"Toy Story 3" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Growing up is inevitable. Every child grows up to whoever they become, whether everyone or everything else around them is ready for them to. That is the problem Woody and the gang faces in "Toy Story 3" faces, with them taking residence in Andy's toy chest over the past few years. Now the time has come, and Andy is about to depart for college, leaving his childhood behind for good. He must now face the dreaded question of what to take, and what to leave behind? The decision that the toys dread put the plot of "Toy Story 3" into motion, which is a heartfelt and hilarious tale of growing up and moving on.
The first film in this series, which is also the first Pixar full-length film ever released, came out in 1995, meaning that this third film came out nearly fifteen years after the audiences were first introduced to Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Woody (Tom Hanks). Therefore, you have that audience who grew up alongside these characters, while also their parents watching these films with them. Now that audience is grown up, just like Andy has. At the same time, audiences who were born after the release of the first two films grew up watching them as well, making another huge impact on their lives.
Now that we're in the third film, and the story shows how to cope with losing someone (which can be interpreted many ways for loss), it shows audiences how to be fine without someone in their life that they relied on so deeply. While younger audiences won't feel the same feelings that older audiences who have been fans of the films for years will, it still is able to resonate that meaning and message through every audience member.
After a mishap at the house, the toys (which Andy originally meant to put them in the attic) are donated to SunnySide Daycare, where his mom is hoping the kids there will find the same joy in them Andy did all of those years ago. What seems like a tranquil and fun environment at first soon proves to be a nightmare, with the new toys being put with the younger kids who abuse them and don't take care of them. At the same time, Lotso (Ned Beatty), who is the leader and seems like a caring and friendly teddy bear (I mean, come on, he smells like strawberries! Who wouldn't trust him?) at first, isn't who he says he is, and imprisons the new toys, from the help of his gang of toys that run the daycare after dark.
The daycare scene are tons of fun in my opinion, and the lines of dialogue are able to match those from the first film. It is very witty and contains the perfect amount of dry humor that makes it absolutely hilarious. At the same time, the animation present throughout this entire film is stellar, and shows how the Pixar animators have improved and innovated new ways to animate their films. Everything is so crisp and precise in how it is brought to the screen, and it's just a beautiful film.
While the other toys from Andy's toy chest are stuck in the daycare center, Woody is able to make it out, and he goes home in the backup of Bonnie (Emily Hahn), who is the young daughter of the daycare owner. He meets all of her toys, which include Dolly (Bonnie Hunt), Buttercup (Jeff Garlin), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), and much more. They all try to assist him in getting back to Andy so he can go off to college with his kid, but changes his plan when he learns that his friends are in danger.
Woody is the character who has the hardest time of letting go, and it's honestly not hard to blame him. As we learn about what happened in snippets throughout the years from the toys throughout the film, Woody has lost a lot, and he doesn't want to lose Andy too. At the same time, whether he cares to admit it or not, Andy has a hard time of letting go of his toys, especially Woody. Throughout the film, we see the breakdown of both characters, and how they both come to the ultimate realization that leaving one another is not only inevitable, but the best for both of them.
Even though this film is perhaps heavier and more sorrowful than the other two, it doesn't fully encapsulate that feeling the entire time. For fans both young and old, the filmmakers do a fantastic job of crafting a film that is still full of heart and fun at the same exact time. It perfectly ends the era of Andy and his toys in my opinion, and shows the start of a new cycle in a toy's life. While the ending scene may have the audiences shed a few tears, I think it was the perfect conclusion to this trilogy of films.