Tag Archives: Toy Story

Cars 2

5 Jul

Title: Cars 2
Year: 
2011
Director: 
John Lasseter, co-directed by Brad Lewis
Writer: Ben Queen, based on a story by John Lasseter, Brad Lewis and Dan Fogelman
Starring: 
Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jason Isaacs, Thomas Kretschmann, Eddie Izzard, Joe Mantegna, Tony Shalhoub, John Ratzenberger, John Turturro, Jeff Gordon, Lewis Hamilton, Vanessa Redgrave, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Jeff Garlin
MPAA Rating: 
G
Runtime: 
106 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
6.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 
35%

Yes, it’s true, it happened. Pixar finally produced a film that’s just fine and not spectacular. And that really is saying something, by the way. We’re talking about the one studio with a perfect streak, 11 films ranging from 1995 to 2010 that range from masterpieces to incredibly good. Allow me to recap the history of those eleven films. The first was the one people know the most, obviously, Toy Story in 1995, the film that started the wonders of digital animation, the film every animated film since owes a lot to. 1998 saw A Bug’s Life, a far more ambitious project as far as scope for the company. 1999 was the year of Toy Story 2, to this date one of the most perfect sequels ever made, animated or not. Their first film of the new millennium was 2001’s Monsters, Inc. which was awesome but meant Pixar lost it’s first stab at the Best Animated Feature Oscar, a category it pretty much helped create. In 2003 they got that trophy though, as Finding Nemo enchanted audiences worldwide. They repeated the feat in 2004, as The Incredibles won it, marking another landmark in the history of the company as their first PG-13 rated outing.

In 2006 came the film this one is the sequel to, Cars, and that one didn’t win the Best Animated Feature Oscar, and was the first Pixar film I didn’t downright love, even though I still liked it a fair bit. After that little stumble (even though Cars would be considered a success for any other animation house) Pixar went back to its masterful streak, upping up its own ante every single time, with Ratatouille in 2007, Wall-E in 2008, Up in 2009 and Toy Story 3 last year. Those four films are insanely good, and all won those Best Animated Feature Oscars. A four-year streak, I’m afraid to guess, will end with this one, Cars 2. It’s not that this one was a horrible film, because it’s not that bad, it’s just that it doesn’t feel like a Pixar film at all to me. Let me just go ahead and name those eleven prior films I just recapped and next to them insert the grade I gave to them upon watching them: Toy Story (A+), A Bug’s Life (A-), Toy Story 2 (A+), Monsters Inc. (A), Finding Nemo (A), The Incredibles (A+), Cars (B+), Ratatouille (A), Wall-E (A+), Up (A+) and Toy Story 3 (A+).

So, you see, out of the eleven films Pixar has released I have awarded 6 of those, more than half, a perfect A+ grade, which means I consider them masterpieces, and only one of them, the original Cars, has a grade in the B-range, and even that was a strong B+. The fact that I love Pixar films as much as I do isn’t just because of their insane animation skills, because their films are the most visually dazzling always, but it’s actually moreso because of their even better skills as the best storytellers in the industry. You look at the stories the Pixar films tell and they’re all extremely great, every film has one genuinely emotional moment, true emotions and indelible characters. And that’s why I didn’t like Cars 2 as much, because even though the animation is still undeniable outstanding, the story it tells is generic at best, and maybe people are being too harsh on this film because they expect so much from Pixar, but hey, that’s the price you pay when you have a decade and a half of sheer perfection under your belt.

I won’t be as critical of the film as some others have been, and I’ll probably end up giving it a weak B or a strong B-, because I recognize that as an animated film it’s decent enough, even though as a Pixar one it sucks. But, in reality, Pixar or not, there are just too many things that are just plain wrong about this film, and I’ll jump on the most popular bandwagon amongst those who disliked the films to point out its biggest error: Mater. That’s the sidekick of Owen Wilson’s Lightning McQueen, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, a dimwitted truck that in this sequel gets what every sidekick dreams of, their very own chance to own the spotlight. And what we find out here is the reason why sidekicks are never the center of focus in a movie, and why their adventures are relegated to straight-to-video entries, this is a character that just doesn’t work as a main one at all.

And it’s not as though Lightning McQueen isn’t around any more, and we do see quite a bit of his racing successes, but Mater has a fallout with him, followed by the immediate and necessary identity and crisis and after that he’s the main part of this film, as the film evolves into an unlikely spy caper flick with a dimwitted redneck truck as the protagonist next to cars voiced by the very cool Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer. There is a lot of gunfire in this one in the midst of some horrible accents and attempts at jokes (though some of those really do work), and I just didn’t get the film. I didn’t get the story Pixar was trying to tell with it, there’s an ecological side to it I guess with Eddie Izzard’s character but you just can’t connect with anything in it, and in a Pixar film you expect some seriously deep emotional connection.

I’m guessing that part of that lack of emotional connection is because these are talking cars in a world in which humans don’t exist. Yes, Toy Story had toys and Wall-E had robots and Finding Nemo had fish, but they were all definitely embedded into a very human reality and it meant we could connect. That’s just not the case in Cars 2, and even though the original Cars wasn’t different in that way it at least focussed on a much better character and not in Mater, a character which A.O. Scott of The New York Times has given the dubious and yet accurate distinction of naming as the Jar Jar Binks of the Pixar world.

I know why Pixar chose Cars to make their first sequel outside of the Toy Story series. And even though you hate to think Pixar does anything other than for purely genius and creative reasons, you gotta know they did it for money. The original movie has made nearly $10 billion in merchandise sales since its release over five years ago, which puts it right up there with Star Wars, Harry Potter and Pixar’s own Toy Story as a film that can sell anything with its name on it because kids will want the toy cars, the t-shirts, the backpacks, you name it. So of course from that point of view expanding the franchise with Cars 2 made sense, I just hope that now they have made that money-making move they will move on to their usual business of making animated masterpieces, and if the teaser for next summer’s Brave is any indication, they seem to be doing just that.

Grade: B

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The Tree of Life

10 Jun

Title: The Tree of Life
Year: 
2011
Director: 
Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Starring: 
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken
MPAA Rating: 
PG-13, some thematic material
Runtime: 
138 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 
86%

Before I launch on my review of The Tree of Life I feel like I must go to lengths for you readers to understand just how badly I wanted to see this film. First off, I’m nineteen right now, turning the big two-oh this September, so it’s not like I’ve been watching films for all that long, much less watching them with the level of appreciation of the art behind it I now think I at least somewhat posses. But as a young film aficionado I still remember clearly the most formative events in my movie-watching life. Obviously the first ones came very early on in my life and were marked by Disney movies, the songs of Beauty and the Beast, the tears over Mufasa’s death in The Lion King or me writing my own name in my Toy Story toys like Andy did in the film, those are all still memories I hold very dearly in my heart.

But the actual film that made me love movies was a timeless classic I saw when I was eleven: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Look, I’m not talking about it being a sublimely perfect film (though it is), because at that age I didn’t really love films (I’ll talk about that moment later), I just watched movies to keep myself entertained, but when I saw this one I realized I actually loved watching them. It was a combination of many things, realizing what the word beauty meant when I saw Audrey Hepburn, the moment she sings ‘Moon River’, seeing her in the iconic black Givenchy dress walking to Tiffany’s in the early morning, just everything about that film got to me in a way that had never happened before with any other film. So after watching it I started watching as many movies as I could, not necessarily going back to the great classics because I was still eleven and that didn’t really cross my mind, but watching whatever I found on TV and in the theaters.

But that just made me really really like movies. The moment that made me truly fall in love with films, the one that got me into every single aspect of it, that made me able to really appreciate the stuff that went on behind them and that made me watch every single film from past decades I could and that would then make me start this blog so that I could talk about the films I had seen happened a few years after my first encounter with Ms. Hepburn. It came sometime during the last week of February, 2005, to be exact, when I was thirteen. And it came courtesy of Sofia Coppola and her then-one-year-old film, Lost in Translation.

To this date Lost in Translation remains, without the slightest doubt, my single favorite film. I could make tons of very OCD- infused Best Of lists and if Lost in Translation is eligible for inclusion in it it will most certainly top it. Yes, maybe it’s my favorite film for sentimental reasons, I’m pretty sure it is, but isn’t that what favorite films should be all about? A film that takes you back to a certain time, one that you can quote from beginning to end, that you can connect to on countless levels. That’s what Lost in Translation is to me. It’s the one that made me love films, and it may sound shallow but I’m absolutely certain that my life right now would be totally different had I not watched that film. I wouldn’t be writing this right now, that’s for sure, I wouldn’t have gone and watched every single Bill Murray film after watching that one, I wouldn’t have gone back and watched literally thousands of older films after watching it. A lot wouldn’t have happened for me.

And I would certainly like to think, at the risk of sounding like a snob, that since 2005 I’ve become quite knowledgeable about films. I’ve certainly tried to watch as many as I could, understand the history, the landmark moments, you name it. Last year alone I watched 210 films with a 2010 release date, which I think is a pretty commendable number. But anyways, this all hasn’t been for nothing, it’s just been to illustrate that I truly love films, and to show that it’s not like I have been watching them with this level of passion for all that long, just for six years.

And exactly for that reason, that it’s not like I’ve been loving films this much for all that long because I’m still young, there hasn’t been “that” movie for me yet, the one that I have been waiting for for ages. Sure, there have been lots of films I’ve been anticipating like crazy, last year’s Inception is just one example, but my anticipation for those films was founded by trailers and teasers released months before its release. But The Tree of Life is finally that first movie I’ve been truly longing for. That’s because it’s a Terrence Malick film, one our times definitive auteurs, a guy that’s the film world’s equivalent to what J.D. Salinger was to the literary world, a true recluse, a guy that in 38 years has given us only 5 films (counting this one) but one that has a cult following, and is known for his extremely picky and tediously long process of creation. Actors kill for the opportunity to work under his direction, filmgoers relish the chance to analyze and get immersed in a film of his, which is why The Tree of Life is a true cinematic event.

I said my anticipation for films in the past has been based on cool trailers, or teasers or just press releases that said that a director I liked was tackling an awesome concept with a cool cast. And that sense of anticipation doesn’t last for long. Yes, you can say that you’ve been excited about Marc Webb’s upcoming Spider-Man reboot with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone since the moment they announced it (as well as you should be) but we’ve just been thinking that it’ll be a cool movie, and we’ll (I hope) love the trailer whenever it’s released, and then I guess our anticipation will truly begin. The Tree of Life is a film that has had genuine anticipation boiling up for two full years now, since it was announced. If only because it meant a new Terrence Malick film was due, only six years (a short waiting time for him) after his fantastic The New World in 2005 (which I ranked as the 18th best film of that year). And because the cast was Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in a film people knew nothing about, because it was said that Mr. Malick was shooting some really ambitious prehistoric scenes, because Douglas Trumbull, the special effects master responsible for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, was reportedly coming out of a near three decade retirement to provide work for the film. The reasons why The Tree of Life was hugely anticipated for two years were endless, the fact that it was supposed to premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival but then didn’t and made us wait a whole year more only added to Mr. Malick’s aura of perfectionism and to the film’s mystique.

It did premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, were it was met, as it was expected to, with hugely divided reactions, either extraordinary praise for its ambition or perplexed thoughts from people that really didn’t get it. I just saw the film and you can count me as part of the former and certainly not the latter. I doubt The Tree of Life will end up as my favorite film of 2011, but it certainly is the best I’ve seen so far this year, the first one I’ll award a perfect grade to, and one that made all that salivating for a new Terrence Malick film completely worth it.

But, at the same time, I can totally get why some people aren’t falling head over heels for this film. It’s a tough one to digest, more like a work of art than a film, one that has to be appreciated more than understood, and it will certainly require repeat seatings to fully grasp. Because the visual achievements of this film are undeniable, it’s just insanely great to look at, and you’ll lose yourself in its immensity easily enough, but some people won’t get much more than that out of it, because to really get the emotional aspect of it you have to be very patient with it, and let yourself go and let it all sink in. I would like to think I did that, because by its end The Tree of Life was a film that had moved me tremendously.

This really is a cinematic achievement, and I’m sure I will love it even more the next time I see it, and even more the time after that. Even if the stuff that Mr. Malick presents doesn’t resonate to you personally, even if the spiritual offerings don’t ring true with you, there’s no way you’ll leave this film having gained nothing, no way the film won’t stay with you and mean a lot to you, I just don’t know how that could be. Yes, there are bits and pieces of the film that I’m not sure I really understood, I didn’t really think it was a fully cohesive piece of work, and it got me frustrated at how overlong some scenes were at times, but that’s all stuff that you think while watching it, because once the whole movie is done and you’re left pondering about the experience of the film as whole, you’ll be blown away by even those bits that you thought weren’t working at all.

And the ambition level behind is just astonishing, it evokes everything, it talks about things as wide and complex as creation, and things as personal and just as complex as family without ever taking a moment to let you breathe. In the end it’s just a very honest film, and asks some questions that are very hard to answer, ones that won’t go down easy, and because of that I think The Tree of Life is a film that has finally shown us the real power of this art form, film hasn’t been put to this use before.

I don’t know if I should tell you exactly what this film is about, or the stuff it does along the way because I fear it may take away from your experience. It’s a vastly bold film that takes on the task of encompassing all of creation and viewing it all through the lives of members of one American family, and it achieves a marriage of impeccable vision and incredible humanity with a level of success I think is unparalleled in film history. And I would like to go on for longer about the merits of this film, but this review is already twice as long as my usual ones, and I’m sure when I check it for spelling mistakes once I’m done I will have the urge to edit it down a whole lot, but I won’t, because even if this may feel like blabbering at times I think it illustrates just how much I adored this film. I’ve just find out what it means to finally see a film I’ve been waiting two whole years to see come to fruition, and Mr. Malick delivered like crazy, not only giving me a film as great as I expected it to be, but also giving me something there’s no way I could have ever really expected.

Grade: A+

Golden Globe Results

18 Jan

The Golden Globes took place last night, and host Ricky Gervais was even more outrageously rude in his comments than most thought he would be, causing people to either love or hate his job as host (I, for one, thought he was brilliant). As for the results themselves, there were a few surprises in the TV categories, but the film side of it all was populated by the usual suspects. Here’s a round up of the winners and my brief thoughts on them.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: The Social Network
The Globes had a mini-sweep by The Social Network, the film winning 4 of its 6 nominations, including this one, the big race. This, along with the Critics Choice win on Saturday, cements it as the clear front-runner for the Oscar. Though it will be interesting to see what film the SAG goes for the Best Ensemble trophy.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: Natalie Portman for Black Swan
An easy and extremely deserved win for Portman, who looked beautifully pregnant and gave a funny shout-out to her fiancée during her speech: “Benjamin choreographed the film, and you may remember him as the guy who, when they ask, ‘Would you sleep with that girl?’ and he’s like ‘No.’ He’s the best actor, it’s not true, he totally wants to sleep with me”. However, I don’t think the Oscar isn’t that sewn up for her just yet, let’s wait for the SAGs to happen before we call her a lock.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
Another easy win for Mr. Firth, who’s a lock to win the Oscar.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: The Kids Are All Right
Considering the company it was in, this was an easy win for the exquisite The Kids Are All Right. Very cool to see that awesome table go on stage to pick up the award.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening is one extremely cool lady. And seeing her win, as obvious at it may have been, was one of the highpoints of the telecast for me. And it really pains me to think that come Oscar time I’ll have to vote against her to give my support to Ms. Portman.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Paul Giamatti for Barney’s Version
As I said in my predictions, I haven’t yet seen Barney’s Version, but I also noted that I was sure Mr. Giamatti would be a very deserving winner. So I was happy here, especially because the HFPA didn’t reward Johnny Depp for either of his two sub-par performances.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Melissa Leo for The Fighter
The other three acting races seem to be more of a lock, especially in the male side of things, but this one I always thought was the wildcard. And even though Melissa Leo ended up winning this, as well as the Critics Choice on Saturday, I still think there could be another winner come Oscar time, and I’m hoping for that winner to be Amy Adams.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Christian Bale for The Fighter
As it seems will be the case in every awards show left this season, The Fighter will dominate both supporting races. Here Christian Bale gets another easy win on the road to his sure-fire Oscar. He also gave one very long speech, which was the first of the night, and was bleeped off at the end when he was so in awe of looking at Robert De Niro that he called the Cecil B. DeMille award winner of the night (and also the man who gave one seriously long and strange speech) “the shit”.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Winner: Toy Story 3
This was the biggest sure thing of the night, and there would have been riots in Hollywood if it went to any other film. This was also the award presented by Justin Beiber and Hailee Steinfeld, and when director Lee Unkrich picked up the award he said “Were you two even born when the first Toy Story came out?” For the record, Beiber was 1, while Steinfeld wasn’t yet born.

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Winner: In a Better World, from Denmark
This was the only surprising win in the film side of things. with the Danish film, which I haven’t seen yet, triumphing over some more high-profile candidates such as Biutiful and Io Sono l’Amore.

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: David Fincher for The Social Network
Very easy win for Fincher, who’ll win the Oscar without any problems.

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Another easy win for The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin was rad in his speech, giving a very cool shout-out to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network
I thought this was one of the toughest races to call. And even though I predicted Hans Zimmer to win this one, I said I would personally give it to Reznor and Ross, so at least that happened, and seeing Reznor win a Globe was another of the highlights of the night.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Boardwalk Empire
In my predictions I gave the win to Mad Men, which would have been its fourth straight, but mentioned that an upset at the hands of Boardwalk Empire could happen. And even though I acknowledged the possibility of that upset, it still sucked quite a bit to see it happen, not because Boardwalk Empire was bad this season (because it was actually amazing), but because Mad Men’s fourth season was just too good.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Katey Sagal for Sons of Anarchy
To me, probably, this was the biggest surprise. Not because Sagal was undeserving, because she’s actually just as good as Julianna Marguiles or Elisabeth Moss. But because Sons of Anarchy, a show I’m in love with, is weirdly uncelebrated by awards organisations. So yes, as surprising as this win may have been, it was one that was extremely welcome, and that hopefully will only mean bigger and better things for the series in the future.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire
This, much like the Best Series – Drama category, was another category I had predicted a Mad Men win, but acknowledged the possibility of a Boardwalk Empire upset. And it was another one in which exactly that happened. As good as Steve Buscemi may be, he’s got nothing on the sensational job Jon Hamm did this season, in my opinion.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Glee
I predicted a fight between Glee and Modern Family for this one. But as was the case in the supporting TV races, Glee won. The supporting ones were understandable, but after giving it to Glee last year, I still think the HFPA should have switched it up a bit in this one.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Laura Linney for The Big C
As I predicted, and wished, this one went to Laura Linney, who wasn’t present to receive the award. I guess there are times during the series in which you could say that The Big C is more of a drama than a comedy at times, but still, a much deserved win.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory
Very very cool to see the HFPA reward Parsons here. And the fact that he got the award from his co-star Kaley Cuoco who was extremely excited for him made the victory that much sweeter to watch on TV.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Jane Lynch for Glee
As I said, it was common knowledge that Jane Lynch was the clear front-runner to win this one. In my predictions I stated a hunch I had that maybe Kelly MacDonald would be able to pull an upset for her tremendous work in Boardwalk Empire, which would have been a far better outcome in my opinion. But alas, even though Boardwalk Empire managed to beat Mad Men, and Steve Buscemi edged out Jon Hamm, the HFPA apparently preferred Lynch over MacDonald, which was hard to fathom.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Chris Colfer for Glee
I predicted Chris Colfer, and I said I’d actually like him winning. And I did, his was the most genuine shock from the winners, and his speech was actually kinda neat.

So there you have it. The results of the Golden Globes, the film side was predictable, but the TV categories had a few surprises, some of them nice, some of them not so much. As for my predictions, I went 13 for 21, not that great, but considering the surprises I didn’t bet against (namely Boardwalk overthrowing Mad Men) and the personal hunches I went with instead of being conventional (Amy Adams against Melissa Leo or Modern Family against Glee) then I guess it’s not all that bad. Will do these same sort of posts come the SAGs and Oscars.

Toy Story 3

22 Jul

Title: Toy Story 3
Year: 2010
Director: Lee Unkrich
Writer: Michael Arndt, from a story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, John Morris, Jodi Benson, Laurie Metcalf, Blake Clark, Whoopi Goldberg
MPAA Rating: G
Runtime: 103 min
Major Awards: 1 Golden Globe, 1 NBR Award, 1 BAFTA
IMDb Rating: 9.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

This was one of five or so most highly anticipated films of all year to pretty much everyone I talked to, and the expectations were seriously high, the second sequel to a legendary franchise that started the biggest animation studio there is, which on top of that hasn’t made a single bad film yet, and trust me when I say they didn’t break that streak with this one, Pixar is still batting a perfect 1.000, all of their films have been commercial and critical hits and Toy Story 3 is the latest of them all, yet another masterpiece that blends comedy and adventure and a helluva lot of deep emotions, especially during the end that left me spilling a few tears, and it mixes them seemingly effortlessly.

Toy Story has been of special impact in my life, I was four years old when the first one came out, eight when the sequel came out and now eighteen with this one, by this I mean that I am of the same generation as the film’s toy owner, Andy, and I still have all my action figures from the first films in my room, with my name scribbled in black sharpie in their feet, just like Andy did in the films, I have grown up with these toys at the same time as Andy, and this was a film I wouldn’t have been okay with if it ended up being anything less than perfect, thankfully Pixar didn’t disappoint me, but then again, it’s not like they ever have.

Toy Story as a franchise is one that spans fifteen years, three films, over a billion and a half dollars in worldwide grosses and counting, an Academy Award and pretty much another guaranteed this year, and was arguably the one responsible for starting the whole animation film business that has been dominating the box office since, it’s a franchise that has marked the lives of many, one that has made us laugh a lot and cry a lot in the process, and one franchise that was made with a lot of love from the best people in the industry, and one that exudes just as much love to us the audience. And I could go on and on for thousands of words about the impact Toy Story and Pixar has had on my life, but that’s for another day, here I have to review Toy Story 3 and I’ll take just as much joy out of doing that.

In this third and closing act of the franchise Andy is, as I said, at the age when you have to leave home and go to college, and like so many guys his age at the point of their lives, his mother tells him to sort out his stuff, especially the toys we all know and love, which have been kept away in his room for some years now. But Andy loves his toys, especially Woody whom he initially wants to take to college with him, but the other toys however are scrambled up and accidentally sent to a daycare as donations. Woody obviously ends up going with them, but unlike the other toys he knows Andy wanted to keep them in the attic until he returned and would later give them to his kids, the other toys, thinking Andy actually wanted to get rid of them aren’t feeling that much love towards him in the daycare and just want to be played with by the kids there.

And that’s when we meet the other toys at the daycare, who are led by a fluffy huggable pink bear named Lotso, who at first appears to be super friendly but is actually an evil and sad dictator of the daycare, with most of the toys under his spell and command. And that’s the main plot, our beloved toys fighting to get out of the daycare and rule of Lotso, all of this is told with the typical care and humor of Pixar, with a great script by Michael Arndt who’s only other screenplay was the one for Little Miss Sunshine, which earned him an Oscar. The new characters in Toy Story 3 are as endearing as the original ones, I missed Bo Peep quite a bit but there are a lot of great new characters to keep us just as entertained, because that’s what this film does throughout, entertain, the hour and forty minutes pass you by really quickly, not to mention the customary short shown before the film, Day & Night, is a great as every other short Pixar has put out.

After the toys break out of the daycare center they suffer through a scary event, and you know that will turn out having a happy ending but it really is frightening to watch, and the ending of the movie is a happy affair, but it’s one filled with a lot of nostalgia and emotions that you can relate to and that really struck a nerve to every single audience member in the theatre I went to, and yes, tears were shed, but at least you have those 3D glasses to hide them under, finally those served a purpose, because the 3D in this one is as unnecessary as it always is, but still, this is a masterpiece, appreciate it as such.

Grade: A+