Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3
Not that there was ever any question Pixar would deliver an awesome third film in the Toy Story series, but just in case you were worried: Hey you guys! Pixar delivered an awesome third film with Toy Story 3.

This time around, little Andy is all grown up and headed off to college, and has to decide what to do with his beloved Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, Ham, Rex, and Slinky. Andy tosses Woody in the “college” box to take with him, and then throws the rest in a trash bag to take up to the attic. After a misunderstanding and a near death-by-trash-truck experience, the toys get sent to Sunnyside Daycare where they meet the loveable, purple strawberry-scented Lotso Huggin’ Bear…or so we think.

Turns out Lotso’s grandfatherly persona is a front for his mafia-like system, in which new toys get stuck with destructive toddlers, while toys with seniority enjoy the company and comfort of gentle playtime with the older kids. Naturally it’s up to Woody to save everyone by getting them back to Andy and up into the attic for safe-keeping.

There’s so many great moments in Toy Story 3 that I can’t write them all down (nor would I want to spoil the surprise), but a few things do stand out – most of them having to do with Barbie & Ken. Any movie that queues up Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” and has a musical outfit montage where KEN is the subject wins my heart instantly! Including 3 googley-eyed Martians constantly exclaiming “oooooh” and “the claaaaawwww!” doesn’t hurt either.

There’s also a great sequence where Mr. Potato Head has to attach his parts to a floppy tortilla, and I enjoyed Spanish-mode Buzz way more than I probably should have. Joining Ken as one of my favorite new characters is the jaded old Chatter Telephone, whose gruff voice channels The Big Sleep era Bogey and fills me with joy.

To top it all off, the ending made me blubber uncontrollably with its heart and sentimentality. Maybe I’m a huge sap, but the love between Andy and his toys has the power to melt me into a sobby pile of happiness within 2.5 seconds of one animated smile.

Dear Pixar,  Thank you, thank you and THANK YOU for not churning out yet another inferior straight-to-DVD animated sequel, and instead taking the time to create something that will be as dear to Toy Story fans at the first time we saw Woody & Buzz on screen.

{Toy Story 3 opens Friday, June 18 in Seattle at the Majestic Bay, Cinerama, and AMC Pacific Place}