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Toy Story 3

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Toy Story

Pixar Disney 3

G 109 min.


There are a handful of movies that seem to set the standard for every other film in the genre.

Like Babe Ruth or Jim Brown in sports, Pixar Disney’s TOY STORY was what every other contender in the computer animation category will be judged by. It still is.

Amazingly enough it’s this same brand that’s risen to the bar it set for itself over a decade ago.

When the second installment came out a few years ago I’d assumed that it must be just too hard to duplicate the quality of the original. Now number three is just as good and even though you can never count out the desire to make a buck, I can’t imagine a sequel.

It’s lots more fun to make fun of a terrible flick than to find worthy praise for a great one but I’ll try.

First there’s the animation unsurpassed in the business. The toys we all remember from our youth (well most of us) are faithfully reproduced here and rendered in a near photographic manner.

It’s as if they've actually come to life. Even the 3 D which has come to be more of an annoyance these days is no distraction. Too often producers will lean too heavily on those scenes where the objects are waved in the faces of the audience.

It’s better when it’s not even noticed.

But this would be a great film without the effect; as I always contend the most important things are the story.and cast.

The cast is selected more for the characterizations than star power, though Tom Hanks (Woody) is a huge star. The others are by no means unknowns but the focus here is the voice and not a desire to use a hot young star as a selling point.

Joan Cusack, Tim Allen, John Ratzenberger, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles and Michael Keaton are all loaded with charisma, but hardly spring chickens.

There’s a great story too!

All of us can relate to growing up and leaving behind the joys of childhood. That means less time playing with the toys that brought so much happiness in youth. Still when it comes time to let them go, we’ll hesitate. I still have old toys that I just can’t bear to toss into the trash, though I don’t get them out at playtime anymore.

Now Andy is off to college and Woody and the toys are faced with a frightening situation.

Will it be life in the attic, the dreaded trash bin or a new life at a children's day care center?

I’ll let you find out, though I’ll tell you I didn't find one slow moment and the story is just as much fun, maybe more, for grownups as for kids. It’s fun and exciting, all without any inappropriate vulgarity.

To top it off is a bittersweet ending that Disney has mastered since our grandparents were kids.

It’s the best film of the season and every bit as good as the original.






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