decade ago may have been very impressive but the me at the time didn’t comprehend how impressive it was so my fondness for the first and the second movies weren’t quite as high as they were for movies involving Godzilla and Batman. Even now I feel that the plots of the first two were pretty simple and mediocre so I don’t feel the least bit compelled to watch them again on the Disney channel. However, when it comes to Toy Story 3, I do feel the urge to watch it again.
Toy Story 3 takes place more or less a decade after the last film so Andy has mostly forgotten about his old playmates who we see are still trying to gain the attention of their owner by whatever means they can use. However, after their latest attempt, Woody decides to call it quits after failing yet again to get Andy to play with them. The fact that Andy’s going off to college in the next few days also factors into his decision for them to stop and wait till he puts them all up in the attic. They decide to go along with that but just as Andy goes and does that, a misunderstanding occurs that gets all the toys except for Woody tossed out onto the curb which leads them to their decision to be donated to daycare centre where they can be played with instead of gathering dust at home.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was one of those kids who watched the first two as a kid and am now transitioning into the university phase of my education so there was a bit of nostalgia working its magic on me while I was watching but that only really kicked in during the final scenes which by the was some pretty strong stuff. The rest of the movie had to rely on the direction and story though. Thankfully, they were pretty strong too so I enjoyed myself a lot. There director played a lot with quite a few tropes and delivered loads of great jokes that wouldn’t have been quite as funny if he played them straight. Ken in particular wouldn’t been quite as good a character if he was played straight either.
My favorite bits, much like everyone else, were the Spanish Buzz scenes. Normal and Deluded Buzz were great at action scenes but Spanish Buzz brought a whole new level of fun to his character. If you haven’t seen the movie yet then let me just say Spanish Buzz is more than a good enough reason to fork over the ticket fee. Obviously, they decided to use bits of the original plotline for the third movie Disney came up with and I’m glad they did. The original plot was supposed to involve a recall of all Buzz Lightyear toys back to Taiwan and it would have included a scene where Buzz would be facing off with knock-offs of himself but for better or worse they went with the Andy going to college plot. After watching the movie I decided that it was for the better but I still lament upon the loss of the knock-off scene. Now that think about it, my enthusiasm for the third installment was severely dampened after hearing about the change in plot.
What really surprised me though was how much darker they made the movie in comparison to the first two. I mean this was aimed at both kids and the now grown up kids who watched the original so I was expecting something more of the same kids movie but the themes they touched upon in the movie were quite a bit more mature than what one would expect to see in a kids film. I’d also like to add that they handled them a lot better than most movies too, so much so that it made the climax and the conclusion so incredibly powerful that I actually thought for a second there that Pixar were really going to go with a downer ending. However, that was only for an instant as I immediately wondered where the LGM’s buggered off to. My question was answered one perfectly drawn out scene later. What followed after was the conclusion and I have to admit that my eyes got a little watery watching how much the toys meant to Andy. The look on his face when it came down to Woody who he was planning to bring with him to college was the ultimate pay-off in the movie after all that build up involving growing up and parting ways. I dare say I heard some sniffles coming from the back row at that moment and I must say that they were perfectly justified at that moment.
So in summary it was a magnificent film that I would not hesitate to say that it even surpassed WALL-E which I thought was downright brilliant. My advice is to watch the movie while it’s still on the silver screen rather than on Blu-ray, especially if your local cinema support 3D screenings. Pixar has outdone itself yet again people.
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