A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Toy Story 3

July 7, 2011

Toy Story 3

I know I’m going to cry tonight. I have the tissues out (and, yes, when I went to see this in the theater with Amanda and our friend A we stopped in at CVS on the way to buy tissues then as well, because I know how Pixar movies touch me.) Just remembering the final scene in the movie makes me choke up.

This movie takes the most tear-jerkery moment from the first movie – the bit where Jessie remembers being abandoned by her original owner – and expands it into a full movie. As the movie starts Andy, the owner of all the toys from the movies, is heading off to college. He hasn’t actually played with his toys in a long time and they’re beginning to wonder what is in store for them. Still, through all the years he has held on to a core group of toys he doesn’t want to give up. There’s Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, Slinky, Hamm, Rex, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head and their three Pizza Planet children. Before Andy can leave he is tasked by his mother with the chore of choosing what he will keep in the attic, what he will bring to college with him, and what he will throw away.

He decides to bring Woody with him and packs all the other toys up in a garbage bag to go in the attic, but through a disastrous mix-up they end up on the kerb with the rest of the garbage. Woody rushes to rescue them, but the other toys decide after being thrown out (they think) they should just leave Andy, so they all climb into a box being taken to Sunnyside Daycare to be donated.

This movie goes to some dark and disturbing places. Especially for a movie about living toys. Sunnyside is one of the darkest and most disturbing. At first it appears to be an idyllic utopia for toys where they will always be played with for all time, run by a friendly cuddly bear named Lotso. But of course things are not as they seem. Sunnyside is a police state with Lotso and his thugs ruling through fear and intimidation. New toys are relegated to the “catterpillar room” where the youngest children maul, maim and misshandle them. I don’t really expect to see sinister dystopias in my animated childrens’ movies, but that’s the wonder of Pixar, isn’t it?

The brilliance of this movie for me lies in the extremes that it is able to portray. It’s not just the bleak world of Sunnyside with its exploited toys and Lotso’s megalomaniacal rule. It’s nit just when Buzz is co-opted to become a jailer for his friends (Lotso re-sets him to his factory setting so he becomes delusional and thinks he’s a space man again.) It’s that even if the toys escape from Sunnyside they have an uncertain fate. Andy has grown up and what is the purpose of a toy that doesn’t get played with? Things get darker and more bleak, an there’s a climactic scene which is so intense and hopeless that the MPAA have actually declared that they made a mistake giving this a G rating instead of a PG.

Then there’s the perfect, gorgeous, bittersweet ending which brings tears to my eyes just to recall, much less to watch. This movie proves once and for all that the folks at Pixar know better than just about anyone else in the world of cinema how to reach right into your chest and grab you by the heart. They are the masters of eliciting a powerful emotional response. This movie is so wonderful, touching and intense that it transcends its genre and takes its place as one of the greatest movies ever made. It’s too bad that I don’t think I have the constitution to watch it more than a couple times a year though – it’s far too powerful.


July 7, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. My favorite part is Buzz on Spanish setting. Wish there were more of that. And he probably has a French setting too . . . .

    Comment by Doc Wheat | July 9, 2011 | Reply

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