Toy Story 3 dares to explore what happens when kids outgrow their toys. The toys, who are sentient unbeknownst to their owner, must face their fate. Do toys go to college with the kid, to the attic, to another home, or just the junk yard?
This movie explores every angle. It does it with fun, humor, heart, and even one particularly scary moment that only makes you appreciate the characters even more.
The movie integrates a ton of new characters (see the poster attached to this review) but without detracting or devaluing the established characters we know & love. And, it has a nice way of re-introducing the core characters in a very funny & exciting opening scene.
I was a little surprised that I wasn't quite moved to tears by the emotional ending. Maybe I will be upon repeat viewing in private. There is one scene, however, involving a tortilla -- yes, a tortilla -- that is so bizarrely hilarious that it triggered tears of laughter. For humorous subplots, a close 2nd goes to -- without getting spoilery -- a very different kind of Buzz Lightyear. ;)
This movie is a perfect way of wrapping up the Toy Story trilogy but could also work as a stand-alone story. It's equally great for kids & adults. Like all Pixar movies, it looks amazing.
About the only very minor flaws are that the point of the plot is driven home a little often, to the point that it feels like beating a dead horse, and that the evil Zurg doesn't make a cameo until the closing credits (I was hoping for a Zurg & Buzz father-son reunion). My only other complaint is that the movie didn't send me out of the theater "pumped" about it afterwards, but I can't deny a quiet appreciation for how well it was made.
I may change my mind later, but my initial gut reaction is that the movie deserves a letter grade of "A" which in my scale translates to 5 out of 5 stars. And, in terms of Pixar movies, TS1 & TS2 are a little lower down the list for me, but I think TS3 is 2nd only to Finding Nemo.
Letter Grade: A
5-Star Scale: 5 out of 5 stars