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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Toy Story 3 (2010)

#1 - 2010 Box Office: Gross $415,004,880

No toy gets left behind
Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the rest of the toys return for part three, as Andy (John Morris) prepares to head off to college.  A mixup leads the toys to believe Andy wanted to throw them away, so they escape to Sunnyside, a local daycare center.  Here, they're welcomed with open arms by Lotso (Ned Beatty), Ken (Michael Keaton) and several other new toys. However, they soon realize their warm welcome is simply because their presence allows present toys to escape the horrors seen in the youngest room. Woody, found and taken home by imaginative young Bonnie, employs the help of her toys—Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Buttercup (Jeff Garlin), et al—to return to Sunnyside, break his friends out of their prison and return to Andy before he leaves for college...

Trivia (mostly courtesy of the IMDb)
  • The first animated film to make one billion dollars at the worldwide box office
  • Broke Shrek the Third's record as the biggest opening day for an animated film (unadjusted for inflation)
  • Blake Clark became the new voice of Slinky Dog, replacing Jim Varney, who died in 2000
  • The first Pixar film to be released in IMAX
  • Barbie's blue workout outfit is based on the 1984 "Great Shape" Barbie Doll. The Ken doll in the movie is modeled after "Animal Lovin'" Ken from 1988
  • Director Lee Unkrich voiced the Jack in the Box that yells "New toys!" to Andy's toys when they arrive at SunnySide
  • A version of Chuckles the Clown appears in Toy Story on the last present as wrapping paper, except he's smiling
  • 1225 Sycamore St (Bonnie's house) and 234 Elm St (Andy's house) do exist together in two cities: Cincinnati, OH and Denton, TX. In Cincinnati, the streets are very far apart, though they intersect in Denton
  • The first sequel to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar without any of its predecessors being nominated
  • Totoro (from Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro) is featured as one of Bonnie's toys
¡Buzz Lightyear al rescate!
Pixar took 2.5 years to write and storyboard this film, apparently because first-time solo-director, Lee Unkrich didn't want to create Pixar's first "dud" (apparently he never saw Cars). I think this was time well spent.  It's pretty standard that sequels get progressively worse, and yet here is a film that holds up and is better than Toy Story 2 (which I admit I haven't seen in years)!  Some of the plot points are recycled from previous films (Buzz thinking he's a real toy and acting as an antagonist, the toys being separated from Andy and trying to get home), but I guess the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  I think there are enough touching additions to make it worthwhile.  Whether it's the inclusion of neighbor/bully Sid (in his same skull t-shirt) as the garbageman, or the sweet love story between Spanish Buzz and Jessie, there's just something that feels nice about this film.  And, even on my second viewing, I still got a little teary-eyed at the end.  Just like the first time I saw it, I got more emotional during the incinerator scene than the final curtain call given by Andy to Bonnie.  The first time, I actually thought the toys were going to burn up because of a review I listened to pre-viewing that mentioned "I don't know how they'd be able to make a Toy Story 4 after this ending," but even knowing they make it out okay, there's something super emotional about watching Bullseye struggle on the pile of glowing trash, then suddenly stop and realize, with the rest of the toys, what his fate is.  As the toys hold hands and slowly sink toward the inevitable, they all close their eyes in the heat, leaving Woody as the last to stare into the fire. I'm getting a little verklempt just writing about it... ANYWAY, there are rumors Pixar is going to come out with TS4 and I'm unsure how I feel about it.  Surely, Pixar will eventually come out with a flop worse than Cars... won't they?  It's inevitable... right?  I would think so, but they've proven otherwise so many times before.  Still, it would be a shame for a fourth film to ruin what is quite possibly the best trilogy of all time.

Ponch's Rating:

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