Here's what Pixar gets. It's about story. It's about characters. It's about heart. As a brand, as a company, as a collective of absolutely genius filmmakers, Pixar understands - if you build it - and build it right - then they will come...in droves...and over and over.
Even at a midnight screening for Day 43, after working a full day, watching Knight and Day at the Fox lot for Day 42, rushing to get that post up, and then racing to see this in IMAX 3D at the very first, earliest screening (so I could actually make time today to prepare proper for my friend's wedding), I found Toy Story 3 to easily be the best summer 2010 tentpole experience by leagues, and one of the very best films of the year.
The adventure this time finds Andy preparing to leave for college. Our gang of toys - Woody, Buzz, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, and the rest - end up donated at the Sunnyside Day Care Center, where they're used and abused by the rowdy preschoolers and the resident toy inmates (headed by nefarious Ned Beatty as the not-so-cuddly Lotso bear). In grand prison-break movie tradition, the toys plot their escape so they can make it back to their beloved owner before he heads off to the next stage of his life.
The resulting film dazzles with its epic sequences (an extended chase through the junkyard is stunning and surprisingly dark) and an upgraded visual style that shows off a new and more fluid version of the toys you've grown to love (who knew Buzz was such a sprightly flamenco dancer?). I'm not sure it's better than 1 or 2, but it's a fitting part 3 conclusion, with grander ambitions in its design and a thoroughly emotional, satisfying end - filled with real wit, genuine humanity, lots of earned tears...and something valuable to say.
Should you see it? Absolutely, and with good friends and family. I saw it with my buddy Mike, who swears by the 2nd installment...and I might agree with him in a way...the emotional impact of Jessie's montage in that film, and the accompanying "When She Loved Me" tune is hard to top. But this one packs a doozie, too, and really, Pixar's made a classic each time out. Which one's your favorite, and why?...I've got 10 free Fandango Bucks movie tickets that have been burning a hole in my pocket for awhile now, so definitely, let me know on the Pixar question in the comments below, and I'll randomly select 10 winners by next Friday so you can see any summer movie you'd like!
Toy Story 3, Pixar
What I think Pixar did absolutely epically during this franchise is this: Timing. Impeccable timing.
When the first two Toy Storys came out, I was the same age as Andy. I had toys just like he did, and they were every bit as real to me as they are in the films.
And then the third came out when Andy's 17-18ish and going to college and faced with the difficulty of deciding what to do with said childhood memories.
I am 18, and I went off to college. And I was faced with the exact same problem. Saying bye to Woody and the gang was like saying an official bye to my childhood so to speak, Andy was growing up and moving on, and so were my friends and I.
I love UP because you will never find a better movie than this. An old man who lost the love of his life is living by himself in need of fulfillment and finds it with a little boy named Russell who is in need of a role model since his dad can't fill the void. Russell with his persistence gets to embark on a once in a lifetime trip with grumpy who finds a life meaning finally, after his wife's passing. Thanks to doug and kevin they get home safe with a memory that will never be forgotten. Other close notables: Toy Story Trilogy, Finding Nemo, and the Incredibles.
Tie for me between Up and Wall-E. I love the Toy Story films, too, but I can't get through either Up or Wall-E without losing my emotional marbles. Pixar's stuff is always primo, but those two are my favorites.
I enjoy the original toy story the best! The hidden humor is hilarious and its always fun to let your inner kid out occasionally. The sequel was pretty good but I hated how unoriginal certain parts were, like Zurg announcing that he was Buzzes father, etc. I havent seen number 3 yet but I am looking forward to it!
Buzz, Woody and the Gang only recently arrived at our house with our 3yr old daughter. Sometime last year, her best buddy, a six-year boy, gave her an old Buzz costume and a well-worn Toy Story DVD. We watched the DVD together, 2 times, and Toy Story Mania hit the house. Her buddy then lent her TS 2, which we spent weeks watching. I was impressed with the new characters and depth and left thinking, "this is not the average part 2 movie". After a few weeks, I think I liked it more than TS. Tonight, the fam went to see TS 3. It was an awesome experience as far as seeing a movie goes. We laughed, cried, gasped, laughed and cried. It is hard to have a favorite Toy Story but tonight? Toy Story 3 is my favorite
My favorite Toy Story is definitely the sequel so far. Where Toy Story was simply a (very good) buddy comedy, there's definitely some real heart and the pathos in Jessie's story really got to me, even though I wasn't really that old to understand most things of that gravity just yet.
My favorite Pixar installment, though, is probably The Incredibles, which not only has great family values instilled but it also coincides with my penchant for comic books and superheroes. I also love the visual stylization of all the characters, from Mr. Incredible's massive chin (the classic hero-jaw) to Edna Mode's tininess. Hilarious! By the way, Edna Mode also talks about my greatest comic book superhero pet peeve: capes. No capes! It's not practical!
How to pick just one? I love them all, but the one I watch over and over (partly because it's my kids' pick) is Finding Nemo. The friendship that grows between Dory and Marlon is a joy to behold, and the dentist's niece Darla still strikes fear in my fish-loving soul, even though I know everything will be okay in the end.
I liked the Incredibles since it wasnt like that emotional and had some action but it still had that Pixar touch to it
My favorite Pixar scenes - 1) the haunting images and soundtrack at the beginning of Wall-E as the camera pans back to reveal what has become of Earth; 2) the silent montage at the beginning of Up (mentioned by trailerfan) always brings tears to my eyes; 3) the 'define dancing' sequence in Wall-E (beautiful music and visuals); 4) and for laughs its the John Ratzenberger drive-in movie montage at the end of Cars featuring Toy Car Story, Monster Trucks Inc., and A VW Bug's Life!
"Up" - that silent montage of the Fredericksons' lives together is powerful stuff!
The first one is still my favorite, but I think I like 3 just a smidge more than 2. However, 3 wouldn't have the emotional impact it does without the first two.
And keep up the great work, Chuck. You're nearing the halfway mark!
While I actually own Monsters Inc, I think Finding Nemo takes the win for me. There are so many lines that are fitting in everyday life "Nemo touched the 'butt'" or "you guys made me ink." I mean, there are just so many great lines!
Oh, I can't wait to see this movie...and I've read nothing bad about it, which is amazing! It's hard for me to pick a fav Pixar, but I really love Toy Story 3, closely followed by Wall-E
Great review -- this is another film that I'll have to get my boyfriend to go to, but he usually liked Pixar films, so it shouldn't be *too* hard! As for films, I think that there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Finding Nemo, but my favorite would have to be Monsters Inc. I just really liked how they changed from being scary monsters to realizing that things could be accomplished in another way and how Boo just wasn't scared of them at all! Oh, and UP is great too... I absolutely LOVE the opening sequence that tells the backstory. I could watch that part over and over and over again!
My favorite has to be by far Finding Nemo. One of the original creators of Pixar is from my hometown, went to my highschool etc. and nothing reminds me more of the creativity and magic of Pixar than this one. Of course I love that it is also a creative, funny and intelligent film that fully shows off the magic of animation with the beautiful ocean sequences. Love Pixar, and I always will!
I loved that Pixar worked a lot of classic movie scenes into this film. My favorites were when the Bear did the 'spends a night in box' sequence from Cool Hand Luke and the Baby throws the Bear down the garbage pit like Vader throwing the Emperor down the shaft in Return of the Jedi.
As a mom, Toy Story 3 touched my heart like no other movie could. My son was born in 1994, the year before the first Toy Story, and he grew up with Buzz and Woody. Seeing Andy prepare for college and pack away his toys and little boy things, hit far too close to home. My son is 16 and looking at colleges, so he is living Andy's story. This movie had me crying so much my 3D glasses were sliding off my nose. What a great conclusion to the Toy Story trilogy. By far Toy Story (all of them) are my favorites. What a great job of writing and animation with an unforgettable story of characters we love!!!
Definitely Monsters Inc-no Pixar characters stand out for me more than Mike and Sulley. Billy Crystal and John Goodman bring such life and fun to them, and their friendship can be hysterical and touching at the same time. Mike's blank, bug-eye stare gets me every time.
I love the Toy Story movies (I cant wait for Toy Story 3) but my favorite Pixar movie is a hard choice because I love them all and it has to be Monsters Inc. Sure the movie doesnt have as many touching moments like Up, but Goodman and Crystal put their voices to good use in this movie. The jokes are really good, the story is really good and the animation is as beatuiful as always. I know its weird to say that Monsters Inc is my favorite even though Up and Wall-E are more straight to the heart movies, and I really do love movies like that but I perfer to laugh and Monsters offers more laughs then the others.
I love Toy Story I grew up on them now being the same age as Andy It was really hard letting them go in this third installment. But I have to say as far as favorite pixar movie Wall E wins with the Toy Story trilogy being a close second. Wall E was just to sweet and cute and somewhat dark don't know why but Robots always will win my heart.
Thanks for the invite, Chuck! Yes, I'm a huge fan of Toy Story 2, and Jessie's montage is still one of the best animated scenes ever created. Another scene in that film that doesn't get mentioned enough is the montage of Geri the Cleaner repairing a ripped and well-worn Woody. An incredible sequence of detailed animation & music. I'm amazed TS2 didn't make your buddy Erik Davis' list of the 5 Best Pixar Films!
I had a few issues with Toy Story 3, but I agree it's the best film I've seen this year so far, very funny & poignant. I also really enjoyed the short film Night & Day before it. Very unique concept, very well done. Thanks again!
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