After the jump:
Disclaimer: I’m not a professional movie critic, or a professional writer…or even a decent writer, so don’t take this shit too seriously.
First off, I’d like to say that the digital short Pixar packaged with the film, Day & Night, was in itself one of the best pieces of animation I’ve ever seen. I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about animation and cartoons in general on this site, it probably makes up over half of the content I put on here. How they used their revolutionary CGI animation to enhance the primary focus on traditional animation was nothing short of brilliant. Like the rest of the audience, I sat slack-jawed in awe of how great the filmmakers of Pixar are at their jobs.
I saw the first Toy Story in 5th grade, and like anyone else seeing the first feature film to be presented entirely in CGI, it blew my fucking mind. Through the years, there have been Pixar moments that have evoked more emotion than an animated movie should have been capable of (Anton Ego’s review at the end of Ratatouillie, the opening sequence of Up). Toy Story 3 was bursting at the seams with them. The opening is a nostalgic mind-fuck, with a theatrical homage to the opening of Toy Story that immediately yanked me back to my childhood and left me with that same sense of admiration I had back then.
As the opening sequence progressed, I realized it wasn’t just Pixar’s amazing animation that made such a lasting impression, it was also the fact that the main characters were so removed from reality (inanimate objects, animated), yet they had so much character. Until this film, the human characters were secondary characters that primarily drove the plot and the ensuing reactions of the toys. It was refreshing that Pixar left no stone unturned and gave us a more thorough look at the dynamic of the fatherless family and the memories that they have shared with us over the years. Twenty minutes in, and I already felt like I knew them again.
The rest of the film was what we’ve come to expect from Pixar. It was well-written, performed beautifully, visually stunning, and superbly scored. Other animation studios have tried to get the formula down, but they’re still light years away (yeah, totally just did that) from Pixar’s core ability to produce a great film…animated or not. People in the theater were cheering, laughing, crying, it was fucking ridiculous. You just don’t expect that level of emotion out of an animated film or any movie nowadays for that matter.
The ending was exactly how a trilogy should end. You didn’t see it coming, it had you assuming it would go in a different direction, then it gave you an ending just as perfect as Pixar’s #1 opening track record.
If this is the last we hear from Woody and company, they couldn’t have been sent off in a finer fashion.
Final Rating: Good shit. I actually wrote a review on this movie, so obviously I think you should see it.