>I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting much from this film. I was never rocked by the first one or its sequel. I never had a Buzz Lightyear outfit and I never had a sheriff’s badge with Woody on it. But, I went to see it anyway.
On first glimpse, the film looked cool. It starts out in the middle of one of Andy’s games with all of the usual characters taking their parts in an outlandish Western/thriller/sci-fi fantasy. But soon after you realise this is a flashback and we join our inanimate heroes in the modern day where Andy is a teenager off to college and they have been forgotten. Every character spends the rest of the film complaining how they’re never “played with”. It may be my own inner child at play, but I just couldn’t help giggling each time they said it. Taken out of context, the Toy Story soundtrack could be any conversation between a few male friends on any night of the week.
Anyway, that’s the premise. With a few little plot bits here and there, the toys essentially just want to be played with again. They end up at the Sunnyside Nursery where an evil “Lots-o Hugs” Bear makes them do their time in the toddlers. Beatings ensue but of course they escape and there’s mayhem throughout.
But basically it’s a heart-string tugger made to make you feel nostalgic. It works in places but the toys’ rejection complexes get a bit annoying as the film goes on. They feel left out, we get it, now move on! But our favourite inanimate objects are having an existential crisis and it’s crammed down our throats. The plot’s aimed at adults, that’s for sure, and the kiddies will be able to marvel at the colours and pick up on the sad bits without really understanding it.
I desperately wanted the film to end (about five minutes in, actually) when the toys are nearly incinerated and we have a genuine moment of camaraderie and emotion. I would have left the film utterly happy and probably crying if that had been true. But of course they survive with some lame-ass deus ex machina to save them. The film ends with everyone happy and well rounded and utterly unsatisfying for anyone with an IQ in the double digits.
The 3D is a shameless gimmick that the director forgot about after the first three minutes. Still, props where they’re due, the animation is obviously top notch. And, if we’re talking about strengths, the movie takes a decidedly dark turn and manages to maintain it despite the rest of the schlocky Disney crap. The baby with the broken eye is particularly creepy if you ask me, and a clown with post traumatic stress disorder is impressive. A few homo-humorous moments are given to a Ken Doll which are mostly for the adults. And you’ll be trying to pick out well known actor’s voices throughout (watch out for Timothy Dalton as a thespian hedgehog).
Overall not bad. It’s funny, I’ll give it that. And I’ve seen wors. But it’s basically an unnecessary film geared at making the next generation of kids buy merchandise.