3rd 'Toy Story' is funnier than its predecessors, has more heart

Kevin Thomas's picture

*** 1/2

Some film sagas and its characters you never forget. Shrek, Indiana Jones and Edward Cullen are a few of these characters. Oh yeah, and Harry Potter, too. Another set of these people are the “Toy Story” gang. Woody the headstrong cowboy (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear, space ranger (Tim Allen) are the heads of this wonderful group, which also includes Hamm, the piggy bank (John Ratzenberger), Jessie, the cowgirl (Joan Cusack), and Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles.)

This time around, the toys’ owner Andy is 17 and going off to college, meaning he hasn’t played with his toys in a long time. Woody, however will be going with Andy to college. Everyone but Woody sees Andy’s departure as him not caring for them anymore. So, when the toys see a box going to Sunnyside Day Care, they all hop in, to Woody’s dismay. What they find there are new toys like Lotso (Ned Beatty, who’s he?), Ken (Michael Keaton as Barbie’s love interest), and many others. After Woody leaves the group to go back to Andy, the others soon discover these new friends may not be as friendly as they seemed originally.

“Toy Story 3” is the funniest of the trilogy. This is because they use dialogue as well as more visual jokes then in the previous installments. I almost cried at the end, which I never ever do in the movies. Whenever something bad happens to the toys, and bad things do happen to them here more then in the other two, you feel sad for them. The climax of the film may be scary to the very young child. I took two small kids to the movie with me and they weren’t scared. Still, one or two scenes might frighten the youngest of kids. Some babies were crying at this point of the movie.

I am always impressed with Pixar films. They keep coming up with original ideas that nobody else could. Every one (except “Wall-E”) has made me happy to see it. I expected this franchise to take the same route as “Shrek The Third” did, and I was enormously surprised to see Pixar can do the job for sequels and threequels.

Rated G for a Great Finale (P.S. Hopefully “Cars 2” will be good, stay tuned)