Toy Story 3 (Contains Spoilers)

Finally, after its been released for nearly 2 weeks, we finally get to go and see the new Toy Story film. Since it’s release, Toy Story 3 has been getting rave reviews all round, and is looking likely to be (as expected) the biggest selling box office film on the year.

I will admit that I was at first sceptical about it when I first heard about it being made sometime last year. I automatically figured that it would be another way of Disney making more money re-selling something they already made by jumping on the 3D bandwagon that everyone seems to be on right now. I figured it would be something shoddily thrown together in a lame attempt at hooking people in with the promise of pretty 3D visuals to entertain them for a couple of hours, and would be something cheap, hollow and frankly meaningless and would ruin the reputation set up by the previous two Toy Story films which were actually pretty great. Then, when I started hearing more about what the storyline was and seeing some of the graphics that they were using (very much updated from the originals!), I started believing that there could actually be substance behind all the shine that Disney were putting on this, especially since the script apparently took 2 1/2 years to write. Turns out, I really shouldn’t have doubted a Disney/Pixar reunion project!

Toy Story 3 is, without a doubt, an awesome addition to this line of films. It has everything about it that made the originals so great, and then some. The original cast (minus the voice of Slinky Dog, after he unfortunately passed away a few years ago), the humour, the heartwarming sentiments – it’s all there by the bucketload, which is what makes this film what it is. The storyline itself revolves around Andy now being fully grown and moving away to college, and as such having to leave his childhood possessions behind. But, of course, there’s a mix-up in the moving and they al get thrown out instead of put in the attic. This leads Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the toy box team to donate themselves to Sunnyside Daycare Centre. Only, this doesn’t turn out to be the safe haven they were promised – instead they are repeatedly mistreated by constantly sticky toddlers, and then locked away at night in a prison-like regime lead by a seemingly sweet Lotso-Huggin’ Bear and a dastardly Ken doll (played by Michael Keaton). The storyline itself is fairly complex in its make-up, creating relationship tests and undertones throughout the script that other trilogy round-offs might otherwise be lacking. The fact that Andy decides to keep Woody with him whilst leaving the others to go to the attic creates an air of resentment that has been untouched since the first film – the atmosphere of favouritism.

Of course, there has to be a happy ending to the story (it had to, it’s Disney!), but that doesn’t mean they can’t make you completely second guess how it might end right up until the last moment. There were parts where I found myself genuinely questioning whether Disney/Pixar might actually end the series with a really morbid ending with them all ending up in a trash compactor. But, of course, everything works out for the better and yet still manages to end on a not-entirely-unpredictable ending either. Naturally, its right at the very end that the tears would start to well up when Andy donates everyone to a young girl with a big imagination, knowing they’ll still stay together and stay special to someone. It’s all very heart-warming stuff, and rounds off the series in a way that easily satisfies any fans of the original two films.

Everything about this film works towards its benefit – the music is still good, the humour is definitely still there, and even though there has been a change of direction from the other two (John Lasseter is now replaced by Lee Unkrich at the helm of the project, after editing the previous two), Lasseter has stayed on as a Producer behind the film, so all the important elements have stayed the same from the first two.

Overall, this is generally a brilliant round-off to the Disney/Pixar project that started it all, and takes the whole series to another level that is sure to please any fans of either of the other Toy Story films or any Disney/Pixar project in general. Definitely an easy 8 out of 10.

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