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Growing Up

August 28, 2010

Generally, if Pixar makes a movie, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be good.  If you remember, Pixar really first hit it big with the original Toy Story.  So when I saw that their latest movie was going to be Toy Story 3, I was a tad worried.  I mean, it’s been a long time since the last movie, so it felt like a grab for money with a reliable name.  The story is that Andy (Andy Davis) is going to college, and he’s cleaning up his room.  He wants to keep all of his old toys (save Woody, who he wants to bring with him), but because he puts them in a garbage bag, his mom accidentally puts them out in the trash.  All of the toys are crushed, save Woody, who saw that Andy was actually trying to save them.  They escape the bag, and they head off to Sunnyside Daycare, where toys that are no longer wanted by their original owners get to play with young kids again.  However, the Daycare is not as wonderful as it seems, as the toy who runs things, Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear (Lotso) runs things with an iron fist.  Well, technically a plush fist.  Woody finds the truth when, during his escape from the Daycare to return to Andy, he ends up getting picked up by one of the Daycare’s children and taken to her home, where a toy who once new Lotso explains what happened to him.  Woody must save Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and all the other toys from what Lotso has planned for them and convince them that Andy really does want them back.

This whole movie had such an end to childhood theme, and that was largely for all of us who grew up watching the Toy Story films.  I mean, it was still obviously for kids, but it had that extra stuff to appeal to the original fans.  And it was also a great way to end the series as a whole.  Even though Andy gives up all his toys at the end, he gives them to that young girl, Bonnie Anderson, and he treats them with love while doing so.  So the toys get a happy ending, and Andy gets closure right before he goes off to college.  And the whole story was interesting.  Lotso is actually a great foil to Woody and the rest of the toys, as he was someone who was also accidentally abandoned by his owner, yet took it far more harshly.  It was also really cute most of the time, with the affection that the characters have for their various owners, as well as their camaraderie.  This story may be a bit darker than previous installments, but only by a little, so it is still perfectly safe for kids. Since it’s a Pixar movie, the animation generally looks great.  And let me tell you, it is more than just a tad jarring to see Andy so much older.  Not because he’s rendered poorly, but just by virtue of so much time having passed between the current movie and the previous one.  However, he’s still voiced by John Morris, the same kid who voiced him in the first two movies (he’s not a kid anymore).  That was a nice, cute tough.  And it’s great to hear Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and everyone else voice these characters again.  Ned Beatty, who voices Lotso, was also a great addition to the cast.  So yes, this is a nice fun romp for kids and for people wanting to wax nostalgic about this old series.  Besides, it is a Pixar movie.

Story: 8.8      Animation: 9.4      Soundtrack: 8.6      Acting: 9.4      Overall: 9.0

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