Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 (2010)
Originally uploaded by chicofireman2
As an adult I feel a bit silly saying that Toy Story 3 made me cry, but as a fan of the films since I was a child it’s completely understandable why Pixar would be able to tap into my emotions and use a product and characters I had grown up with in a poignant way.

This adventure for Andy’s toys revolves around the fact that Andy is no longer a child, he’s going off to college in a week and though Buzz, Woody and most of his childhood toys are still around they don’t know what their fate will be. When Andy’s Mom accidently donates the toys instead of storing them in the attic they assume Andy wanted to throw them out and refuse to follow Woody home in time to see Andy leave. Buzz, Sally & the rest end up trapped at the Sunny Side Day care Center under the eye of Lotso – a toy bear who rules the day care with an iron fist.

What I appreciate about the Toy Story series as an adult is that each film is a metaphor for a stage of life. The first film was about accepting a new member of your family, the second about a midlife crisis, and the third installment is about aging – they’re a beautiful message about family and love. I could write pages about the layer of meaning and metaphor in the films, and I do believe Pixar is able to pack so much meaning, fun and emotion into every film simply because of the way they make their films – doing draft after draft of visual and story before the final animation process ever begins.

While Toy Story 3 didn’t make me emotional the same way the story of Ellie & Carl did in Up there were two definite moments in the film that got me. The first was near the beginning when Woody and the toys discuss their missing friends; Woody claims they’ve gone on to new homes at garage sales, but any viewer who’s paid attention knows they are actually characters whose voice actor has died. The second emotional moment, that did make me tear up, occurs in the last scene of the film. I won’t discuss it here as it would be a spoiler but it has to do with Andy not being a kid any more.

I still can’t believe that I’ve literally grown up with Toy Story. It seems like just a few years ago I was a kid going with my brothers to see the first movie, but here I am now, a young director trying to make movies that impact others they way movies like Toy Story have impacted me.

Director: Lee Unkrich
Writers: Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich
Woody: Tom Hanks
Buzz Lightyear: Tim Allen
Jessie: Joan Cusack
Lotso: Ned Beatty
Mr. Potato Head: Don Rickles
Ken: Michael Keaton
Rex: Wallace Shawn
Hamm: John Ratzenberger
Mrs. Potato Head: Estelle Harris
Andy: John Morris
Barbie: Jodi Benson
Bonnie: Emily Hahn
Andy’s Mom: Laurie Metcalf

Sergeant: We've done our duty. Andy's grown up.
Soldier: Let's face it. When the trash bags come out, we army guys are the first to go.
Buzz Lightyear: Trash bags?
Woody: Who said anything about trash bags?
Sergeant: It has been an honor serving with you. Good luck, folks.

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