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Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

What she said:

She

There are certain movies that come to define our childhoods.  For me the original Toy Story is one of them.  I loved Toy Story.  I had a Buzz Lightyear toy; heck I even had the Sega Genesis video game (which, by the way, was never beaten because it would freeze up at the exact same point every time you played it). 

Naturally, I was thrilled to hear that after a successful sequel, the movie company had decided to make a third movie.  The nostalgia would be terrific.  But what's great about Toy Story 3 is that it's more than just a trip down memory lane.  It's also a pretty good movie.  I'm almost certain it will win the Oscar for best animated picture next year, although it's debatable whether or not it deserves it.  But yeah, it's good.

Woody, Buzz, and all your old pals reunite to remind us that despite Andy growing up, they're still around, there for their master whenever he needs them.  But Andy might not need them anymore.  He's going off to college, and there is the prospect of many of the toys being attic-bound.  Even worse, they could be donated away.  The crew ends up voluntarily going off to a daycare, so they can be played with and loved every day.  Without giving away any spoilers, let's just say that a classic Pixar adventure ensues. 

The premise of the film makes you a little sad.  It made me reflect back on all the toys that I once loved to death that are no longer a part of my life.  As a child, you take such adventures with your toys, you truly cherish them, but there comes a point where we all tend to sever those ties.  It's part of growing up, but when watching Toy Story 3, you can't help but wish you had some of that childhood innocence back. 

The movie offers the viewer a pretty exciting adventure, with some moments of deeper reflection.  Overall, I wouldn't say it's as strong as the first movie, certainly.  But it's pretty good.  As with past Toy Story  movies, there's great comedy, and the Ken character is particularly funny.  Michael Keaton was a great choice for voicing the role.

If you're a fan of the Toy Story franchise this movie is a must-see.  I was happy to watch it at home on Blu-ray, after seeing it in the theater in color-stripped and unimpressive 3D. 

Diagnosis – Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

After a very long wait (15 years after the original and 11 after the sequel), this highly anticipated third chapter was finally made. This can go either way to be honest. Sequels that come so far after the original (or previous chapter) often don't live up to expectations. It's hard to recapture the magic that created the surrounding circumstances of the original movie. Luckily for us, it didn't appear to be an issue at all. This movie is very worthy of being called Toy Story.

It has been quite some time since I have seen either Toy Story 1 or 2, so I cannot compare the finer details of those films with Toy Story 3. Though I do have to say, I do have some very fond memories of those movies that I was reminded of by this new chapter. They are the types of movies that just bring a smile to your face and are great escapism for a few hours.

These movies are obviously funny, but where they really succeed is in their ability to make you feel like a kid again. Not a teenager or even a tween, but a child. Back to a time when magic still existed and all it took to entertain you was your favorite action figure (or dolls for you girls out there). Hours could be spent disappearing into other worlds that didn't even require you to leave your bedroom.

Woody, Buzz, Rex, and all your other favorites are back once again. This time though, they find out what it's like when Andy (their owner) is too old to play with toys and no longer has use for them. Only Pixar can make you feel legitimate sadness for your long-lost childhood toys. We watch Woody, Buzz, and co. find out what it’s like not to be unconditionally loved anymore and how they adjust to new surroundings (like daycare).

That added a really nice change of pace for the series.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on November 9, 2010.