I wrote this review for the Kingston Students’ Union Magazine Fresh the year the movie came out… And it’s still accurate today. The text has been rewritten a bit.
“This summer saw two great animation series come to an end: Shrek 4 and Toy Story 3. I haven’t been able to see Shrek 4 yet, but from what I’ve heard, it’s just about managed to save the series. Toy Story 3 on the other hand was a film we waited 11 years for! While I was working in July, I managed to get hold of a Metro and read their review of the film, entitled ‘The film that makes grown men cry’. Now I don’t know about you, but personally I felt compelled after reading this to go find out for myself if this was true.
When I was a kid, I wasn’t all that much into Toy Story. I’d grown up on Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin and the fury about this Disney-Pixar cooperation on a new animated film sounded too weird to me. I didn’t see it at the cinema and in fact, I saw the second one before the first. It was my best friend’s birthday and she’d rented the DVD. I clearly remember having to pick up on the characters’ relationships midway, but getting a good hang of it nonetheless.
Many years later I finally watched one and two in the right order, and got attached to the characters even more: Woody, because he tries so hard to be the leader and only wants the best for Andy (and also because he’s spoken by Tom Hanks); and Buzz, the newbie who has had to adapt to his surroundings in order to fit in. Then there’s all the other hilarious and endearing characters which make these films so unbelievably great.
Then the news broke of a third Toy Story. Would it be as good as the previous ones? Everyone who knows their films will always tell you that with trilogies there’s always a little let down somewhere. With Back to the Future it’s the second one, with Lord of the Rings it’s… er… the second one… With Matrix it’s, well, everything they did after the first really. But as my flatmate told me, Toy Story is the one trilogy where every episode was as good if not better in a way than the previous one.
So now to the third… The beginning of the film reminded me so much of leaving for Uni myself… The film already appealed to those of us who had grown out, partially or fully, of our childhood. While the kids in the audience just gasped and cackled their way through it, the adults in there smiled, laughed and tensed up at critical moments. It seemed the writers were playing an instrument, constantly touching another chord of our emotions. It was, indeed, beautifully played, up until the very end when Andy finally leaves and the toys… Nah, I won’t tell you if you’ve not seen it yet.
As to making grown men cry… I know I cried, but I’m a 21 year old girl who cries a lot during films. But yeah, the dad next to me with his offspring on his lap snuffled throughout the last 20 minutes and cried openly as the credits rolled down. This is truly a masterpiece worth watching again and again, then showing it to your kids in 10 years.”
And I just rewatched all three in the past couple of days, and let me tell you I once again cried like a baby at the end of the third.
The idea alone that our toys have lives of their own when we’re not there is one that makes me grin and wish it were true. I used to have so many toys as a child, countless Barbies and dolls and Playmobil and Lego and Polly Pocket… Even now I’m still attached to a lot of stuffed toys. So thinking of them becoming friends with each other, striking up relationships, being sad when one of their own gets broken or thrown out and trying very hard not to be afraid of new toys coming…
I mean when I played with them Barbie and Ken were always getting jiggy, and he’d always walk her home afterwards and give her a good night kiss or ask to come up. But what if they’d been alive? They’d probably been having a blast!!! Except that to get up into her house he would have had to climb a long pink rope. Makes getting there a lot harder and more worth it, don’t you think?
And yes I too grew up and started playing on a computer more than with toys, and sold some Barbies and only kept the prettiest ones and their clothes (have you seen the new Barbies? My children ain’t playing with those!); Playmobil, Lego etc have been passed on to my younger cousin or sold and I hope they were happy being used again.
My stuffed toys are all that’s left in my grown up life, and I swear whenever I wake up and they’re all on the floor it’s not because I kicked them out, it’s because they had a secret meeting, or a party, and then they were too tired to get back up under the covers.
Well that’s what I think, then again I’m still a kid somewhere, even if I just turned 24…
P.S. I hear a Toy Story 4 (And Finding Nemo 2 is in the works… Watch this space! )
Pictures from: fanpop.com, justpressplay.net, google.co.uk, allpostersimages.com