Sploich Reviews Toy Story 3 (2010)
Sploich - wrote on 03/06/11
In 1995, Pixar released the first fully computer animated feature film ever made: Toy Story. They followed this up with what I consider a very weak sequel in 1999 with Toy Story 2. For more than a decade people anxiously waited for a third installment in the series and in 2010 it was finally flown down to us in a solid gold movie projector covered in awesome. Yes folks, it was worth the wait.
Toy Story 3 follows its predecessor almost as long after as the gap between the two films in real life as we see a grown-up Andy on his way off to college. Only a select few of his childhood toys are left in his collection, and they are running out of time and strength as they don't know what is to become of them. After a bit of a misunderstanding, the toys are donated to a local daycare center where they find themselves in a seemingly quaint situation in which to live out their eternal lives. Things are not as they seem though, and the toys find themselves having to escape the daycare center and find their way home, assuming there is a place for them once they get there.
After the simplistic but charming first film and the loud and obnoxious second, I really wasn't expecting much from this film. I knew it was Pixar so I knew I would most likely enjoy it but I have to say that the first sequel had me leery. I was thrown aback however at just how much of an improvement on the series this third installment had become. As was to be expected, there was a massive update to the animation, bringing us breathtaking visuals and giving the characters more life than they had ever had.
The story is one of loss, worth and nostalgia, all of which really hit home with just about everyone. At several points throughout the film I found my self wiping tears from my eyes, feeling for the characters as if they were more than cheap plastic, let alone computer-animated cheap plastic. I had never really grown an emotional attachment to the characters in the first two films so I was pretty shocked at how invested I was in this one. the filmmakers knew exactly what they were doing, throwing in little jokes that only the fans would get in order to build up emotion and nostalgia for the final scenes of the film. I love that Pixar decided to give director Lee Unkrich a shot at directing this film all by himself because it shows that he has a stellar career in his future.
Toy Story 3 is a phenomenal film and easily one of the best animated films I have ever seen. I first saw it in theaters eight months ago and I still haven't decided since then if this or Up is Pixar's best film. I'm siding with Toy Story 3 for now.