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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Toy Story 3 (review)

Pixar Perfect

It’s been such a disappointing movie year so far, seemingly all sequels and reboots and remakes and even ostensibly original stories with no originality, no heart, no soul, no class, no distinction, no nuthin’. And so it seemed like a good thing not to get one’s hopes up too much for Toy Story 3, because how long can Pixar’s streak of genius and spirit and wonder last? I’d like to think forever, of course. But could they pull it off not once, not twice, but three times with the contents of Andy’s toybox, even after the lovely, trenchant brilliance of such films as Up, Wall-E, Ratatouille, and The Incredibles? Because, too, the disillusionment of Cars is forever in the back of my mind, a reminder that even Pixar isn’t perfect.

And, you know, I hate to say it, but there is a little niggling feeling humming around the periphery of Toy Story 3 that we’ve encountered more than a few of these situations before. (Buzz thinks he’s a real space ranger? Really? Again? Yeah, it’s still funny, but… really?) The journey home to Andy after a disastrous separation has been the center now of all three of the films, and I forgive myself for wondering, early on in this latest outing, whether there would be an actually necessary reason for, basically, covering the same ground. Again.

There is a good reason. And it’s the best reason: it’s the reason that thematically ties the entire series together into one larger story, that makes this not merely another episode in The Adventures Of, but the third act, the finale that brings the overarching story to its satisfying conclusion. It’s the conclusion that I felt was required but feared would not be approached, because it seems, for quite a good while here, that it won’t be.

I won’t tell you what that conclusion is, but you probably already feel it in your heart, if the first two Toy Story movies touched you in any meaningful way. What’s happening here is that Andy’s toys, still led by Sheriff Woody (the voice of Tom Hanks: Angels & Demons, The Great Buck Howard) and Buzz Lightyear (the voice of Tim Allen: Redbelt, Wild Hogs), are facing their greatest crisis ever, as the now 17-year-old Andy prepares to depart for college and must clear out his room before he goes. He hasn’t played with the toys in years, which was bad enough, but now the toys are in a paroxysm of uncertainty: will Andy throw them in the garbage? dump them in the attic (which sounds awful, but at least there’s still a possibility that someday, Andy’s own kids might play with them)? or donate them to Sunnyside Day Care?

Sunnyside it is, but for reasons I’ll leave you to discover, Woody is convinced he must get home to Andy (again). So off he goes on an adventure of his own, during which he meets some wonderful new toys and a wonderful new child, the very young Bonnie (the voice of Emily Hahn), whose imagination is at least a match for the young Andy’s… which means being played with by her is a pleasure for toys, and an agreeable detour for Woody. It’s with the Bonnie subplot that Toy Story 3 is at its most charming, its most poignant: it’s a reminder that Woody and Buzz and the rest come alive because of a child’s love and a child’s fantasy. And it’s here that we meet a cadre of new toy-characters that freshly embody that toyish soul, and particularly through the stuffed hedgehog Mr. Pricklepants (the voice of Timothy Dalton: Doctor Who, Hot Fuzz), who has a radically different take on toyishness. This sequence makes the opening gambit, a fantasy playtime starring all of Andy’s toys, achingly bittersweet in retrospect: I roared with laughter at how its bizarre unpredictability so ticklishly captures the freedom of a child’s mind (and so wonderfully counters the dull predictability of how adults often tell stories), but it’s only once that opening sequence if finished that we realize that it’s sort of a flashback. It’s not the kind of play that Andy indulges in anymore, and it’s exactly what his toys have been missing so desperately.

Back at Sunnyside, the rest of the gang are settling in and looking forward to rediscovering precisely that same sort of joy in the hands of new kids who will love them. When Rex (the voice of Wallace Shawn: Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Happily N’Ever After) burbles, “Oh, I wanna get played with!” my heart near to broke. But things at Sunnyside are not what they seem, however: leader Lotso (the voice of Ned Beatty: Charlie Wilson’s War), a purple teddy bear who smells of strawberries, is not the kindly patriarch he comes across as at first. It’s not too much of a spoiler to say that the situation at Sunnyside allows the Pixar team to send up genres of film they haven’t touch on in the previous films, including the prison-break, in absolutely delightful fashion that is both wise about a grownup’s love of cinema and smart about how it imbues the children’s playthings at its center with more humanity than most of the other movies this year that feature live-action humans.

Sometimes — not often, but sometimes — there are good creative reasons for sequels, good storytelling reasons. Pixar-vet screenwriters Lee Unkrich (who also directed), John Lasseter, and Andrew Stanton — joined by Little Miss Sunshine’s Michael Arndt, whom I bet was responsible for some of the surprising but totally appropriate bleakness here — find all those good reasons, and put them to use in a way that gets to an ending that it’s even better than I hoped it would be, and far more touching than I was expecting, even given Pixar’s track record. (Did I say “touching”? I bawled my eyes out.) That said, though, I hope the Pixar guys take a cue from their own story here and let it go. The Toy Story movies were a glorious era of cinema, but that moment has passed, has been taken to a perfect conclusion. Let it stay perfect by leaving it be after this.

Oscars Best Animated Feature 2010

previous Best Animated Feature:
2009: Up
next Best Animated Feature:
2011: Rango

go> the complete list of Oscar-winning Best Animated Features

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Toy Story 3 (2010) | directed by Lee Unkrich
US/Can release: Jun 18 2010
UK/Ire release: Jul 19 2010

MPAA: rated G
BBFC: rated U (contains mild violence and scary scenes)

viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

  • Nate

    What did you think of the Day & Night short? I thought it was one of the most creative uses of animation I’ve ever seen.

  • There. Was that so hard? (looks at the pile of crumpled up tissue around MaryAnn’s feet where she’d been crying her eyes out during yet another Pixar movie) Oh. I guess it was.

    It’s kind of hard to discuss the movie without SPOILING the tearjerker moments throughout this final installment… can I at least mention the one we get right after the opening action sequence?

    The fate of the toys at the end are poignant and apt, and the TV Tropers are already debating it akin to Dante’s Divine Comedy (which place is heaven, hell or purgatory; and who ends up where).

  • @nate, at my theater (Oldsmar AMC) there was enthusiastic applause after the short. Bit OT: We need fewer trailers (we can get those online now) and more shorts at the beginning of movies.

    The whole theater applauded also at the Big Damn Heroes moment towards the end.

  • Mathias

    I don’t see how any film can top Toy Story 3 this year.

    I absolutely love it to bits.

    The Pixar brain trust has done it again.

  • Funwithheadlines

    My audience applauded too.

    And although I have gotten tears in my eyes at movies in the past, this was the first time in my adult life that tears were running down my face at the ending, almost to the point of bawling. It was a perfect ending, but oh, what emotions are invoked!

  • Funwithheadlines

    Oh, by the way, that incinerator scene toward the end? Talk about dark! But that was the moment when the toys showed absolute true character in a way that is unforgettable. That was one mind-blowing image that Pixar prepared for us, and I have no idea how the little kids in the audience dealt with the concept, but it was quite impressive to me that they would go that far.

  • MaryAnn


    (Please remember to include spoiler warnings if you must spoil.)

    For a few moments, I wondered if the toys would in fact meet their end in the incinerator…

  • Funwithheadlines


    Sorry, I tried to be vague enough about what happens and just mentioned that there is such a scene. But yeah, I also wondered if they would go through with it.

    Then I feared they would do a cop out rescue that felt false emotionally.

    The actual solution they found was perfect, and led to one of the biggest laughs in the movie, a punchline it took three movies to set up.

  • Tori

    As a long time Pixar lover and a soon-to-be college student, the last couple scenes with Andy really choked me up. :’)

    Also, mild spoiler: my theater applauded a bit at the end, but they really cheered for Buzz and Jessie’s post-credit dance – what a fantastically animated sequence! :D

  • Okay, my SPOILER moment?

    The early scene where the surviving toys, stuck for years in Andy’s treasure chest, steal his cell phone and dial its number. Trying to get Andy to open up the chest and see – and maybe even play with – them again. And the anguished look on Woody’s face as he presses against the phone he used to call, just so he could enjoy listening to Andy ask “hello, who’s there…” With the funny capper of Rex ‘refusing’ to let go of Andy’s cell phone and his painfully gleeful “He held me again!”

  • Isobel

    Oh, this film really is perfect, and a perfect ending. I sobbed and snotted and was a mess, and felt guilty about my toys all boxed up in the loft. . .

    The thing about the Toy Story films is they get it so right – it’s exactly what you did and felt like as a child, about your toys.


    The bit at the end, where Andy gives them to Bonnie and plays with them all one last time? I haven’t cried that much at a film in ages. Thank you Pixar!

  • Mathias
  • Clari

    ^ I did not notice Sid there! Interesting!

  • Totoro

  • Max

    I was watching the 3D version…and thankfully, the large, black glasses kept my moist eyes well hidden during the SPOILER

    incinerator scene

    It could have ended there and it still would have been emotionally rewarding.

  • markyd

    Saw it with my wife and son yesterday. We all really enjoyed it. Trust me when I say that if I had been watching this in private, I would have been a mess. It was a chore to keep myself from tearing up. I LOVE that this movie made me feel such emotions. So few movies make me feel much of anything anymore.
    Night and Day was damn clever. Great mix of animation styles. The only part I didn’t like was the inclusion of:


    the girl on the beach. Would these blob things really find her attractive? Kinda reminded me of the creepy robot from Tranny 2.

  • @markyd, the ‘blobs’ were anthropomorphized males and so would find the girl on the beach attractive. Just think of Tex Avery and all will make sense.

  • Matt C

    Thank goodness you’re not the only one who didn’t like “Cars” (I didn’t like “Finding Nemo” and “A Bug’s Life” either, but that’s beside the point).

    But “Toy Story 3” is wonderful, and you summed up my feelings for it perfectly. If any studio that can do sequels well, it’s Pixar. But that doesn’t mean I want a “Toy Story 4” or heaven forbid, “Cars 2” (which is coming next summer). Seems like we’ll be getting sequels from Pixar more often.

  • amanohyo

    I enjoyed the opening sequence, but during the middle stretch for the second time in my life, I found myself bored while watching a Pixar movie (the first time was during most of Cars). The film has some pacing issues in the second act; however, it ends strongly.

    I’m probably the millionth person to say this, but the nods to Star Wars are appropriate since the level of quality of the corresponding films is comparable in both trilogies. First movie – cutting edge effects, novel premise, simplistic plot. Second movie – Improved effects, darker themes, severed limbs, better writing. Third movie – Rehash of earlier themes and ideas, uneven pacing, pandering gimmick, excellent finale.

    I’m with you markyd, the two male blobs bonding by ogling a bikini babe was a little sickening, I’d like to think that we’ve grown out of that Tex Avery Red Hot Riding Hood phase by now. It would have been more amusing if one of the blobs wanted to look at a male sunbather instead. But since we all know that would never happen, they should have just stuck with the pool full of both male and female swimmers.


    In my imagination, everyone slowly melted together as they approached the incinerator (with a couple close ups of their fused hands) before perishing in a ball of flame (NESTED SPOILER WARNING think Jude Law in Gattaca), and then the theater goes completely dark and silent. No credits, no music, no bloopers, nothing but a black screen for ten minutes. Then the lights come up and the employees come in to clean the theater. That would have been awesome (disastrous for ticket sales, but awesome).

    I did appreciate that the mantle was passed to a little girl with a big imagination, only symbolically I hope. Pixar doesn’t need to emulate the Star Wars films any further by cranking out some unnecessary sequels in ten years.


    Overall, I was slightly disappointed. After I watched Toy Story 2, I immediately wanted to see it again. I don’t think I’ll ever watch this one a second time. Kinda like Jedi, I don’t regret watching it and there are some powerful moments that I won’t forget, but considering the drop in quality and freshness compared to what came before, I’m glad the trilogy is complete so Pixar can move on to other projects.

  • uunkoke

    Three comments:
    Certainly the most emotionally tuned of the Toy Story series. As the lights came up, a couple of rows in front of us I saw the big ex-football player of a Dad stretch and wipe his eyes before hugging his two daughters. TS3 got to the softy in all of us.

    My 9 year old said “Definitely the last Toy Story” during the final scene. Let’s hope he’s right — *spoiler??* such a satisfactory “circle of life.”

    And for those who missed the “heart” in Cars, watch the Making Of bonus feature on the DVD set when Lasseter, I think, shared a memory of how taking a RV travel trip with his family was the inspiration for Cars. *That* brought a lump to my throat… and prompted us to buy an old travel trailer for summer camping.

  • Nate

    And for those who missed the “heart” in Cars, watch the Making Of bonus feature on the DVD set when Lasseter, I think, shared a memory of how taking a RV travel trip with his family was the inspiration for Cars. *That* brought a lump to my throat… and prompted us to buy an old travel trailer for summer camping.

    I don’t share the hatred of Cars that MAJ had, but she really shouldn’t have to consult a DVD special feature to find the “heart” in the film. I’m sure Lasseter had good intentions in making it, but it’s the execution that counts.

  • In my imagination, everyone slowly melted together as they approached the incinerator (with a couple close ups of their fused hands) before perishing in a ball of flame (NESTED SPOILER WARNING think Jude Law in Gattaca), and then the theater goes completely dark and silent.

    Okay, that would be combining that fairy tale about a ballerina figurine and toy soldier falling into a fireplace and perishing together in love to the series finale of the Sopranos. Sure, the Cannes film festival would have given it the Palm, but I think you would have had global riots if Pixar did that.

  • Nate

    I don’t remember the exact quote, but Don Bluth used to say that kids can take anything as long as you give them a happy ending. I can’t remember any kids film having a nihilistic conclusion like that.

  • Rick Taps

    Funwithheadlines, I literally cursed out loud when I read what I hope is not too big of a potential spoiler. I have yet to see the film (living in Japan) and am eager to watch it.

    MaryAnn, I wholeheartedly agree that Pixar should end this story and not return to it again. They’ll only wind up like Michael Jordan when he started playing basketball again in 2001. Nobody wants that.

  • Isobel

    I’ve never been on Rotten Tomatoes before, but MaryAnn’s post about it made me go and have a look. One of the critics who gave Toy Story 3 a rotten rating (J something? Will have to find the name) said this:


    “While the series’ willingness to grapple with the disposability of toys is commendable, the sappy ending, in which Andy, on the verge of manhood, regresses considerably, renders much of the complexity of what has come before moot”

    This really surprised me. What is regressive (and by implication, I think, ‘unmanly’) about playing with a child, and passing on your beloved toys and memories? I thought that scene was rather wonderful, that Andy had gone from being a little boy playing on his own in first films and the flashback at the beginning of this film, to an almost fatherly figure to Bonnie when he gives her his toys and plays with her.

  • Nate

    Jeremy Heilman. That’s actually one of the more favorable reviews he’s given a Pixar film.

  • Isobel

    I’m really sorry – I’d written spoiler in huge letters above the quote from Jeremy Heilman and I don’t know where it went!

  • amanohyo

    I forgot to mention one thing Heilman’s review obliquely references that I also found slightly troubling: the Spanish mode. Now, I thought the animation of Buzz dancing was the most hilarious and impressive (animation wise) thing in the whole movie, but I got to thinking later and realized that if it had been a “Chinese mode” and he had begun spouting Cantonese and striking kung fu poses I might have been a little peeved.

    There’s an underlying assumption in a lot of American comedy that people speaking other languages (and/or people with an accent) are automatically funny. Like many Americans, I grew up around a lot of languages and accents, so I never really get a lot of those jokes (especially asians mixing up their l’s and r’s). But I’m asian, not hispanic, so I’m curious how other people felt about the ol’ fiery dancing latin lover stereotype being trotted out. I guess Shrek also makes use of this stereotype to a certain extent (although in a slightly more clever and deconstructive way).

    Also, I kinda wonder what they’ll do in the Spanish dub of this film? I suppose it’ll still make sense if the other characters are speaking Mexican Spanish, sort of a reverse of Bumblebee Man in the Spanish dub of the Simpsons, but what will they do in the dub for Spain?

  • Nate

    Now, I thought the animation of Buzz dancing was the most hilarious and impressive (animation wise) thing in the whole movie, but I got to thinking later and realized that if it had been a “Chinese mode” and he had begun spouting Cantonese and striking kung fu poses I might have been a little peeved.

    The way I see it, the English-speaking Buzz mode is as much a parody as the Latin romancer or the Chinese kung fu fighter. Buzz’s default personality resembles the the pomposity of other space heroes like Captain Kirk. I could see other cultures tuning his personality to fit their idols as well (like say, Antonio Banderas or Jackie Chan).

  • amanohyo

    I guess that makes sense… Buck Rogers and Howdy Doody are also stereotypes. Probably just residual bitterness from being asked by hundreds of random kids growing up, “do you know karate?” Would it kill people to branch out? Stretch a bit and have four or five go-to stereotypes per country (or per huge portion of the globe in the case of southeast asia) instead of just one or two? Maybe a little more deconstruction and subversion? Is that too much progress to ask for from an intelligent studio like Pixar? Maybe it is.

  • Nate

    Any sort of “deconstruction” in this case would just seem like hammering a message that has nothing to do with the main plot, and would detract from the film more than you’d like to admit. Would you really want them to throw in jokes about immigration and cheap labor in a movie about toys?

  • amanohyo

    I’m not sure that trading a Spanish stereotype for a Mexican one deconstructs anything, but your point is valid. In a movie about the simplicity and idealism of childhood play, it would probably be too jarring.

    As a former teacher, I found the idea of throwing the new toys in to play with the most challenging kids particularly funny. The same thing happens at schools, the veteran teachers grab all the classes full of high level students, and the classes with at-risk students who could really use an awesome, experienced teacher get stuck with the newbies. Sometimes it works out great, but the whole “trial by fire” approach always seemed like a screwed up way to handle things to me.


    What did people think about the religious aspects of the movie? The trilogy as a whole seems to espouse secular “human”ism (plasitcism?), but there are hints of a kind of spirituality. Andy is a sort of God figure that is left behind. In their new home (reincarnation?) the toys become actors rather than primarily objects that are acted upon. The attic could be seen as a metaphor for the promise of heaven (Christmas is referenced). The toys find the strength to accept their mortality in the bonds they form with each other rather in thoughts of their “owner.” And finally, it suggests that it is the children that we rescue who will one day offer us salvation. Although the toys do find a sort of paradise at the end, all that has come before makes it clear that this too will be finite (but that’s what life is about, accepting our mortality and grabbing those finite moments of joy).


    It’s not a perfect or robust metaphor (and that’s a good thing, the questions that the movie is examining don’t have neat answers), but there’s definitely more substance there than Armond White gives it credit for.

  • Sean Riley


    Amanohyo, I agree with the spiritual component you’re talking about: The central question of TS3 is, after all, what happens after? But I’d class the places this way:

    The Attic: Arguably, annihilation. Yes, the toys talk about the possibility of, in many years, coming back, but it’s hard talk. Buzz calls Woody on it, and even he admits, “What else can I say?” Yes, the toys see it as better than the dumpster, but even that makes sense if you think of what the dump clearly was…
    The Dump: Hell. Bleak, grey landscape, whirring tormenting blades, and finally a cauldron of sulfer and fire. Yeah, I feel comfortable calling the Dump Hell. This is the worst fate of the toys, and it’s one that they all rightfully fear. Even the grey nothingness of the attic seems preferable. But better still would be…
    Sunnyside (Butterfly Room): Heaven. A perfect, endless world where nothing ever changes. New kids may come in, older kids leave, but you are always played with, loved, and appreciated. That, of course, allows for…
    Sunnyside (Catterpillar Room): Purgatory. You first get here, and suffer for your sins. The toddlers break you, throw you about, and beat you. But if you endure it, you’re allowed entrance to Heaven. But there is an alternative…
    Bonnie: Reincarnation. You get a new owner. A new existence. While Andy’s quick presentation gave them the same names, Bonnie’s imagination as to what they represent will be wholly new. The toys will become new people accordingly, but retain their souls. In the end, however, Bonnie too will grow up. This is not heaven, unchanging and perfect, but simply a new turn at the cycle of life with all its pains and troubles. (That said, the film seems to suggest that moment to moment, life is better than Heaven.)

    I’m unsure of The Attic, and I note Nirvana never came into it. But y’know, otherwise, it’s a pretty good tour of the afterlife. And if it’s less certain than Toy Story 2 (which was about living life and accepting death) then it’s no less philosophical, and it shouldn’t be as certain anyhow. This is, after all, the great unknown we’re discussing.


  • amanohyo

    Those are good points, Sean Riley. The Purgatory metaphor makes a lot of sense. However…


    This is likely my anti-Christian bias peekingh through, but I saw the attic as specifically the Christian notion of heaven, the vague promise of being together with your friends (only the people who are comfortable and familiar and “in the club” will be there) without any chance of ever returning to the real world. Andy (God) decides who goes to heaven (attic) and who goes to hell (dump).

    I found it encouraging that the toys reject this unsatisfying, simple viewpoint and find joy in the possibility of limited reincarnation and/or in a life of good works, represented by Sunnyside. Again, probably because I was once a public school teacher, I have a hard time accepting Sunnyside as heaven.

    Lotso sets himself up as a Godlike figure (every successful dictator runs his country like a theocracy) – he tells them the Butterfly room is heaven, and he decides who is allowed to leave Purgatory (he literally brainwashes Buzz, a nice zing to the clergy/dictators). However, the toys come to learn that he is just another flawed mortal, and at the end they seem to have destroyed the artificial boundaries between heaven and Purgatory. (There’s also the political angle that Barbie mentions that I won’t get into here)

    The interesting component to me is Andy; who is clearly God, unlike Lotso who is just a mortal pretending to be God (or a person with special knowledge about God) to gain power. The idea that the God/father figure of your childhood can be left behind without anger and that happiness can be found either with a completely different God (female even) and a new more autonomous life, or through a life of good works without any kind of God at all is an extremely delicate conclusion to come to for any movie. That’s why even though I thought the middle dragged, the end really impressed me.

    Not only does it suggest that our mortality and eternal annihilation is something we can face together without God, it makes it clear that we can find happiness and a meaningful life after we leave God behind by switching faiths or even becoming secular humanists. Quite an amazing feat for a children’s movie. And it does this all in a way that doesn’t upset a single Christian watchdog group. Whoosh, right under their radar (probably because there are completely different interpretations of the movie that are more favorable towards Christianity). Nice job, Pixar.


  • amanohyo

    The crazy thing is, that in the reality of the Toy Story Universe, the toys are the immortal ones, and Andy, the God figure, is the one who will change and die. I wonder what would happen if Mr and Mrs Potato head’s parts were scattered around the world? What if everything was destroyed except for one of each of their eyes? And are there thousands of those lazy eyed baby dolls wandering the landfills, gazing up at the moon every night? I think MA’s idea for a Mad Max-ish sequel is the way to go.

  • stchivo

    SPOILERS, probably
    Firstly, I like the Mad Max-ish sequel is a wierd way. Kinda like “9” only more compelling because the toys would have a memory of how it was before.

    Ok, so I just saw it yesterday with my 3 year old daughter. First reaction, great movie but it was too scary for her, she had me hold her and close her eyes several times. The monkey was definitely creepy. But I think the target audience is more for those that grew up with the toy story. If you saw TS1 when you were ~4, 5, or 6 or so, then you would be about Andy’s age now going off to college and could relate very easily to that transition of leaving childhood behind and can also handle the darker themes prevalent in this movie.
    I agree with the religious afterlife aspects this story takes us through and it makes for very interesting conversation, but what about the more simpler theme of loyalty? I was touched mostly at the end when Andy complimented Woody’s loyalty no matter what. Its not easy to be loyal to a friend, parent, leader, or as mentioned above, god-figure, when faced with so many reasons not to be loyal, er uh faithful. Its a quality I admire and wish I could emulate more.

  • I didn’t think it was perfect. It was, in fact, pointless. There was no need for this one, and it should have been rated PG instead of G for the intense and sometimes horrifying violence. I found this mildly disturbing. And have you thought about the implications of toys having consciences? It’s quite maddening.


  • Nate

    @Joe Holman

    So, basically you hated it because it made you feel sorry for toys.

  • You can trivialize what I’m saying if you want to, but read my review. I know that as a child I would have cried at this premise.

    Kids are imaginative. They think of these things. I don’t think the writers remembered their prime audience in the making of this film. It was too intense, and in many respects, even ghastly. I felt like I was watching Coraline all over again, at least much of the time.


  • Máximo

    I saw the film on Sunday in Buenos AIres Argentina, and let me tell you that me and my 23 yera old friends where really moved by the incinerator scene, it was really touching, so expressive… definately my favourite of the three.

  • Left_Wing_Fox

    Finally, FINALLY got to see it tonight, and find out I’ve been missing out on the discussion of the underlying spiritual themes of he afterlife. You folks rock. :)

    To be perfectly honest, this film didn’t grab me as much as the other two did. The story was excellent, and I was never bored at any point in the film, but I found it simply not as _funny_. About the only times I cracked up were “Mr Tortilla Head”, and Bonnie’s subplot, where we got a return to the interpersonal character-based wit that made the first two movies so great (Especially the second, which took full advantage of the established characters.)

    And yeah, I teared up when Andy passed on Woody to Bonnie.

    Definitely a worthy capstone to the series, and a worthwhile sequel.

    Joe: Personally, I think it depends very much on the kid. There is no “One size fits all” approach to what content a child can handle from a film, and every-one has their own triggers as to what’s acceptably scary/sad/exciting, and what’s unwatchable.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    Haha, this Christian saw those themes but still thinks it was a quality flick. Did you notice that in the end Woody is the one who crafts his destiny, who writes directions on the donation box and gets in himself?
    My twins love Toy Story and I’ve recently listened to all three–through the endless prep and painting of our living room–and such a thorough review has cast the trilogy as the “toy” version of Cloud Atlas, where the advancing character in both films is played (or in Toy Story, voiced) by Tom Hanks.
    On the topic of propaganda that goes under the radar, I am aware that it is truly everywhere. Presumably now the most effective is powerful narratives that bring the audience through a grieving and growing process to mirror the one that would be necessary to adopt whatever worldview is being promoted.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    As I said in my reply to amanohyo, Toy Story as a trilogy resembles the toy, G version of Cloud Atlas. Tying TS to secular humanism, it would seem that the device used in both works, reincarnation, is a pretty flimsy trick. But it could be attractive: replace the promise of heaven with the reality of reincarnation, and atleast one avoids the prospect of an infinite nothing, or The End, as if the re-embodiment of a consciousness into another form of life is more rational that God and an afterlife of His making.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    I agree. That person must not know enough teenagers. There are older kids who will play with younger children, teens both male and female who can do so while still being ready and capable to set out on their own.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    I kinda wonder if the Star Wars references functioned as inspiration for Disney buying the Star War franchise.

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