Movie Review: “Toy Story 3”- Bringing Childhood Full Circle
By Chauncey Telese
Sorry again for the long absence but I’ve had finals and I was in Vegas for my friend Wes’s 21st (I know it’s cliché but c’mon it’s Vegas). I promise there won’t be any more apologies because school’s over so no more putting off reviews because of homework.
Before I begin I feel as if I should just say this now. LA-KERS LA-KERS 2010 CHAMPS!!!!! Man, was that game gut-wrenching or what? Who knew that Kobe could shoot 6-24 and yet still wind up as MVP?! Nothing is sweeter then a title won by beating the Boston Celtics, am I right?
My favorite moments were Fisher’s clutch three in the fourth (well, the whole fourth quarter was awesome), Pau Gasol going into beast mode, Rondo missing the three at the end, and my favorite moment when Ron Artest thanked his psychiatrist, nothing was funnier. However, I must say, Angelenos can we win one title without cars having to be lit on fire? What is wrong with you people? You’re rioting is more annoying then those stupid vuvuzela horns at the World Cup. Anyway, congratulations to the Lakers you guys earned it. Now let’s get to work!
Just to catch everyone up to speed, I did see “Get Him to the Greek” and I must say it was a lot funnier then I expected (especially Diddy, who I loathe with a passion because he’s only famous because Biggie died. There I said it.) Also, I saw “The A-Team” and again I was surprised. Shartlo Copley (“District 9”) steals the show as Murdock, he will have you laughing before, during and after the explosions. The rest of the cast is amazing as well (I never thought Rampage could hold his own with Liam Neeson, too bad he couldn’t do the same against Evans, oh well). That does it for the under-card; now let’s move on to the main event “Toy Story 3”.
I was five years old when the original came out and at first I was blown away by how real everything looked. I must’ve watched it a million times as a kid (how the VHS survived, I’ll never know). The same goes for the second film which again not only showed Pixar’s progression as animators but also as storytellers. The movies never felt dated as I can watch them anytime without feeling too grown-up for them. So when I heard that they were making a third one, I was thrilled. I know that usually threequels are a ginormous letdown but I had too much faith in Pixar. They would never become “Shrek”. In fact, they managed to make the best trilogy since the original “Star Wars” (yeah I said it, “Lord of the Rings” was good, “Toy Story” is better). So, without further ado (I just came from the midnight show so I’m a tad tired), let me explain why.
If you recall, “Toy Story 2” made a point in reminding us how fragile the kid/toy relationship is. When Jesse (Joan Cusack) told Woody that her owner Emily grew up and abandoned her, Woody realized that day is coming for him as well. In “Toy Story 3,” that day comes.
However, before we see an 18-year-old Andy pack for college, we see Andy’s imagination at full blast in a really dazzling opening sequence, then a touching home movie montage showing us Andy through the years playing with his toys. Once that ends we see that while our old favorites Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim “the tool man” Allen), Rex (Wallace Shaw), the Potato heads (Don Rickels and Estelle Harris), Jesse, Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky (Blake Clark, taking over for the deceased Jim Varney), and Bullseye are around, other toys sadly weren’t so lucky.
The toys are desperate to be played with again. They realize that Andy has outgrown them and before they can be placed in the attic, they are accidentally donated to Sunnyside Daycare.
At Sunnyside, the toys are introduced to Lotso Huggin Bear (Ned Beatty) a southern bear who seems as pleasant as Andy Griffith (yeah I know I’m probably the only 21-year-old who knows who that is). Lotso tells the toys that at Sunnyside the kids never outgrow the toys because once they get too big new kids come in. His motto is “No owners, no heartbreak”. Also, we are introduced to Lotso’s number 2, the creepy big baby (though not as creepy as Big Baby Davis of the Celtics), and Ken (Michael Keaton) who is almost more effeminate then Barbie.
The toys at first love the idea of Sunnyside, but then they learn the dark underside of daycare. Not only are the toddlers abusive to toys (that sequence is so funny), but Lotso runs the daycare as if it’s Shawshank Prison. Woody manages to escape and, while he does find a new owner, he goes back to save the others.
This movie has everything: action, humor and romance. Credit “Little Miss Sunshine” writer Mike Arndt for balancing all of this. However, what made it for me was the amount of heart that it had. I won’t spoil it but there is a moment towards the end that demonstrates how much the toys really love each other and how far they are willing to go in order to stay together.
Also, the end brings all three movies full circle I won’t spoil how but trust me it has more sentiment then the entire season finale of “Glee.” You see what makes the “Toy Story” films so compelling to me is that they perfectly nail the cycle of childhood. We see just how deep our bond with toys runs and how we can care about plastic objects just as much as we do people because toys are our first friends.
The other thing that made these movies work is that they conveyed that toys feel the same way about us as we do them, more so in fact. Toys don’t get older and that’s their curse. They have to see us get older and “Toy Story 3” demonstrates how painful yet satisfying that moment can be. In summation, if this movie doesn’t get to the kid in you you’re as heartless as the CEO of BP or Gus on “Breaking Bad”.
If this doesn’t sound like you’re kind of movie or it’s sold out you also have “Jonah Hex” starring Josh Brolin and while it looked awesome at ComicCon I’ve been getting more pessimistic about it. There’s also the indie comedy “Cyrus” starring John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill that I’m dying to see, and there’s that blasphemous remake of the “Karate Kid”.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned as next week (for real this time) as I hang out with Sandler, James, Rock, Spade, and Schneider because we are “Grown Ups.” Remember you can see these and other fine films at our local Edwards/Regal cinemas - click here for show times.