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Screen Gems review: "Toy Story 3"

June 18, 2010
“Toy Story 3”
Studio: Disney/Pixar
Rated G

Not only are all of the old familiar faces back in the third chapter of the “Toy Story” adventure, in this edition we get to meet plenty of new characters as well. The third installment of the animated trilogy finds Woody, Buzz and the gang dealing with a big problem. Their owner Andy is headed off to college and through a series of misunderstandings, they wind up at a daycare center named Sunnyside. At first, things seem great in their new home. But Woody isn’t happy because he wants to find his old friend.

Before Woody can make that happen, the toys get used to their new surroundings. That include one of my favorite scenes in the series taking place. For the first time ever, destiny brings together two characters who were literally made for each other. Ken and Barbie!

It`s hard to believe that Mattel wouldn`t let Barbie appear in the original “Toy Story.” Obviously, after seeing how it was received and what the film did for the sales of the featured toys, the company made a smarter choice for this sequel. It is no surprise that Pixar sets the bar pretty high. Movie after movie, the studio delivers excellent entertainment. But I think “Toy Story 3” is the best of the series, and certainly one of the best films Pixar has ever created.

There are some pretty deep themes being explored here. Growing up. Moving on from childhood and childish things. Separation from your loved ones and facing an uncertain future.

In fact, as the film moves to its climax there is an extremely tense scene. While I wouldn’t characterize it as dark, it is nerve-wracking and just feels real. And yes, I realize how silly that sounds when talking about an animated movie featuring intelligent, talking toys. As always, the voice work is great. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen shine once again as Woody and Buzz. Regulars returning in the supporting cast include Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn and Jodi Benson. They’re joined by Ned Beatty, Micheal Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg and Timothy Dalton.

And it`s presented in some of the best 3D I’ve ever seen. The pictures jump off of the screen and draw you into the story. It reminded me of how effective the technique was in “Avatar.” This is equally as good.

Let me trot old an old saying. “You will laugh and you will cry.” This is an amazing movie. See it with someone you care about. On my rating scale, “Toy Story 3” earns FOUR DIAMONDS. FOUR DIAMONDS=A fantastic movie! A must see!
THREE DIAMONDS=A good movie with minor flaws.
TWO DIAMONDS=An average movie with some entertaining scenes or performances.
ONE DIAMOND=A very poor movie with few entertaining scenes or performances.
LUMP OF COAL=Skip it, it’s just plain awful.

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