Monday, July 5, 2010

Movie review: Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 is probably the most highly anticipated Pixar movie EVER. They have a well-earned reputation for consistent excellence in animation and storytelling (and they don't sacrifice one for the other). From the trailers, it looked to be a heartwarming and hilarious final installment to one of my all-time favorite movie series.

Could they possibly live up to such high expectations? Yes, and more. This movie was flat-out fantastic. The opening scene is one of Andy's more elaborate fantasies, and for the first time we are able to see the way it looks in Andy's imagination (which would have been impossible, animation-wise, even for TS2). It looked amazing, and both that scene and the rest of the movie were full of throwbacks to the first two.

There was a lot going on in terms of plot, but it never felt overwhelming (Spider-Man 3, I'm looking at you). They introduced a lot of new characters, which meant that they were unable to do much character development for any of them, but they seemed to have real personalities right from the beginning. That right there is a mark of good writing: if it feels like you know a character that has just been introduced. The story moved along at a good pace, with all of the twists and turns I have come to expect (including expecting to be surprised). How is it that I can be so nervous about the ending of a G-rated movie? I know that everything has to come out all right. There is no way they could possibly get away with anything less. And yet, I was genuinely worried.

The end of the movie was just perfect. I will not say anything more. I could kind of see it coming, and I did not mind at all.

To top it all off, this was probably the overall funniest Pixar movie in the past few years. Don't get me wrong, they all have their moments, but I haven't laughed so hard at a movie in a long time. Four little words: Buzz Lightyear En Espanol. And the kids in the daycare center! I think I recognized a few of them...

One final note: the toys attempting to break out of the daycare was fabulous. They could give the Leverage crew a run for their money. Except for the part where...well, I won't spoil it.

Go see Toy Story 3! Now!
5/5 stars (obviously)

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