I am aware that this film has been out for a while now, so I hope that you have been able to see it by now, and as usual, if you wish to avoid spoilers, you have been warned. My apologies to those in the US for whom this will have been in cinemas a long time ago, but I’m afraid its only just come out here in the UK.
—– BEWARE, HERE BE SPOILERS—–
To remind you, I did not like Up and thought it one of Pixar’s most depressing films. I was worried how their future output was going to turn out. I feared it could also be dark. So you can understand that on entering Toy Story 3, I was a little apprehensive that this could spell the end of Pixar. I had watched the trailers and found them funny, but not as original as I had hoped. The spanish Buzz struck me as a take on Puss in Boots, and after the dreamworks bashing in Up (the balloons) I was a little anxious.
It seemed I had reason to be. The plot is essentially a remake of Toy Story 2. The toys get separated from Andy, have to find their way back but are persuaded to live in owner free paradise run by an abandoned toy which then turns out to be an evil toy whose bitter with their owner for leaving them. An exciting escape is planned with the help of some of the new characters and initiated, with the villain coming close to preventing our heroes, but fails and ends up getting an owner that doesn’t love them well either. The details however are different.
I was shocked by how similar it was though. They just couldn’t come up with an original story. I get that this is different from the others, the final scenes are worth the ticket price alone and show a different side to the story that hasn’t properly been expressed. The emotion captured within those last few moments was very poignant. The closure though is a good thing, as if they can barely think up an original idea for this one, then how on earth are they going to come up with another re-working of the same story?
On the whole though, originality of the story aside, it was a good film. Much less dark than Up and funnier too. The familiar characters all return (except for Bo Peep for some reason) and are all welcome returns. The new characters are also good, with Ken being the stand out. Its not exactly an original take, but done well and to great effect. The scene in his wardrobe is genius, with his posing being fantastic. The animation is as usual, first class and a reason why Pixar will always succeed above the Madagascar’s.
The short at the start is also worthy of note, with originality abound. This was a highlight for me, with the idea being almost impossible to describe, but being absolutely flawlessly executed. This is a sign that some originality remains, but whether it can be applied to a full film remains to be seen.
Next year will see the release of Cars 2 and Pixar’s first fairy tale film with a female lead. They also have a Monster’s Inc sequel in the pipeline. It waits to be seen if Pixar can get back to their previous form. I fear they may be losing it, though only time will tell. Suffice it to say, that Toy Story 3 was a good film, if completely unoriginal. When Pixar return to ideas like rats as French chefs and monosyllabic robots, then they can once again be crowned Kings of animation. For now, the title is up for grabs.