When the original Toy Story came out in 1995, I wanted to see it just because it was the first computer animated movie. But I left the theater in love with all things Pixar. They haven't let me down yet, but I will admit I was a little worried about Toy Story 3 since sequels don't usually hold up. I don't know why I was worried; this is Pixar. The movie is wonderful.
Time has passed for our friends in Andy's room, and Andy (still voiced by John Morris) is getting ready to go to college. Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and the gang that is left haven't been played with in ages. Some of our friends have even left at yard sales over the years.
Andy is trying to figure out what to do with the toys he still has when, through a misunderstanding, they think he has thrown them away. They quickly donate themselves to the Sunnyside Day Care Center. While they are thrilled at the prospect of being played with again, the center has a dark side, too. Will they survive their new home? Will they ever learn that Andy wasn't trying to throw them away?
The movie starts right out with play time that reminds us of the first two movies. I had a smile on my face within minutes. And that smile continued as the movie progressed.
Yes, this is a comedy, and I was laughing pretty hard at some of the scenes. In fact, I would guess that the adults were laughing more than the kids. The scenes between Ken (Michael Keaton) and Barbie (Jodi Benson) were hysterical. Plus there's what happens to Buzz (if you've seen the trailers, you know what I'm talking about). And 10 points to anyone who can catch the Scooby Doo reference.
But I was also caught up in the story. Things got bogged down for a few minutes in the middle, but it wasn't long before I was fully caught up in the story again. The climax wasn't quite as complex as some of Pixar's climaxes-that-will-not-quit have been in the past, it did still provide several unforeseen complications that kept me on the edge of my seat. That is when I wasn't laughing at how they worked something from the very first movie into the climax.
The voice cast was wonderful once again. While Andy is still a minor character, I love the fact that they still used John Morris for his voice. The only actor they changed was Blake Clark who took over for his friend, the late Jim Varney, as Slinky Dog. It was only after the movie was over that I questioned just how much Slinky said, but when he was talking, I never noticed a difference in the actor's voice.
There were times I missed the ensemble characters who were written out of the film. Fortunately, the movie got going quickly and moved at such a steady pace that I didn't have time to mourn their loss for long. Plus we get a lot of great new characters who do help fill things out.
One reason sequels can disappoint is because they will just re-dress the same plot from the first movie. While a few of the plot elements here did feel recycled, I always felt like we were watching something that was a truly new effort. The themes definitely felt recycled, although they did continue to build on them here like they did in the first sequel. Some retreading is bound to happen, but I felt like they did a good job of keeping it to a minimum and instead building on what we have already seen.
What was not recycled was the animation. You can definitely tell a difference between the first and second movie. Well, that's nothing compared to how things look here. The humans look so much better than the first one. There are only a couple of shots that will blow you away (and I didn't watch it in 3D), but it all looked great to me.
Parents might want to know that a couple of scenes get intense and might frighten young kids. The one sitting next to me didn't seem to have any problems, but you can judge your kids best. They also have a very small part with sub-titles. That seems a bit strange to me for a movie aimed at kids, but I can't complain too loudly since I was laughing so hard at those parts.
Which brings us to the ending. I'm not going to give anything away, don't worry. All I want to say is it is very bittersweet. A friend who saw it opening night recommended bring tissue. I wish I had listened to him. This grown man had very wet eyes by the time it was over, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was absolutely perfect.
As much as I have loved these characters, I do hope they stop here. We've had a great ride, but this one provides some good closure. I feel like Toy Story 3 brings things full circle. I know I'll be watching it many more times to come.
on 16 July 2011
I have a soft-spot for Pixar. I'll admit it. Everything they touch seems to turn to genius, in my eyes at least. But this is a serious movie review, so let's knuckle down to it on that very unbiased opening line...
This film is a second sequel, evidenced by the number 3 in its title. I know what you're thinking - Superman 3, Terminator 3, Saw III right? But let us not forget that 3 can also be a harbinger of surprising quality, a new energy in a potentially tiring series; the third Back to the Future was remarkably good, Revenge of the Sith was hands down the best of the "new" trilogy and - of course - when the King returned in the final chapter of Tolkeinian wonder we were, suffice to say, speechless.
So how is Toy Story's toll taken? Pretty well actually, everything is in place to make it of the same visual standard as its predecessors, and other stand alone Pixar efforts. Animation and ocular appeasement are, needless to say, of the very highest quality and continue to make most of Dreamworks efforts look a little bit shabby. Plotwise we're succeeding too, more on that shortly, but the real marks for creative effort - and marks which Pixar continues to gain with each work it produces - go to the team (whoever they are) that specialises in the observational comedy. The carefully manicured (and - it's easy to forget - animated from scratch) sequences that put the flesh on the bones; things like Spanish Buzz's brief laser dance a la flamenco (if this means nothing to you, I'm not even going to think about spoiling it any further - just watch it!), the ingenuity that has clearly gone on by looking at the aging toys of our childhood and thinking "yeah, I can imagine them doing this."
The story - the toy story that is - is, traditionally now, one of strong friendship overcoming adversity. To briefly outline the plot, Andy has grown into a (surprisingly pleasant) teenager and is about to head off to college when the toys realise their lives are about to change and possibly not for the better. Some scrambling later they find themselves in a Shawshank-esque day care centre run by an initially jovial bear that smells of strawberries...things take a turn for the worse and the toys must take strength from their enduring friendships and desire to help others which leads to some truly, truly moving pieces of cinema, not least the final scenes of both peril and delight.
A lot of people like this film, and a lot more than might be expected of those are adults - or at least kids at heart. On a scoreboard of Pixar's own efforts alone, it probably ranks in the middle - it's not as groundbreaking as Finding Nemo, nor as intelligent as WALL-E, but it doesn't have to be because we're revisiting old friends and with that comes at least certain expectations. Animation these days - and especially Pixar presentations - have moved far beyond the boundary of age, and I think we have all accepted that now. The key trick is making sure there are things for both sides of the audience in there, which, in this film, assuredly there are. Great for kids too!
Woody, Buzz and co have been faithful toys of Andy's for years, but now he is a 17 year old boy, he doesn't have much use for a sheriff, a space man and a Mr Potato Head. The toys keep trying to come up with new ideas to get Andy to play with them again but to no avail. Eventually, they are freed from their toybox prison when Andy sorts them out to go in the attice, but after a mishap with Andy's mum, they end up in the box destined for daycare. There, they meet Lotso, a pink bear who makes Sunnyside Daycare Centre out to be the best place for toys who aren't wanted anymore, so they are all excited about being at their new home. However, when the kids come crashing in, the toys realise they've been fooled and need to escape. Woody, the only one on the outside, has to help rescue his friends before the children destroy them all in the name of play! And what about Andy... will the toys get home to their owner before he leaves for college?
I certainly didn't expect the tear-jerking and superb movie that was put in front of me for nearly an hour and 45 minutes. Harry was absolutely mesmerised for the duration as well, quite a rare thing for him even at the cinema so it was definitely a brilliant movie for the both of us. The animation was just stunning, a real improvement on the original but it still has all the charm of the Toy Story movies that makes them appeal to children. The characters are the same, with a couple of fabulous additions for this film, and at the heart of it is a wonderful tale of a boy and his childhood toys.
The voice cast make this movie fantastic. Once again, the big names have reprised their roles, namely Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear... hilarious as ever and of course Tom Hanks as hero Woody. To us adults who have seen the movies when we were children, hearing those voices again and seeing those characters threw me back 15 years, and it was fantastic! Woody and Buzz are still the same as ever, and have the same camaraderie and humour they did previously. Harry loved them too, especially Woody, and I love that they choose toys which young children will be able to relate to.
Humour is very much at the heart of this film. There is humour which appeals to children using the characters being silly and performing things which children will find very amusing, and at the same time humour is present for adults too. A few scenes involving Ken the doll were just hilarious and had all the mums in the cinema laughing along, it really was a brilliant addition, and just those scenes alone make me want to see the film again. Michael Keaton as the voice of Ken was fantastic, and suited the role perfectly. His opposite character Barbie was voiced by Jodi Benson, and I think she did a great job.
Some of the scenes in the daycare centre seemed a little scary for Harry. He didn't like the scenes at the rubbish dump or the incinerator, but I kept reassuring him and he seemed okay. I understand these films have to appeal to all ages and so need the element of drama, but very young children might find these scenes upsetting. He also couldn't understand why Andy was getting rid of his toys if he loved them so much - clearly the moral thread of the story isn't missed by even the youngest of viewers so I think Disney Pixar have done a good job picking out this storyline.
I thought this movie was utterly charming, and I loved every second of it. The voice cast are fantastic and bring to life the wonderful animation which is just faultless. The musical soundtrack, including the iconic song 'You've Got A Friend In Me' by Randy Newman from the first Toy Story film, suits the action on screen perfectly and really complements it. The story is easy enough to follow for young children who will undoubtedly love this movie, but there are undertones present for adults who will equally love it. It's heart-warming, funny, sweet and just wonderful - I can't recommend it highly enough for those of you with young children, and even if you haven't, watch it for the nostalgia of the old films and your own childhood! Simply brilliant. I can't wait to watch the first two films with my little Toy Story convert now!
`Toy Story 3' is another delightful sequel to finish the series up in a way befitting the high standard this has set for itself.
When Andy goes to college, Woody and his friends end up in a children's daycare centre. But soon it comes to light that all is not quite what it seems and this rapidly turns into a prison break film, with all of the genre in-gags that that entails.
This film has all the old characters we have grown to love, as well as some new ones to keep things interesting. These include a camp Ken doll, a fiendish pink teddy bear and a Ghibli Totoro toy. The hilarious voice-over talents are prevalent throughout and that special brand of humour unique to Toy Story films is still there. This has a great storyline to keep kids interested and the numerous smaller touches adults will notice to keep things feeling fresh and which Pixar have become renowned for. The animation is as superb as always and I really noticed how well the trees were rendered and the use of light, these may have stood our more on Blu-ray, but they are impressive regardless.
All in all this is a worthy successor to the other films and if you enjoyed the previous films (and to be honest didn't we all!) then you should find this enjoyable too. They left things nicely tied up and hopefully Pixar won't feel the urge to rehash this particular franchise as it still has a warm place in many hearts and this film only adds to that. Well worth a viewing at some point.
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on 29 December 2010
I am a huge fan of the Toy Story series, I own all three and even have Woody, Buzz Slinky Dog and Bullseye dolls despite being 16 years old. After the third and final film of the series was released in the cinema, I organised a big group of my friends to accompany me to see it. The ages ranged from 3 to 52, and every single one of us loved it.
The film deals with a lot of deep issues and is definitely the darkest of all the series, but in my opinion it is the best. The graphics are utterly stunning, and if you were to compare the first Toy Story with Toy Story 3, you will see how far computer animation has come in the past 16 years. The story line has you glued to the cinema screen from the beginning, and never ceases to lose you throughout the 90 minutes.
Toy Story 3 brings back all the main characters from the first two films; Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, Mr & Mrs Potato Head, Hamm, Slinkly Dog and my personal favourite, Rex. It also introduces new characters, such as Losto the Hugging Bear (Who smells of strawberries!) and Ken, whom is the funniest of all the characters.
In my opinion, this movie is the perfect film. As it appeals to any age group, makes you laugh and even if you have watched it a 100 times it still feels like its your first.
If you don't already own it, what are you waiting for? Click ADD TO BASKET now! (and don't forget to include Toy Story/Toy Story 2 [DVD].)
on 21 April 2016
This 1080p AVC 1.78:1 transfer is absolutely pristine. The colours are vibrant that simply jump out at you. Resolution is incredibly sharp and detailed. A totally enjoyable and satisfying visual experience. (5/5)
The DTS-HD 7.1 MA was equally wonderful that simply immersed you into the movies (5/5)
The ending was heart-warming and will tuck at your heart-string. To hear the Gypsy King doing the Spanish version of You've Got A Friend In Me while Buzz (temporary turned Spanish), and Jessie, doing the tango was a real treat. This is a movie for both young and old. Now that the Toy Story 1, 2 and 3 are all out on blu ray, it will be a great idea to have a Toy Story Day during future holidays, viewing all three in a row. And that reminded me of the Lord Of the Ring days, watching all extended editions in a row. Luckily, Toy Story is much shorter, while we are still waiting for the HD editions of the Extended Cut of The Lord Of the Rings trilogy. Toy Story 3 (blu ray) is highly recommended, and a must-own, like Toy Story 1 and 2 (blu ray).
on 17 December 2010
Amazon Film Review
Toy Story 3 is the third instalment in the Toy Story franchise and arguably the best film of the three. The film is centred on Andy going to college and the toys being taken to Sunnyside Day Care Centre to be played with forever. This is an important factor because it means that parents with children going away to university will be able to relate to the characters and feelings in the film whilst the people going away to university will be able to relate to Andy about taking toys away to university.
Despite being targeted at younger children, everyone will enjoy the film because of the nostalgic value - especially if they've seen the previous two when they were younger. The new characters that are introduced work really well and none seem out of place in the day care centre.
The twists that unravel during the film are a shock to the audience. Because of the twists, Toy Story 3 is guaranteed to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions - ranging from laughing out loud to having tears in your eyes (and not just because Andy's leaving for college.)
The level of detail that the producers have gone to makes it a hugely enjoyable experience, despite being animated, it feels as though you are watching real life, especially in 3D.
The film is a huge success and certainly one of the best films of the year - if not the number one. The humour is never out of place, the level of detail makes it aesthetically pleasing to watch. The storyline doesn't feel laboured, it feels right that there should be a third Toy Story and the producers have done a fine job in ending the trilogy in a perfect way.
on 27 November 2010
Wow! I can honestly say that I have never come across a trilogy of films before where each installation improves on previous films. This is such an incredible film, of fantastic animation, and humour for children and adults alike. The story is great and has one of the most emotional endings to a film, especially considering it is a 'children's film'. Definately worth buying for Christmas.
If we are considering the medium at first, which is of course a Blu-Ray for this product, then you absolutely won't be disappointed. Toy Story 3 is by far and away one of the best High Def films I've watched to date and undoubtedly the most beautiful looking of the Toy Story saga. This is likely to be expected since it is a modern production, but we should also consider that the original Toy Story (1995), whilst looking sharper than ever in High Def, also reveals the older technology that produced the film. Toy Story 3, however, almost looks good enough to touch.
One of the greater aspects visually is the use of colour, and its of course amazing to see how far Pixar have come in just 15 years. Every environment has its own specific colour timing; the grass and tree leaves pierce out of the TV, but most astonishing is the scene at the Waste Depot, where the small shards of metal seem to roll on endlessly as if each one was designed and rendered separately. Along with Disney's release of 'Fantasia' earlier this month, these two films would be the only demonstrations I would personally need for Blu-Ray technology. And thats without describing the lossless soundtrack that, as with every Pixar Blu-Ray, just fills the room with a wonderful dynamic range. During the 'Freak Out' scene where Ken models his clothing, the kick-drum sounded as if it was being hit in front of me.
I'm holding back from talking too much about the film itself, given it has been talked of so much already. All I will say on this matter is that it does indeed take a different direction to the previous two films, but does so in such a way that is more bold. Toy Story 3 features more moral values and heart than its former films, and thats what won me over as it being the best of the trio. From a technical stand point, it is an entirely clever film from start to finish and manages to touch the hearts of viewers from all ages. The ending alone forced me to hold back the tears through gritted teeth!
So, whats all this "Triple Play" and "Double Play" business? Its merely a confusing effort from Disney to encourage buyers to go for the Blu-Ray format. The "Double Play" edition of Toy Story 3 features 3 Discs;
- 1 Blu-Ray [Feature Film]
- 1 Blu-Ray [Bonus Content]
- 1 DVD [Feature Film]
Therefore, the product exists so you can watch the film in either Blu-Ray or DVD. If you've moved over to Blu-Ray, then the DVD is very handy for lending to friends or for back-up!
This product is "Triple Play", which means that you not only get the 3 discs mentioned previously, but you get a forth disc that has a "Digital Copy" of the film. This 'Digital Copy' is neither a DVD nor a Blu-Ray; it is designed to be placed into your PC/Mac and imported into iTunes, where after the film has been copied from the disc, can be played from your computers hard drive, or best of all (if you actually watch films on-the-go), on iPods, iPads, iPhones, any iDevice or mobile device that supports a media player.
The 'Digital Copy' is somewhat negotiable. For an extra two pounds and the fancier cover, I'm sure many will be tempted by this 'Triple Play' product because its the top of the line, but please think again. Will the 'Digital Copy' really come in handy for you? Because after all, every computer has a DVD drive, so for the sake of watching this film on a mobile device, the extra two quid can be argued.
My personal opinion? Both PC's and Mac have software readily available that enables one to copy a film directly from a DVD to a computer. And its free... So i'm arguing that the 'Digital Copy' is somewhat a waste of a disc.
In short, this has to be not just one of the films of the year, but also one of the Blu-Rays. The extra features are plentiful, the presentation is beautiful, and I couldn't be happier with the way the Toy Story saga has been wrapped up. Top marks to Pixar for continuing to make such wonderfully original films, but shame on Disney for taking most of the credit for these efforts when, quite frankly, their own films these days don't stand up anywhere near as tall.
on 10 January 2011
went to see toy story 3 with a couple of friends because there was nothing else to watch. but I am glad I went to see it. in the first 5 minutes I was drawn into the film, it kept me laughing all the way through and had stomach ache afterwards!
the story is very well set out and all the characters are well played, this film will be entertaining for the whole family. this this film is the best animation of the year and the best toy story film out of the 3 of them.
definitely worth buying.