Reviews: Toy Story 3
Passable, but highly overrated
I seem to be one of the few people online who didn't think Toy Story 3 was some gigantic masterpiece, but a mediocre conclusion to the series, that is nowhere near as good as the first two films. I'll only list the negatives in this review: The most serious flaw with Toy Story 3 is that it's hardly any fun. Instead, the film tries way too hard to be dark, disturbing and dramatic, and the results are ugly. The scene where the toddlers cause chaos is just painful to watch. Buzz acting delusional and thinking he's a real space ranger isn't funny like the first two times; it was unnecessarily cruel here. The prison atmosphere of the movie is uncomfortable, with way too many dark and gloomy colours. Big Baby and that telephone are creepy. That screaming monkey is terrifying. The incinerator climax is predictable (come on, we all knew they weren't going to die) and it actually didn't make me feel sad for the toys. It instead made me think "Oh, gee. They're going to die. What a shame. Oh, wait. No, they're not." Another problem with TS 3 is the side-characters; to me they are some of the blandest side-characters in any Pixar movie. Characters like Stretch, Chunk, Twitch, Sparks, Dolly and the Peas in a Pod have almost no personality to speak of. Of the new characters, the only ones I truly enjoyed watching were Ken and Lotso. Another thing that annoyed me about this movie is the amount of times it references the first two films. The popular Pizza Planet Alien phrase "the claaaaaaaw!" is said THREE times, for example. These references were done purely to make the grown-up fans feel nostalgic. In a way, this movie did that, making me remember just how good the first two movies were in comparison to this rehash. The only reference I actually enjoyed was the aliens saying "you have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful!" because I actually hoped they would say it. All of this is a shame, because Toy Story 3 didn't need to be like this. The first two movies had so much charm and wit, with instantly likable characters and so many delightful scenes of heroism. This movie constantly tries to go above that by being what it shouldn't be. Bland new side-characters, a cold-hearted plot, predictable action sequences and ugly colours makes it only occasionally enjoyable for me. An overrated movie, and easily the worst in the trilogy.
A Disturbing Scene And A Slightly Formulaic Approach To Plot Hinders An Otherwise Good Movie
A long time ago, rumors started to circulate of a third installment being developed. I read that one rumored idea that it would be about Buzz being recalled and it would kind of be about his experiences with other broken toys. I waited and waited for the movie to come out. When it did come out, it was a little okay. The story is that Andy is going away to college, and through a mistake, the toys end up in a daycare. The voice acting is good, the plot makes sense, and our characters remain likable and memorable. The animation is world class. Only one problem. It's a prison movie with toys. I mean, I know it's a daycare and no one did anything wrong, but a lot of the standard tropes are still there: Convenient Cellmates (some of our characters have "cells" right next to each other)? Captivity Harmonica (though brilliantly deconstructed when someone tells Rex to keep quiet)? Great Escape? The Old Convict? Punishment Box? Wardens Are Evil (and with tragic back stories as well)? Hellhole Prison (at least if you piss of the warden)? Check all across the board. Oh, and now that I've proved my point, add in Implicit Prison as well. I'm not saying prison movies are innately bad, but when you look at it, it's a little formulatic. The other two movies at least had some originality. This movie is a little formulatic in comparison, and that's kind of what ruined it for me, Also, there is a scene in which our beloved toys almost die in the fire of a junkyard, and it is played for fear and drama. Read that again, it's not a typo. Near death experiences can be hilarious in fiction, as long as it is played out right (imagine, say, how dangerous being one of the Three Stooges must be), but when a kids' movie (that had arguably never before had any moments as dark) has our characters moments away from cruel end, it's weird at best. Prison movies with toys are not my thing. Thumbs down in my book.