So, I hadn’t gone to watch a movie in a long time, and it was between Toy Story 3 and a whole league of predictably awful movies. Karate Kid looks especially menacing to me, Will Smith’s son seems extremely smug and loathsome, and maybe he too will carve out a niche playing unlovable superheroes all his life. But that’s not the point, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Pixar and was reluctant to watch another movie about, above all things, some dumb fucking toys. How old am I, 7? Finding Nemo and Up!, to me were exceptional and in a class of their own, comparable not only to their animated peers but more so human and emotional than a lot of the rubbish out there. But Wall-e, was an unforgivable crime, it was a pathetic robot who made stupid noises and whose movie had themes that were completely manipulative and in-your-face, I did not care for any of that and would have rather saw Kung-Fu Panda, for all of its silliness, another 12 times.
But I guess Toy Story 3 did well, or at least, did no harm. It’s a perfectly OK way to spend a slow weeknight, and although the end result is mediocre, predictable and leaves no mark on me as a viewer, there were some very strong, and commendable moments that I thought belonged in a much more serious, darker and essentially more adult movie. The characters, Woody and Buzz especially, whose rocky tale of friendship made the first Toy Story such an enduring piece, are now relegated along with the rest, to tell a story we’ve all heard and seen before. Of toys being abandoned,I guess that does touch upon some things that divert from the fun and escapism of the film as a whole, mainly that Andy is going off to college, and the toys find themselves with an identity crisis, a wobbly purpose, until all of this is resolved very casually, and up to the end even I was amazed they could rely on this “toy abandonment” as the primary arc for a whole movie, a movie that is the already the second sequel, and a follow-up to a something (Toy Story 2) which already dealt with and used that whole abandonment topic for Jessie’s (the cowgirl, voiced by Joan Cusack) backstory.
But this was no doubt a deeply hilarious movie, with none of the cheesy, childish humor you’d expect from a typical Shrek disaster, and it is beautifully rendered, full of colors and bright characters, and amidst all the chaos and amusement, as I said before, there were moments that I feel truly show how far and advanced Pixar has progressed from the rest. Everything is fluffy, comical, but there is a scene, which I won’t spoil, but its towards the end and involve something really hot, and in this moment, the characters say nothing, and ponder to each other, and I know they are, still, just dumb fucking toys, but all of the love, despair and emotion poured out of their stupid, plastic eyes and I found this moment unbearable, I wanted to stand up, shout WHAT THE FUCK! and run out a weeping mess. The realization and what’s implied here, is done so subtly,that I feel it negates all that is just tolerable about this film, the fact that the writers and Pixar have gone the distance, with this powerful act, to risk it on such a valuable franchise and a movie many 6-year olds will be watching, is what film and art itself is all about.
And of course from here, the film quickly reverts back to its old, lighthearted self, and the final scene does a wonderful job closing the story of Woody & his friends, there’s Andy and his toys, and a great and touching message about letting go and moving on. To finish, I felt it was a good movie, but nothing to truly shout about, it was an adventure tale that was all about the adventure, a lot of mental hu-ha that inevitably adds to nothing, but the characters were served well, and of course Tom Hanks was in it, so that for me immediately sets the standard, it’ll make you laugh a lot, Barbie and Ken’s “It’s as if we were.…made for each other!” and the sad clown nearly killed me, and you’ll cry a bit, but inevitably this is no Finding Nemo, Up! Or The Incredibles even, it’s just another movie about toys, made up mostly of the stuff you’d expect a movie about toys to have.