Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FILM: To Infinity and Beyond with Toy Story 3 (Review)

Toy lovers and Disney fans have reason to gather and celebrate one last time as the toys we grew up with give us an opportunity to say goodbye in "Toy Story 3."

Fifteen years after the original pioneered full length CG animated films, and eleven years after the sequel reminded us how much we loved these characters from Disney Pixar comes the final part of this unexpected trilogy with viewers returning to the lives of these toys right when Andy is getting ready to go to college and there are less toys around than there once was. The systemic formula plot of the franchise leads the toys away from Andy's house and the decisions and trip to get back there is the adventure of the film.

Majority of the recognizable cast of the film return for the third installment and there are some additions to it like Ken (Michael Keaton) introduced with his fabulous dreamhouse, the opposite to Barbie that was just made for her, and assistant to Lotso (Ned Beatty), the strawberry scented formerly huggable bear that had taken over Sunnyside Daycare and turned it into a prison for toys that he rules over.

The most glaring missing character would be Bo Peep, the nursery toy that was Woody's companion. Unfortunately what she was made it impossible for her to go traveling with the other toys in "Toy Story 2" (which was why she was only in the beginning and end of that movie) and made it impractical for her to be part of the toys that Andy passes on to Bonnie at the end of this movie. It is sad to think that her and Woody are separated forever but I like to think that they meet again in the future.

Advancement in technology over the span of the three films is in full glorious display in "Toy Story 3" especially with the scene where the toys are in danger at the trash dump and the thousands of pieces of debris that fill up the screen surrounding the toys. They've come a long way from the simple CG sets they made for the original film to gigantic worlds for the characters to explore onscreen.

With a runtime just over 100 minutes the film is perfectly balanced with fun, adventure, mystery, thrills and emotions to give viewers a well rounded movie-going experience. Fans of the franchise, animation, toys, childhood and just plain fun will enjoy the movie and like me be filled with happy tears as the credits roll.

Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things a person can do in their life and with "Toy Story 3" viewers are presented with the perfect timing to say goodbye to characters we have grown to love along with Andy while they say goodbye to him. The toys are safe with a new owner that will play with them and they will definitely have further adventures but for us it's the end of the ride.

We will just have to imagine it with our minds. To infinity and beyond.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Toy Story themed picspam.

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