Fans have been charmed by the Toy Story franchise since the first movie premiered in 1995. 15 years later and the geniuses at Pixar are still going strong, producing quality movies that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Don’t believe me? You can say you were not amused by “Finding Nemo“, “Up” or “The Incredibles” but if you do, we can tell you’re lying. They’re just flat out good and funny.
“Toy Story 3” follows right along those lines. It is both very good and very funny, with a lot of laugh out loud moments and a few of our cold heartstrings being tugged.
The movie begins with a flashback scene of Andy, the human child who owns all of the well-known toys, playing an elaborate game with Woody, Buzz and the old favorites. All of the original voice actors return, except Jim Varney for obvious reasons. Fast forward to the present, where you see the few remaining toys that Andy has kept over the years sitting in the dark toybox, trying to guess what their fate might be, since Andy is leaving for college in a few days.
Just like the first two movies, the plot is set around the toys being removed from Andy and them having to escape an evil situation and get back home so they can always be there for their boy. Unlike “Toy Story 2“, it actually keeps you on the edge of your seat because this time you’re not only wondering if the toys will make it back home, you’re also wondering what will happen to them even if they do make it home. Andy isn’t going to need his Buzz Lightyear action figure in his dorm. (Not if he ever wants to get laid, anyway…)
The movie was in 3-D and there is a five minute short before the actual feature, which was cute but had fellow writer Zach Lawrence and I scratching our heads as to what the hell the point was. 3-D has been overdone a bit lately but Pixar is probably one of the best places to utilize it as it is cartoonish anyway, and the special effects looked great. In the theater, several people remarked and exclaimed about how amazing an explosion of fire looked, and we agreed. The 3-D was not overdone and in your face, but it was enough to bring everything to life and make the viewer feel they were really in those animated places.
By the third movie you may be asking if the old jokes might seem overdone or too much of a throwback, but it was executed perfectly and the amazing cast of actors who voiced the characters were a huge part of that. Not only was the original cast featured, but new talent added a fresh take on the series. Michael Keaton did an amazing job as a fashion-crazed Ken doll who seems to be looking for love and finds it in Barbie, voiced by Jodi Benson. (Ariel, from The Little Mermaid.) The gay references to Ken were hilarious, even if the younger viewers of the movie wont really get it just yet.
Timothy Dalton (James Bond movies, Doctor Who) voiced a new toy named Mr. Pricklepants who fancies himself a classically trained thespian, and is not ashamed to let people know it. Add in Buzz Lightyear being reset to Spanish mode and all of the good feelings that Joan Cusack brings back to the role of Jessie and you have an A+ movie that audiences are sure to enjoy in 3-D or otherwise.
We here at Nerdbastards give it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.