Toy Story 3
Pixar's third instalment reaches satisfying resolution
Sooner or later, everyone grows out of their toys. It’s been over a decade since the world fell for Pixar’s much loved Toy Story and the superior Toy Story 2, so a third instalment, arriving long after its audience has grown up, seems, at best, ill-timed. Remarkably it’s anything but, for Toy Story 3 retains the charm, good humour and surprising pathos of the first two films, while bringing all the characters to a satisfying, final resolution.
Ten years after the events of Toy Story 2, Andy is now leaving home for college. His mother packs the toys in cardboard boxes and donates them to Sunnyside day-care centre, to spend their declining years being played with by some boisterous nippers. With Sunnyside presided over by the plush, strawberry-scented Lotso Bear (Ned Beatty), it initially seems like the toys have landed on their feet, but when Lotso reveals his darker side, it’s up to Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) to rescue the toys from the prospect of a trip to the incinerator.
Toy Story 3 does have a few lapses of taste, with the gags involving Ken and Barbie, the humour is a little cruder and more stereotypical than usual, but it sticks firmly to the Pixar formula of accomplished gags (the best of which sees Buzz switched to demo mode, leaving him talking in fluent Spanish for much of the action) and unsentimentally-wrought pathos (the grim resolution on the faces of the toys as they prepare for incineration is unforgettable).
With even new characters like Lotso Bear, a patriarchal double-dealer straight out of Tennessee Williams country, proving as interesting as old stalwarts Woody and Buzz, Toy Story 3 satisfies as the final chapter of a much loved tale. Arriving after effective experiments in genre WALL-E and Up, Pixar’s knack for creating polished, gleaming and delightful productions make Toy Story 3 look like what it should do – child’s play.
General release from Mon 19 Jul.