Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 2010. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Produced by Darla K. Anderson. Music by Randy Newman. Production Design by Bob Pauley. Film Editing by Ken Schretzmann. Academy Awards 2010. American Film Institute 2010. Golden Globe Awards 2010. National Board of Review Awards 2010. Washington Film Critics Awards 2010.
In 1995 the Pixar studio set off a cinematic revolution when they premiered the first-ever fully computer animated feature-length film, a modern classic that received explosive critical acclaim and won its director, John Lasseter, a Special Achievement Academy Award (not to mention a nomination for writing, the first ever for an animated film). A brilliant sequel followed in 1999 and, after a few years of undeniable hits worthy of their predecessor, including Wall-E, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, it was only a matter of time before the studio decided to return to its loveable initial creations. The results aren’t fully up to par: this third entry in the Toy Story series is neither a classic nor a dog, merely a highly enjoyable comedy that stays in the spirit of its kind without finding anything unique to explore. In this chapter, the toys’ owner Andy has grown up and is ready to go to college. Neither in need of his toys to play with nor willing to part with them, Andy means to put his plastic friends in the attic, but they are accidentally whisked away to a children’s day care centre as donations. Imagine Woody and Buzz’s terror when they discover that the giant pink huggy bear who lords over the toys at the centre is actually an insensitive tyrant who puts them in the room with unruly, ADD toddlers who torture them night after night. Once Woody discovers that Andy is looking for them, he tries to organize a jail break but, sadly, Buzz is no help: he’s been reprogrammed by the bad guys (and just wait until you hear him accidentally switched to Spanish). There are a number of highly inspired sequences, and the animation has improved with the times and shows the old gang off to the best possible advantage, but the film doesn’t quite equal the sum of its efforts. While the themes of friendship and loyalty are as touching as ever, the polish is only faintly visible; this one won’t wow you like the other two did, but you won’t be sorry you indulged yourself either.