TOY STORY 3 (2010)
Director: Lee Unkrich
Voice Talent: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
I'm going to preface this review with full disclosure: With a couple of exceptions, I'm not a fan of the Pixar film pantheon, and truthfully, really haven't liked any of the Toy Story films that have been released before Toy Story 3. Other than kind of saying, "Oh yeah, I had one of those toys growing up" a few times during the first film, I couldn't relate to it at all, nor did I enjoy anything about the second film. Having said that, as I've aged and matured, I've prided myself on my objectivity when it comes to movies, so I sat down to Toy Story 3 with an open mind.
Unfortunately, my mind was quickly numbed with boredom, once again, by the further adventures of Buzz Lightyear (Allen), Woody (Hanks), Jessie (Cusack) and the rest of the toys in the toy box. This time, their owner, Andy, is off to college and the toys are wondering what is going to happen to them when he goes, considering he hasn't paid much attention to them in years. Though he intended all of them but Woody to be stored in the attic (what the toys considered a nice retirement) they are instead donated to a day care center where they think they will be played with by happy children, which makes them happy. Unfortunately, as members of the low end of the totem pole, they end up being used and abused by some of the worst behaved children I've ever seen and have to find a method of escape.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the voice talent in Toy Story 3, as a matter of fact, the number of known actors who lend their voices to the smallest of characters is staggering, and they're all great at what they do. I would imagine this is the last film of the Toy Story franchise, since it hit a natural ending, but I'm kind of cracking myself up at my ridiculous optimism that the franchise won't get more played out. The story was okay too, actually, a lot darker than I expected it to be at some points. And, I got a glimpse of a toy phone that I played the hell out of when I was a kid and hadn't thought about in about 32 years, so that was cool. However, it wasn't the tear-jerker for me that it seemed to be for everyone else, including my boyfriend, who was snorfling at the end (which I always find kind of cute).
It's not that I'm heartless. I was concerned about that at one point in my life, but for at least the last five years I've owned the fact that, just like there are a lot of movies that I think are fantastic and other people dislike, there are going to be a lot of well-reviewed, commercial success that people revere and I just don't like. It's not even animation that I don't like; I have loved every Studio Ghibli film I've ever seen (which is most) and count Persepolis and The Triplets of Belleville as two of the best films, animated or not, I've ever seen as a result of their Oscar nominations. I've just learned to brush off the comments of "Come on, you must be heartless" or "Are you serious? What's the matter with you?" since those are probably easier to digest than calling someone a philistine for not liking The Seventh Seal or a dullard for not appreciating the performance-art genius of Plan 9 From Outer Space. Besides, I'm not impervious to Pixar's charms. I bawled like a baby during Up, really got into The Incredibles and thought Finding Nemo was cuter than Hello Kitty's red bow. I didn't hate Toy Story 3, but it was boring and not my thing, and despite how apologetic this capsule review is starting to sound, I don't apologize for my opinions anymore and certainly don't take anything away from anyone who loved Toy Story 3, which seems to be everyone else on the planet.
2 out of 5 stars