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Toy Story 3 (2010)

"Before viewing" talks don't have spoilers, but since there's no "After viewing" talk for this one, comments may have spoilers. More»» by Randy Heffner

Is the film worth your time?

Dodging the dangers of sequeldom, Toy Story 3 is plain fun to watch as it takes us through a familiar landscape of toys and joys and tears and fears. We know, from the first two films in the series, most of the characters and the general territory of emotions and scenarios that Toy Story 3 will explore. But, even so, the film finds new angles from which to explore loyalty, courage, and the wonder of a child’s imagination. Although the exploration is not always deep, it rings strongly true, asking questions like: How do we let appearances jade our opinions of others? Should loyalty always take precedence over self-interest? How easily do we turn away from the good we have and instead look for greener grass on the other side? Can we tell when we ourselves have gone bad? If growing up moves us away from creative, imaginative play, what do we gain, what do we lose, and how can we recover what was lost? There is not much subtlety in Toy Story 3, but sometimes maybe we need a straight, simple, and good story.

It’s an imaginative story that fits quite naturally into its setting later in the life of the toys’ owner — if you’re older, you been through the toy-retention decisions that he must make. Except for one or two out-of-the-blue plot devices, the story flows well. The dialog is crisp and the characters well-formed and, even if individually they are not developed deeply, collectively they make a wonderful panoply of attitudes and character traits. Toy Story 3 is most definitely worth the time — especially when you’re out for something lighter. Oh, and it is also great for kids, but I suggest only for kids that understand how to deal with strong peril — parts of it could be too much otherwise.

Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and all the toys remember the grand, good times when Andy played with them, but now Andy is older. They spend most of their time in the toy box now — with the lid closed down. But it’s worse than that: Andy is going off to college, and his mom is pressing him to clear out the junk from his room. Andy still loves all the toys, but only Woody makes it into the box going to college with Andy. The rest, he puts in a bag to store in the attic — only the bag doesn’t make it there. His mom thinks it’s for the trash and puts the bag street-side. Woody sees it happen, and he sets out to rescue his fellow toys. Running time: 103 min.

Although most of the film is fun and has but mild to moderate peril, there are some very creepy characters and situations of strong peril.

  • Director: Lee Unkrich
  • Screenplay: Michael Arndt, from story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, & Lee Unkrich
  • Leads: The voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, John Morris, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn
  • Animation: Pixar Animation Studios
  • Music: Randy Newman

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