My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after watching the film is that it is a brilliant film, and was a strong conclusion (I know now that it is not the conclusion, but we will get there). There is a lot of characters that were introduced, and it can be overwhelming. All of them are likable in their own way. I do like that they took a darker route with the film, and fond it very refreshing.
In the mid 2000s, there was a DisneyToons-like studio being made in Canada, called Circle 7 Animation, and because Disney had the right to Pixar characters, they could make a sequel whenever they wanted to. This is important because the studio was in the middle of making Toy Story 3 over there, before it was shut down when Lasseter closed the studio after being promoted. A month after the acquisition in early 2006, it was announced that Pixar itself was producing their second sequel to Toy Story, with no drafts from Circle 7 being used for inspiration.
There was a lot of pressure from the studio, since they did not want to make their first dud film, and sequels were always very risky to make. When they tried to use and look into the files for the earlier movies from a decade earlier, they found out that they could not edit the files, so they had to remake it from scratch, since the animation software was updated since the last films.
The story starts with a more visual approach, with the Potato Heads (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) robbing money from a train, and Woody (Tom Hanks), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) stopping them. This scene was not needed at all, and I think it was only included because in the last two films, it stared with Andy playing with them, but here, he is too old to play with them. All of the other toys are incorporated in this scene somehow, and we get a flashback of Andy (John Morris) playing with all of the toys from his mother’s (Laurie Metcalf) video camera, while You’ve Got A Friend in Me plays. We learn that the toys have been in Andy’s old toybox for years, and they steal his phone, so he can remember them. Nothing comes from it at all.
Andy’s mother tells her kids that they have to give some of the toys to the daycare, or they will be in the attic. Molly (Beatrice Miller) decides to donate Barbie (Jodi Benson), and Andy puts all of them but Woody in the donation trashbag, since the latter is going to college with Andy. You even see how Buster gained some weight, has gotten older, and is very tired when Woody tries to get him to assist him. The bag is misinterpreted as trash by his mother, and Woody runs to save them before the garbage man (who is Sid) takes them, but the other toys already save themselves. They are furious when they interpret Andy tossing them in the trash, and Jessie decides that they all should go to Sunnyside Day Care with Barbie. Woody tries to defend Andy, and tells them that they need to be there for Andy, an that they are being ridiculous. Barbie has a meltdown about being abandoned, and everyone is trying to cheer them up before finally being delivered to the daycare.
They enter the daycare, and see a bunch of kids who play with them like Andy does. When it is their recess, the toys leave their box, and introduce themselves to the veteran toys of the daycare. The leader is a care bear lookalike named Lots-O (Ned Batty), who tells them that they will be played with forever and ever, since the kids will always be replaced once they age. He tells Ken (Michael Keaton) to come out, with him and Barnie instantly forming an attraction for one another. Go figure, right? They go on a house-tour, and Ken is a bit sad because he has no one to live in his house with him, until he invites her to be with him. They are taken to another room, and Woody is still stuck on his Andy fixation, since he HAS to be with Andy, and the others refuse to, since their mission is complete with Andy, and the most important thing is that they all stay together. Woody calls them all selfish, but didn’t he go through this in Toy Story 2? Being admired forever at a museum, knowing the inevitable that Andy would grow up without them one day? And he went back to enjoy those last few moments? Maybe it is different because he already went through the phase, but it is different because Andy still WANTED to play with them. It is not like he was abandoned for years before that film. It is also different for Woody, since he has always been the favourite.
Because Buzz is on auto-mode, he is instructed to lock up his friends in some sort of jail, and he has to watch them all night. Mr. Potato Head is put into the sand punishment for the night, and Barbie shows up, only to see the horror. This causes her to leave him, and is joined in the jail with everyone else. Right before Woody leaves for Andy’s house, Bonnie’s toys tell them about the horror of Sunnyside, and how Lotso is the leader for all of the horror that takes place. A clown named Chuckles (Bud Luckey), who had the same owner as him and Big Baby, tells him how the three of them got lost after the family was taken for a picnic, and when the three returned to their home, they saw that there was a new Lotso. This caused him to be furious, and they ended up at Sunnyside, where Lotso and Big Baby corrupted the system to put them in power, and the only way Chuckles escaped was through Bonnie.
Woody makes his way back to Sunnyside, and speaks to Chatter Telephone (Teddy Newton), who has been at Sunnyside longer than most. He tells Woody that the only way to escape the daycare is through the trash, but there is a monkey that oversees all of the surveillance cameras, which is the main issue. After another rough day of play time, the toys are reunited with Woody, and they come up with an elaborate plan to escape through the daycare. Mr. Potato intentionally tries to sneak out, so he can be put back into the sand box again, so he could reattach himself to something else. Woody and Slinky Dog try to capture the monkey, and manage to do so after a lot of trouble.
Hamm (John Ratzeberger) and Rex (Wallace Shawn) stage a fight to get Buzz distracted enough, for Jessie to trap him. Barbie gets the manual, and they set him to Spanish mode, which causes him to romantically pursue Jessie. They almost made it to the trash can, but Lotso and the crew show up to stop them. Right as they are about to voluntarily go in the trash, Ken shows up to stop them, but Lotso calls him a girl toy and that Barbie is one in a million. Woody tries to use Lotso’s old toy Daisy, but it doesn’t work. Big Baby throws out Lotso (who misses Daisy), but he grabs Woody, causing everyone to go in the trash with him. Ken catches Barbie before she jumps in the trash can, to separate them for the rest of the film, since she was always separate from the group. Buzz goes to save Jessie from being crushed by throwing her to the crew, and getting squished instead. This causes him to go back to his normal self somehow, and Woody decides to save Lotso, so he can save them, but Lotso refuses to once free, causing them to approach the burning fire. The three aliens save them from burning to death via an industrial claw, and catch a garbage truck to go back to Andy’s. Losto ends up getting stuck to a truck where some other toys are for the rest of the film.
They make it back home, and Woody writes a note, telling Andy to deliver the toys to Bonnie’s house. Andy goes through each toy as he gives it to her, and hesitates to give away Woody, but does so after seeing her face. The two engage in a playing match before Andy says goodbye to the toys, and drives off to college. In the end credits, it is revealed that Barbie and Ken turn around Sunnyside for a more friendly and welcoming place, as Zurg and some others are donated, and the soldiers land in Sunnyside. A letter from ken is delivered to Bonnie’s house through her bag, while at her house, Rex and Trixie bond over their love of computer kids, and the Potato Heads adopt some of them as children. Jessie and Buzz dance to a latin version of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, and that is the end……. for now.
Before I talk about most of the characters in this season, I have to post a R.I.P shrine of our dearly departed.
I am making an entire post to talk about the Toy Story characters, because there is WAY TOO MANY to discuss in the characters section, and that has always been the case.
The animation is lovely, and you can tell that CGI has improved significantly since the last film in the franchise. The polishing looks a lot better, human characters actually look realistic and properly textured, and you can tell that the scale is a lot bigger in this film. I think everyone else expected this, so none of it is surprising.
The music is relatively the same as the first two films, since Randy Newman returned for the film. I will say that the main song is repeated, and the score does sound familiar. It is very strong, but you are not going to remember them as much as the previous scores.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on June 18th, 2010, it domestically made $415 million, and made $652 million in other territories, with an overall total of $1.067 billion. It became the highest-grossing animated film for 4 years, until Frozen outgrossed it, and it was bumped down to third-highest grossing when Minions outgrossed both. It is currently the 18th highest-grossing film domestically, highest-grossing film of 2010, and the highest-grossing Pixar film.
It was another huge critically-acclaimed film in the Pixar pantheon. They liked the mixture of loss, love, growth, emotion, comedy, and humor, claiming that it is rare for a second sequel to be successful, and continue the integrity of its predecessors. What else is there to say? I am pretty sure you heard it all.
Because it was such a huge success, it led to many accolades. It not only won the Best Animated Feature award in the Oscars, but it was nominated for Best Picture, being the third animated film to accomplish such feat, and the first animated sequel to accomplish it. It won and was nominated for countless other awards.
It’s reception today is that many people consider it to be the best Pixar film, and the best sequel in general. People are thrilled about how it concluded the series (this was before we got the announcement for Toy Story 4), and many people see this as the last good Pixar film. There is a belief that after this film, Pixar went on a slight downward trend regarding its quality, but we will get into this in the future.
= 34.5/40 = 86%
16 thoughts on “Pixar Animation Studios review: Toy Story 3”
I don’t know. For me, this is the weakest of the three Toy Story films. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it or anything. It’s just that I find this one surprisingly underwhelming. I liked the beginning. I liked the ending. But the middle with them in the daycare center just felt a little too dark for me. I don’t mind dark stuff, but I felt like the level of darkness they took with this film just seemed off-putting to me. It didn’t feel like it fit with a Toy Story movie. Like I said, I don’t hate it, and I do see why many do like it. But for me, I’ll watch the first two films before I watch this one again.
I may not be the biggest fan of this movie, but I do like how it tied things up quite nicely. They’re making a fourth movie that really is superfluous, but if they feel like they still have a story to tell (which I’ve heard will not be Andy related and will instead be focused on finding Bo Peep) and tell it in a good way, then go for it. I will probably go see it when it comes out, but I won’t get my hopes up too high.
Keep up the great work and see you next time!
I always found the first one to be the weakest because of how utterly predictable it was. I would be lying if I said I did not agree that the middle needed to be that dark. They could have done without all of that stuff.
I remember ranting about the announcement of Toy Story 4, but if it involves Bo Peep and her love story with Woody (which was always underdeveloped), I am fine with it. It is like Finding Nemo getting a sequel, but it is about Dory, so it makes it fine. Another thing that bothers me with Toy Story 4 is that people act like Toy Story 2 and 3 needed to be made, but refuse to give this film a chance.
Thanks for the comment.
Great review and yes I personally think it’s the best of the trilogy (well, at least until TS4). The animation is superbly better than its predecessors as we’ve gotten farther along in our grasp of the technology.
I’m neutral about TS4. I do plan to see it and am sure I’ll enjoy it, but I am not desiring a 4th film.
Looking forward to your TS characters post!
I agree with Anonymous. The film is just too dark and the poor characters never seem to catch a break, even when they are acting silly is because they want to save their lives.
It does have some charm, and I agree that is emotional.
They definitely could have done without the overt darkness.
I absolutely love this film. This is not only my favourite Toy Story film, but it’s also my favourite Pixar film. One of the reasons I love this film is because of how bold it is. In Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete said to Woody that Andy is growing up and he play won’t be playing with his toys forever. Pixar could have so easily have sidestepped around that and made a sequel with Andy still being a kid, but instead they decided to make a sequel about what happens when Stinky Pete’s prediction comes true. I think this is Pixar’s most mature film, as it tackles so many mature themes like change, growing up, fate, loss and family. The way the film addresses all of these themes is done brilliantly.
There are so many things I love about this film, but there are two scenes that really elevate this film for me. The first one is the incinerator scene. I remember when I first watched this film; it absolutely shocked me. The idea of the toys accepting death and wanting to face it together really got me emotional to the point where I cried. This is the first film that made me cry.
The other scene is the one where Andy is giving all of his toys away. It’s a heartfelt conclusion and it gives a heartfelt closure for both Andy and his toys. I’ve heard some people say that Andy is too young to be nostalgic, but I don’t think it is. Everyone is different, we all grow up differently and we all respond to change differently. I think the scene works because it’s Andy reliving his childhood one last time before he enters adulthood. He’s saying goodbye to the very things that defined his childhood.
As for Toy Story 4, I don’t think it needs to exist. This film wrapped up the series really well. I don’t see why they have to make a fourth film. I’m actually really worried about them making a Toy Story 4. The film was originally supposed to come out next year, but then they pushed it back to 2018 and then recently they pushed it back to 2019. The fact that they have pushed it back TWICE, tells me that there are some serious trouble with the production of this film. I will give the film a chance when it comes out, but I don’t have high expectations for it.
I do agree with the general consensus that Pixar did decline in quality after this film came out.
Brilliant commentary. They could have easily phoned it in, and while this film did not need to exist, it was nice for them to focus on what the villain in the last film was telling them. To see how the other toys handled it was very interesting, as they thought it would be much smoother in the end of Toy Story 2.
The two scenes you mentioned were the two scenes that touched me when I was watching it in theaters. Truly a great experience. Whoever said Andy is too young to be nostalgic is…… full of crap. You are never too young to miss and mourn over something you hold such fond memories to. A lot of adolescents struggle with growing out of childhood, and it is something that mainstream needs to not ignore.
Honestly, I would be lying if I said I am not nervous for Toy Story 4. When the switch with Incredibles 2 was announced, I COMPLETELY forgot that it was supposed to come out next year (and switched with Cars 2 a year ago). The people are Pixar are saying it is only because The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3 were very easy to figure out production-wise, like you said, they pushed it back TWICE. I am going to be optimistic about this film, since they did hint about the main plot in the third movie.