Artificial Continuum

Friday, June 18, 2010

When it comes to sequels, bad things typically come in threes. In many cases two great films are ruined by a third that loses the charm the original two had. For this reason, the very existence of Toy Story 3 was a worrisome idea for many people. However, Pixar's near perfect track record was sign of reassurance. Yet despite the obvious worries, Toy Story 3 defies expectations. Not only is the film exciting, entertaining, and cheekily philosophical, but it is a genuine emotional tour de force.

Picking up almost thirteen years after the second film, Toy Story 3 follows Buzz (Tim Allen), Woody(Tom Hanks), and the gang as they wrestle with the concept of an owner that may not need them anymore. Through a series of events, the group lands at the deceptively playful day care, Camp Sunnyside, which is run by a seemingly lovable bear Lotso (Ned Beatty). However, loyalties to each other and to owners are tested and the toys must undergo their greatest, and most likely final, adventure.

Toy Story 3 is living proof that Pixar can make almost any film work. It is obvious just by glancing at popular culture that Pixar did not need to create a movie of this caliber for it to be a success. They could have easily issued out a product as mediocre as the third Shrek movie, but instead we are granted with not only a fantastic film but perhaps the best of the series.

Like the first two films, Toy Story 3 is expertly animated. The first movie pioneered computer generated animation for years to come, and this third and final film pays perfect homage to the original in that respect. The design is colorful, detailed, and has surprising detail.

Toy Story 3 is also expertly voice acted. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen do a wonderful job at portraying their characters. There is not a single star in the cast that is a let down. Every character works and brings the, sometimes surprising, necessary emotional payoff.

The film is also surprisingly funny. More so then any other Pixar creation, Toy Story 3 has a bizarrely clever and brilliant sense of humor. Told through a manic sense of energy and timed perfectly with the plot, the antics of Woody, Buzz and the gang will have you in stitches. Although there are the expected poop jokes, they are minor and utterly eclipsed by moments of pure comedic brilliance.

However, where Toy Story 3 really succeeds is in its story. Not only a success comically, the film does a perfect job of building off its previous installments to intensify the emotions. The plot is told with turbo charged energy and excitement and is thoroughly entertaining throughout. While paying homage to great prison break films, the action feels real and oddly intense. While the entire film is a great time, it is truly in its surprisingly dark and emotional third act where Toy Story 3's brilliance shines through. Mixing feelings of dread, nostalgia, heartbreak, and hope, the movie stamps such an emotional impact upon you that you cannot possibly leave the theater unscathed. It touches not only the inner child inside all of us, but stirs up deeply philosophical themes of mortality and death.

Toy Story 3 is a near perfect film in every way. However ,whatever flaws it has are eclipsed by its moments of pure brilliance. With its creation we now have our first truly great animated trilogy. Not only the best Toy Story film, but perhaps the best film you will see this year.

Score: A+


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