I’m a grown man who hasn’t seen most of the Pixar movies that people are obsessed with, but I was challenged to check ’em all out and share my thoughts. Join me as I watch ’em all one by one – see if I buy into the hype.
Movie No. 11: Toy Story 3 (2010)
While we’re here, we might as well address the toy elephant in the room.
The biggest complaint I’ve gotten since I’ve started this Pixar project is wHy Iz ToY sToRy RaNkEd So LoW yOu’Re WaTcHinG iT wRoNg!!!!!
First off, I enjoyed Toy Story 1 and 2, A Bug’s Life was just way better. #JusticeForFlik
See, I can troll too.
But seriously, you gotta remember my perspective in this thing. I don’t have the benefit of growing up with Woody and Buzz n’ dem as staples of my childhood so there’s no nostalgic bias. In fact, the themes that drive those movies were arguably done better in films I’d already seen and loved, like the LEGO Movie and Wreck-It-Ralph franchises. Toy Story walked so they could run.
It’s like when young rap fans go back and listen to classic Nas albums I loved. They’re like, “it’s OK I guess BUT DA BEAT DON’T SLAP.” You had to be there for the glory days, I guess.
But Toy Story 3? This one hits different.
The opening flashback sequence with the toys and the bank robbery DID relate to me – it’s the type of insanity my brother and I played out in our parents’ living room. Almost all these Pixar movies get their sick jollies by dragging your emotions through the mud, but few did them as well as this film.
What starts out as a movie about a toy retirement home winds up Shawshank PlaySchool with Fuzzy Frank Underwood turning Buzz into the Winter ToySoldier. I saw none of this coming and I was glued to the screen.
Mr. Tortilla Head? Best character in the series.
By the way, for my former church members who wondered why we stopped serving sugary drinks at the lock-ins, just watch the scene with the toddlers going nuts with the toys.
I WAS THE TOY.
The final act of this thing, from the crew escaping certain doom, Barbie and Ken turning Arkham Asylum into Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and that tear jerking scene with Andy letting go of his past – and most importantly, Woody letting go of his annoying Andy man-crush – is by far the best thing I’ve seen Pixar do. This take on friendship, maturity and letting go wasn’t just the perfect way to cap off the trilogy, it finally nailed me with the nostalgic gut punch that Toy Story 1 and 2 lacked. It even got me wondering what my old Ninja Turtles and Transformers are doing up in my parents’ attic these days. Hopefully Michelangelo has not created a totalitarian state up there, we taught him better than that.
Toy Story 3 is Pixar’s Avengers: Endgame, the perfect culmination to a beloved franchise. This beat SLAPS.
So WHY did they make a Toy Story 4!? I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
5 stars out of 5
**Toy Story 3**
A Bug’s Life
Toy Story 2
Next up is …
CARS TEW: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.
Something tells me that one ain’t getting 5 stars.