I cry any time something comes to an end: an era, a good book, a relationship. So it’s no wonder that I cried at the end of the latest Pixar gem, Toy Story 3. But don’t think I was the lone soul sniffling as the credits rolled. I bet that most moms, and maybe even some dads, walk away from this movie with a lump in their throats and a smile on their faces.
Toy Story 3 is an animated amalgam of bro-flick, action adventure, romance, comedy and family entertainment, sure to have you and your kids cracking up one minute and tearing up the next. One of the best compliments I can pay a movie is to say that it transported me to the imaginary world being portrayed on the screen, and this movie did exactly that. I found myself wanting to yell at the screen, like in a Rocky Horror Picture Show, to Andy’s mom, “Don’t do it!” and then caught myself hiding my eyes and cringing, like in a Freddy Krueger horror film, at the lazy-eyed Big Baby doll turned corrupt nightwatchman. I was totally engrossed in the wild adventures and hilarious high jinks of these beloved characters.
Over the span of fifteen years and two previous movies, we as an audience have watched the bromance between Woody and Buzz develop; we’ve seen Andy mature into a young adult with his adorable sister tugging at his pant leg, and we’ve gotten to know and love the toys like they are our own. And when watching this third installment, it feels like watching our own family members in technicolor. There is a familiarity embodied in this movie, evoked by the endearing voice of Tom Hanks, the comforting music of Randy Newman, and the nostalgic depiction of our favorite childhood toys coming to life; a charming familiarity rarely captured on the big screen.
My kids are still a little too young, 2 and almost 4, to appreciate the true magic of this movie. And though they were thoroughly entertained, about an hour into it they began to get restless and a bit frightened by the evil villain hiding in plush purple teddy bear clothing. But for kids of any age who are old enough to sit through a full-length movie, it is non-stop entertainment from beginning to end. From the mutation of Mr. Potato Head into a floppy tortilla to the hilarious transformation by Buzz Lightyear into a tango-dancing Latin lover, the entire audience was literally laughing out loud. Since my kids are so young, we didn’t watch it in 3D, however many times throughout the movie I found myself thinking how incredible the action sequences must be in three dimensions—particularly the nail biting, climactic scene at the local trash dump.
I highly recommend this family friendly film to anyone with kids, or anyone with a heart for that matter. It’s comedy and animation at it’s finest, truly.
I give Toy Story 3 five out of five fist pumps.