Toy Story: 3 is not your typical third-movie-of-a-trilogy. I was a little concerned when the opening montage began (Andy playing gleefully with his toys, a creative kid with no cares in the world); I wondered if I was in for a repeat of the first Toy Story, but with the number “3” tacked on at the end that was not the case.
Toy Story: 3 was well-acted, well-animated and a well-written reiteration of the whole Toy Story institution. It’s the same message – but it’s a good one: remaining loyal to those you love, sometimes sacrificing your own interests in the name of theirs (or a higher one), but not at the expense of what you believe in your bones to be right. And there are some interesting new tactics.
For example, the movie doesn’t gloss over some of life’s most painful truths: the truth of loss, for one. Bo Beep and Etch have been donated to other families, a painful experience, but one they get through with each other’s support. Another is the truth of the struggle of duty versus self-interest. The toys have the option to stay in a daycare where they’ve been donated and know they’ll be played with every single day, or escape and get back to Andy (their loyal owner), who is now seventeen and hasn’t played with them for years. Forget kids, that’s something that adults struggle with, some for their entire lives!
But hands down the most surprising and—I’m going to say it—MOVING part is when the crew ends up getting dumped in a colossal incinerator at the dump. They’ve been through hell helping each other, even helping the bad guy, when they are dropped into a pile moving toward a huge, undeniable fireball. They start to fight, but they simply are no match for such a large machine. Jessie turns to Buzz and asks, “Buzz, what do we do?” Buzz, who always manages to come up with something, simply has no answer for her. Instead, he takes her hand, looks her in the eye, and without speaking asks her to accept that they’ve fought as hard as they can, but now they have to give up. They all then simultaneously take each other’s hands, knowing they’re on a sinking ship with no lifeboat.
To see what happens, you are going to have to see the movie.
Toy Story 3 was a great movie that illustrated life’s greatest defeats and joys in a straightforward, non-patronizing way.
Toward the end, one of the little girls sitting next to me was crying, not because she was scared or hungry or had to pee, but because she understood there was an exchange of hurt/loss/pain with joy of a new adventure/experience/life. Something was being lost and something was being gained, and she felt that. Toy Story 3 is a great movie; four or ninety-four, go see it.