Monday, June 14, 2010

Toy Story 3: Incredible!!!

I got a call the other day from Disney wanting to know if I was interested in recieving some passes for an advanced showing of Toy Story 3. Of course I saud yes and was excited to see the passes were not just for a preview showing, but it was in IMAX 3-D!!
Immediately after work on Monday, I RAN out the door, met my family in the parking lot and took off for the movies! We got there about 45 minutes early, which turned out not to be early, but "just in time" according to the man at the door. There's hardly any room left.
After a short wait, the movie began and wow! it was something to behold! The trailer for Tangled looked a little overdone in 3-D, but the cartoon short, Day & Night took two standard concepts and completely turned them on their ear to present a story that worked for everyone in the family, with humor that worked on different levels.
Toy Story 3 worked well in the 3-D format. It wasn't overdone or gratuitous, and seemed to be very natural about 20 minutes into the movie. The cast of characters was smaller than in the previous films, but allowed for enjoyment of the characters than in the previous films, too.
The story begins with Andy, practically grown up now and about to leave home for college. His room is being claimed by his little sister and his mother says some things have to go- either trash, attic, or donate. Andy chooses to put his toys in the attic (which Jesse and Bullseye are willing to deal with this time), but he wants to take Woody to college with him. A mishap has the toys sent the way of the trash but a last second escape turns into a trip to the Sunnyside Daycare via the donation bin. There, they are befriended by the toys of Sunnyside, led by Lots O' Lovin' Bear. Some great physical comedy of young children "playing" with the toys convinces Buzz and the others the daycare is not all it was promised to be. From there the movie moves from one escape to another that each has you wondering "How do they get out of this one?!" The movie ends in a very sentimental sequence that does a great job of closing the Toy Story trilogy. Definately see this film if it was on your "maybe" list!

I don't know what Lawrence Toppman of the Charlotte "Disturber" will say about the picture. I told him on the way out "You'd better like this one." and he stops and says, "Oh, really? And what if I don't? What are you going to do about it?" What if you don't? The answer should be obvious- you lose credibility! Toppman actually told me he didn't feel the third film measured up to the first two, but even a "B" effort by Pixar was still above what other studios turn out.

Technically, this film is superior to the first two- the people are better rendered, the rubbery skin on Barbie and Ken looks authentic- the 3-D as I said earlier isn't gimmicky. The story is more action-packed and suspenseful than the firs two, and maybe not as heavy on the comedy but it does deliver plenty of laughs. The thing this film does is really cover the range of emotions from funny to bittersweet sentmentality which isn't always a bad thing, especially with this picture.

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