Toy Story 3

Viewed – 25 December 2010  Blu-ray

I feel I have been waiting to see this movie for a long time.  Ever since I finished watching Toy Story 2, I was thirsty for more.  That movie built so much on what the first, classic movie delivered, playing on jokes that worked so well the first time round, and introducing new characters like Jessie the cow girl to my already feverish adoration of Buzz & Woody.  It also looked so much better.  So the anticipation began, just what could they do with a third Toy Story?  Oh the possibilities…

Andy, the owner of the toys has grown up and is about to leave for college.  Therefore his once treasured friends, Buzz Lightyear, Woody the cowboy, Rex the dinosaur, Ham the Piggy bank, Mrs & Mrs Potato Head etc are all destined to either gather dust in the attic, or shock horror, get taken to the trash!  Then Andy’s mother comes up with the idea of donating toys to the local daycare centre, and although Andy would rather them go in the attic, they get whisked off to a place where a whole new set of kids will play with.  Problem is, the toys at the day care centre are very territorial, headed by cuddly pink bear Lotso Huggybear.  Is the daycare centre the right place for them?  Should they go back to Andy’s house?  And so the adventure begins.

This admitted convoluted story does enable plenty of fun moments and character interaction, but with the much larger cast of characters (including a stand-out Ken, as in Ken & Barbie) the once finely tuned focus has gone somewhat.  The first half dragged a little too, which was surprising, but that’s probably down to too much exposition.  Buzz, Woody & Co are a delight however and I can’t help but be caught up in their plight – they’re just so likable.   Pixar are again on form with their animation, and this is a beautiful looking Blu-ray full of detail and colour, and the music, by Randy Newman perfectly complements proceedings.   Yet I was disappointed how many jokes from the previous entries were re-used, and overall the movie felt more like a greatest hits than a fully fleshed out sequel. 

That being said, when this gets going, it’s exciting, heart warming and surprisingly emotional, with themes of loss and acceptance being handled especially well.  Yet as a trilogy, this is more Return Of The Jedi than Empire Strikes Back.  It’s still brilliant entertainment, don’t get me wrong.  The characters are all great, but as with many sequels, the initial thing that made the idea work has begun to wilt with age, and there were not enough new or inspiring ideas to fully blow me away.

Verdict:  4 /5

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