OK, let’s get my singular complaint out of the way. My wife and I both felt that the 3-D did not particularly enhance Toy Story 3, at least when we saw it at the Madison Theatre in Albany last week. I had not read Roger Ebert’s otherwise positive review of the film, which ends, “Just don’t get me started about the 3-D.”
That said, this may be my favorite of the three Toy Story movies, and we own the first two on something called VHS. It starts with a flashback scene of Andy (voice of John Morris) playing with his toys, followed by present-day Andy getting ready for college. What should he do with his frankly neglected buddies? His mother (Laurie Metcalf) has an idea that he doesn’t much care for. Andy decides to take Woody (Tom Hanks) along with him to college, and put the others in the attic, but miscommunication ensues, with nearly unfortunate results.
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal back on February 19 that describes the plot this way: “In Pixar’s coming movie ‘Toy Story 3,’ Woody the cowboy and his toy-box friends are dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, leaves for college.” Well, not quite; I think there was intentional misdirection on Pixar’s part, rather like the wallpaper image shown above.
The toys do find themselves at the day-care center; quoting Ebert: “they think they’ll like [it], because there will be plenty of kids to play with them all day long. There seems to be relatively little grieving about the loss of Andy’s affections; he did, after all, sentence them to a toy box for years, and toys by nature are self-centered and want to be played with.”
There is a pecking order in the day care, with the bear named Lotso (Ned Beatty) the seemingly Burl Ives-like, avuncular leader of the toys. Ultimately, the best scene in this segment may be between the clotheshorse Ken (Michael Keaton) and smarter-than-she-seems Barbie (Jodi Benson). Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) en espanol is also entertaining.
Ultimately, the ending made my wife a little verklempt. As for me, I wasn’t nearly (sob) as (sob) affec(sob)ted (sob). Apparently, we were not alone.
No, we did not bring the daughter. There was enough “toys in peril” stuff going on in this G-rated film that we agreed that she would not enjoy it.
Oh, here’s a different kind of complaint I have: surely this movie will be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and deservedly so. It got 99% positive reviews in Rotten Tomatoes; who WERE those three heartless critics who didn’t like it? But because there is now an animated feature category, its chances of winning the big award are virtually nil. I predict a best original screenplay nomination for Michael Arndt, probably best known for Little Miss Sunshine; not brave enough to pick it to win…yet.