Director: Lee Unkrich
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton, Estelle Harris, Timothy Dalton, Bonnie Hunt, Wallace Shawn,
It is complete, dudes. And it was everything I thought it would be. Luckily, I made it through the entire film without needing the tissues, despite the fact that I almost cried watching the trailer.
Toy Story 3 has taken in $41 million on its opening day alone, which has to be some kind of record. Unfortunately, the Tomatometer rating has dropped to 99%, owing to a couple of hacks named Armond White and Cole Smithey, the self-proclaimed "smartest film critic in the word." The criticism is mostly dedicated toward the scary content in the film that deserves a PG-rating. Newsflash! Most Disney movies are scary! Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? Sleeping Beauty? The Lion King? Aladdin? Terrifying, am I wrong?
Unlike the first two films, this one is more plot focused instead of character focused. There is seemingly not much change in the characters as a result of the events and doesn't reveal a lot in the way of backstory. I thought we'd learn more about Woody. Since "Woody's Roundup" last aired in 1957, that would make Woody 53 years old. What was he doing between 1957 and 1995? I had a theory about this; that Woody previously belonged to Andy's father. That's supported by Andy's mom declaring that Woody was "an old family toy" at the yard sale in Toy Story 2. But Andy's dad has never appeared in any film, and isn't even in any of Andy's family photos. So that dashes that theory. However, the Pixar staff was clever enough to plant a YouTube commercial for Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear and distort it to make it look like a VHS recording that came from the 80s. Check it out. It had me fooled; I went in thinking this was a toy that actually existed. The prison break sub-plot is brilliant, though, and that makes it all worth it.
The voice acting is very good, but it's mostly the new characters who steal the show. Ned Beatty is terrific as Lotso, and Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants deserved a bigger role. Animator Bud Luckey also nails the role of Chuckles the Clown.
It certainly earns its place in the Pixar pantheon. It would have been easy to turn this film into an easy cash-grab. In all the ways that Shrek has gone downhill due to greed, Toy Story keeps its integrity. I'm hoping it picks up a nomination for Best Picture. I think the screenplay deserves consideration (Michael Arndt, of Little Miss Sunshine fame, as well as Stanton and Lasseter) as does Randy Newman's musical score.
I have assigned it the #5 spot, making it just slightly better than Toy Story 2, but couldn't quite match Monsters, Inc. Also, a little disappointed there was no teaser trailer for Cars 2. Come on, Pixar!