Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toy Story 3 (2010)

While, as far as the Toy Story trilogy goes, I still think Toy Story 2 is the king. But that doesn't take anything away Toy Story 3, which is also great. Very few companies beside Pixar would be able to take a threat from Disney (first to make Toy Story 2 into a straight-to-video release, and this time to simply take the Toy Story characters, which they own, and just make their own Toy Story movie) and make something that is so close to perfection. And its sort of hard to put into words what makes Pixar so much better: sure its the deep emotional beats. But what they manage to do is make a movie that is smart and actually "for everyone" from the beginning. Not just make a kids' movie and then have some of the characters make jokes about, say, taxes, so that they parents can have an occasional laugh. There is a moment nearing the end of Toy Story 3 where some of the main characters realize that in spite of everything they've done, there is no way out of the fatal trap they have found themselves in. In any other kids movie this would be a time for comedic panic, or confessions of long held personal secrets, or make dramatic statements that end up being ironic later. Here the characters make a silent pact to accept their fate, hold hands, and wait and wait and wait. That, for me, is 1) what makes this a great ending to the Toy Story trilogy and 2) what makes Pixar great. Sure, a couple times they skirt some kid movie conventions, even using a couple old songs to sell jokes a couple of times, but in the end it doesn't take away from the overall impact at all. I haven't heard this much sniffling in a dark movie theater at the end of the music, I think, since the end of Milk.

It also has the best "henchman betrays his boss and joins the good guys" moment since, probably, Return of the Jedi.

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