And this movie works so well because it has a little bit of everything. In some ways these toys are timeless - they still have the same personalities and fun adventures, even if Andy is all grown up. But it's also about moving on to a new stage in life. And because of that, it appeal to everyone. Kids love it because it's Toy Story, adults can relate to it if they have or have had kids, and teens and young adults relate to the the growing up part. In 1995, when Toy Story first came out, I was 7 years old - about the age of Andy and other kids that played with toys all the time. In 2010, when the third film came out, I was in my last year of college and ready to move on with a new part of my life. Seeing this time tie all of that together for me was extremely emotional.
It's still got the same old good humor, though, and some fun new characters. Barbie returns, but this time she is also joined by Ken. This duo is one of the best aspects of the movie - very hilarious! There's also Lotso, our new villain, a supposedly lovable bear. Woody is as tough as ever, determined to stay with Andy and be loyal to him no matter what kind of life it might mean for him. The others, however, are ready to move on. Their great escape from Sunnyside at the end shows that they really do all want to work together and be together in the end, though. Oh, and Buzz's Spanish mode is pretty funny too.
The emotional part is the ending - well, actually, two parts of the ending. If you haven't seen the movie you should probably stop reading, because I'm going to give some details. When the toys are in the junkyard and it looks like they're headed for a fiery death, it's full of excitement and suspense, but then it seems like there really is no way out. I definitely thought the movie was just going to kill them all off, and the toys think so too as they join hands and prepare for death. Just thinking about it makes me tear up. Seeing that resolve to just stick together and not struggle any longer is very powerful. Amazingly, they do get saved. Then, the ultimate ending is very sad, but happy at the same time. Andy gives his toys away to a little girl that will love them and play with them. Seeing Andy part with his toys that he has loved for so long is a very hard thing to deal with. We've known these toys as Andy's toys for fifteen years. It's easy to relate our own childhoods to this moment. But in the end it's right, and it couldn't have ended more perfectly.
Bottom line: definitely the best Pixar movie to date, and one of the best Disney movies as well.
Kind of a recap of songs heard in the other Toy Story movies, including "You've Got A Friend in Me." And the Spanish version of that song, making for a cute ending moment.
Our bad guy this time is Lotso, a strawberry scented bear that has grown sour and evil after being abandoned by his kid. He takes it out on the other toys at Sunnyside by pretending to be extremely kind and welcoming, but sending them to basically be tortured instead. In some ways he's kind of similar to Stinky Pete: he seems nice but turns out to be bad. Lotso runs everything, and isn't afraid to destroy the toys that want to leave. The worst part is the end, though. Woody absolutely saves Lotso's life in the junkyard, and Lotso repays them by basically sending them to their deaths. It just goes to show you should never pity the bad guys. Did he get what he deserved? Eh. He has to ride around the front of a garbage truck all day. It could be a lot worse, and there's plenty of potential for him to escape, though let's not think about that. Something a little bit more might have been fitting though.
The WDW Connection
See Toy Story.
Becky's rating: 10 out of 10
Jason's rating: 10 out of 10