"Toy Story 3" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

11/04/2010 Posted by Admin

“Toy Story 3”

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

Directed by Lee Unkrich, written by Michael Arndt, 98 minutes, rated G.

By Christopher Smith

The  horror movie, “Toy Story 3,” takes the beloved toys from the previous two films and puts them in a movie in which they no longer are needed by Andy, who is off to college. And so, since he’s moving on, the toys in question are given to a day care center, in which hives of scrambling, snot-nosed, unformed tots tear into them with such unbridled glee, their rampage hinges on something close to blood violence.

Thus the horror.

Director Lee Unkrich based the movie on Michael Arndt’s script, and what they created with Pixar is one of the year’s great movies.

Everyone is back--and then some. There’s Woody (voice of Tom Hanks), who remains Andy’s favorite, as well as Woody’s pals Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) Slinky Dog (Jim Varney), Rex the dinosaur (Wallace Shawn), Hamm the piggy bank (John Ratzenberger), Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles, Estelle Harris), and Barbie (Jodi Benson), who no longer is wanted by Andy’s sister.

New to the show are those toys at the Sunnyside Day Care, and at first glance, they’re a welcoming bunch with broad smiles and big hearts. There’s a big furry bear in Lotso (Ned Beatty), who leads the pack and is a self-proclaimed “hugger,” as well as Ken doll (Michael Keaton), Big Baby (who wanders the facility like Frankenstein’s monster and who has an unfortunate, droopy left eye), and scores of others, including a rubber octopus and a grinning monkey replete with cymbals and eyes that see everything.

Which is sort of a problem for the Woody and company. After a honeymoon period in which they all believe they struck gold--instead of being tossed out with the trash, they now will be played with and loved by children--it’s quickly revealed that everything isn’t right at Sunnyside Day Care. The place is a nightmare, with its walls so locked down, you might as well consider the other toys’ leader, Lotso, a strict warden with an ax to grind. He plans to keep the new toys captive. And what do you want to bet that Woody, Buzz and everyone else is having none of that? Of course, with that comes its share of problems--such as how to get out, which is what a good deal of this movie is about.

“Toy Story 3” also is about leaving behind one’s childhood, the knowledge of doing so, and the heartache and exhilaration that can come from it when a way of life is lost and a new one is found. It’s a movie that highlights abandonment issues for the toys in question, and it’s a movie that emotes all of those complex emotions with such sensitivity, you’re once again left with a groundswell of admiration for the skilled people at Pixar, who have an uncanny way of balancing all of this emotional weight with outrageous moments of comedy and action.

With a superb set of new characters--you’ll never look at Barbie and Ken the same way again--and its clear understanding of human nature, “Toy Story 3” once again proves that toys not only are for kids, but toys, in fact, are us.

Grade: A

View Week in Rewind's video preview of "Toy Story 3" below. What are your thoughts of the film?

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