Could this be the greatest sequel ever made…
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn & John Ratzenberger
Directed by: Lee Unkrich
Screenplay by: Michael Arndt, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich & John Lasseter
After yeas of living in Andy’s bedroom, the time has come for Woody and co. to move on, with Andy heading off to college. However, the toys inadvertently end up at a day-car center where at first all seems okay until the seemingly kind ‘head’ toy Lotso Bear reveals his true colours.
Has it really been 15 years since Pixar came along and introduced the world to Woody, Buzz and co. in the first ever computer generated, animated feature film. Amazingly it has and in those 15 years, Pixar has been top of the animated tree year in year out, wholly defining the word consistent. So with this in mind, it should be of no surprise that their latest picture, Toy Story 3, bringing them back to where it all began, is yet another masterclass in beautiful animation, great storytelling and flawless characters.
Of course, Pixar already confirmed they could handle a sequel just as well as an original story with Toy Story 2 back in 2000, a sequel that managed to match its predecessor in pretty much every way possible. But a trilogy closer is always a difficult proposition and only so many manage to pull it off. Thankfully though, Toy Story 3 not only comfortably sees the toys go out on a high it also easily lives up to the previous chapters. Sure there can be no denying that the film essentially just offers new variations on plot devices from the previous outings, but its done with such care and conviction, they prove utterly joyous to watch. Take Buzz for example who once again succumbs to a malfunction but this time it comes with an hilarious Latino twist that leads to the film’s biggest laugh-out-loud moments.
Toy Story 3 isn’t all about big laughs however. In fact this is the most grown-up entry yet. The toy are foced to confront the very real possibility of a future without there owner Andy – who is preparing to leave home for college – thanks to the genius move by the writers to allow real time to pass in the toys’ lives. Also, in one particular sequence near the film’s climax, the adults in the audience are left on the edge of their seat whilst the kids are left screaming hysterically, as our heroes desperately fight to escape a trash-processing facility. A scene of such intensity it probably has no right to be in an animated family movie, and yet its just simply another example of why Pixar are so good at what they do.
Any sequel worth its salt needs fresh and exciting characters and with the additions of Ned Beatty’s devious Lotso Bear and Timothy Dalton’s delightful Mr. Pricklepants in particular, we are given just that. Michael Keaton’s Ken meanwhile quickly becomes the scene-stealer with his constant complaining about not being a girl’s toy and his hilarious fake poses. But fear not, Hamm still grabs the best lines with his usual dry-wit and the rest of the regular gang are never sidelined.
Theirs clearly no stopping Pixar with 11 peerless pictures now firmly under there belt. Toy Story 3 is a joyous, thrilling, poignant conclusion for some of the best-drawn characters to ever grace the screen. Don’t forget the tissues