Although my brother feels that the movie was a yawn-a-rooney, I will differ significantly, naming Toy Story 3 one of the best pieces of animation to come out of Pixar Studios. A suiting third part to a great series, Toy Story 3 does not disappoint the viewer, as has been the case with other movie series, wherein the third part loses the charm that the previous two movies have built. This movie which was dubbed Pixar’s great gamble, has paid off big time in the Box Office, beating the last record holder, Shrek 3, with a total income of $41,148,961 on its opening day at the box office from 4,028 theaters.
So, what makes this movie such a success?
1. Gripping Plot:
Skipping years ahead of the time frame in Toy Story 2, the movie is set when Andy is seventeen and ready to go to college. This means that the toys will no longer be played with, best case scenario being a life in the attic for ‘infinity and beyond’. The bowl of emotion in the toys ranges from fear of being thrown out as trash to a feeling of betrayal. Only Woody seems to be positive, having full faith in Andy. He emphasizes that the toys should ‘be there for Andy’ no matter what they had to do for that.
With the familiar twists and turns that are idiosyncratic of Toy Story series, the toys find themselves in different places, a day care center, a Junk yard and finally, their safe haven at Bonnie’s house. Throughout the transitions, the story proceeds through top quality scenes, filled with an assortment of many emotions. The story grows from being sad to heart warming, happy, intense, scary, melancholic, and finally to tear-breaking satisfaction. Scenes are engineered to induce from the audience a perfect blend of smiles, laughs, grins, blushes, frowns of anticipation, awes and tears, be it from an eight year old enthusiast or an eighty year old timer.
I will not go through the details of the plot as that will be a breach of the overall warmth of the movie that has to be seen in person to capture the whole spectrum.
2. Character Depth:
Toy Story 3 makes the toys look more human than ever. Not to mention, the great voice modulations by Tom Hanks(Woody) and Tim Allen(Buzz LightYear) just keeps the audience gripped to the seats. The manner in which each character is given ample screen space and unique nature is appreciable. Woody’s confidence and faith, Mr. Potato Head’s cynicism, Buzz’s insistence on sticking together are all brought about in great style. Buzz’s Spanish mode particularly sends waves of laughter through the theatre. Ken, the new introduction, looks great in his self-proclaimed style icon image and Lotso (Lots’-O’-Huggin’-Bear), the main character in a negative role, is just the perfect mix of jealousy and anger. All in all, the movie does a great job in making the toys real.
On a personal platform, I would say that this movie is far more mature than Avatar. The manner in which important values like, not abandoning your friend no matter what, and sticking together through thick and thin, is brought out with minimum effort and in a way that appeals to even the youngsters. It does not have scenes of great sacrifice, but it brings out the idea all the same. Conquering great odds with cooperation from everyone, using each others’ abilities and believing in oneself is corner stone of the great adventures of the toys.
4. A Story Everyone can Connect with:
To top it all, it is a story that everyone can connect with.There is not one of us who cannot relate to love, loyalty, loss, and fear of rejection, abandonment, replacement and so on.There are a lot of times when we feel the need of attention from our loved ones, feel abandonment when we don’t get the attention and look for other friends.We feel the tension of fitting into the new place, gaining everyone’s trust, hoping beyond hope that we find more affection here. And almost every time we find that the ones we were about to leave were the best friends we ever had. The same story that we call Life is depicted in this excellent movie.
Having said all this, there were certain things that disappointed me.
The 3D was not much of an experience. There were hardly any scenes that would take us by surprise with things or people popping out of the screen. Most of the scenes had very little 3D effect and in the end it just became a pain to continuously focus on different parts of the screen.
2. No redemption for Lotso.
Although I understand Pixar’s intention of making a mature movie, in the end we must accept that it is meant for the kids. I would, personally, not like a movie which does not let the Negative character a scene of redemption. The message ‘Some things never change’ is important but ‘Love conquers all Evil’ is a message with far more gravity.
The Final Word:
If you are looking for a movie which you can enjoy with your family, or even your girlfriend/boyfriend, Toy Story 3 just fits the requirements. With a great beginning and a tear-breaking ending, the movie leaves you with a sense of satisfaction and a renewed sense of admiration for animated movies. On a scale on 5, I will rate it at a 4.75.
Originally published on an earlier blog of mine on July 15, 2010