Stephen Colbert said of Toy Story 3 that it got so much hype that he hopes it gives him “An actual buzz, and a real woody.” Now, maybe it did not do that for me, but I had to cover my mouth to shield the people sitting next to me from my roaring laughter! As a 23-year-old, I remember how the original Toy Story changed animated films, and how I fell in love with all the characters. In 1995 digital animation was a new way to see cartoons, and 15 years later, adding 3D makes the characters come to life even more.
The fact that the film kept all of the original cast members like Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as Rex, John Ratzenberger as Hamm, and the list goes on, is a true testament to how amazing this movie is. The crew of Andy’s toys has a whole new adventure on their plastic hands, they are seeing Andy go off to college. But what does that mean for the toys? They are facing the attic, being donated, or worse, being thrown away!
The toys haven’t been played with in years, and they long for the days of making Andy smile. When the toys accidentally get donated to Sunnyside Daycare, minus Woody because Andy decides to take him to college with him, they think they are getting a new lease on life and will finally be played with again! When Andy’s toys arrive at the daycare they meet the head toy, a big teddy bear named Lotso (short for Lotsohugs), voiced by Ned Beatty, and are given the grand tour by Ken, voiced by Michael Keaton. Woody goes after them and tries to convince the toys that their being donated was a big mistake. But Sunnyside seems like a paradise for toys, so they decide to stay, and Woody tries to get back to Andy.
Then, Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky dog, and the rest of the gang quickly find out that where they have been put, in the Caterpillar Room for the youngest children, is not the playtime they were hoping for. Now the toys have to escape from the lockdown of Sunnyside and get back to Andy before he leaves for college on Friday! As the leader of the pack Woody goes back for his friends when he finds out the truth about Sunnyside. But getting past Lotso and his toys is going to be the biggest adventure they have ever faced!
The original Toy Story was amazing and changed animated movies, Toy Story 2 was good, but not as good as the first. Now Toy Story 3 brings the toys back to their original glory! The hype is true, I cannot say enough good things about this movie. It is definitely a film that the entire family will enjoy, whether or not they know the story of Andy’s toys. There are nods to the original fans though, Buster the new puppy in the first movie is now old and fat, and when the toys arrive at Sunnyside Buzz says “Careful, these toys may be jealous of new arrivals,” (like he faced when he first got to Andy’s room). The jokes keep on coming, and the new toys in Sunnyside, like Stretch a purple octopus voiced by Whoopi Goldberg, add so much to the movie. There are some old toys in Sunnyside that parents may recognize, like a Fisher Price rotary phone called Chatter Telephone, and the ascot-wearing Ken doll is most definitely from the early 80’s.
The movie hits all the marks, it is hilarious, there’s adventure, emotion, and the Disney happy ending of course. I am a huge fan of animated films, and this one would be up there with some of the best. If you want to return to your childhood for an hour and forty minutes, and laugh out loud with no shame, then Toy Story 3 will give you the chance. Run, don’t walk!
-Day and Night – Short Film
-Buzz Lightyear’s Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure
-3 Studio Stories
-Cine Explore with Director Lee Unkrich & Producer Darla Anderson
-Bonnie’s Playtime – A Story Roundtable with Director Lee Unkrich
Paths to Pixar: Editorial