What happens to toys when their owners grow up? This is the question posed -- and the basis for adventure -- in Toy Story 3, the latest Pixar animated feature.

Toy Story 3 takes place several years after Toy Story 2, and a lot has changed. Andy is now seventeen and about to head off for college. His toys -- Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Hamm (Jon Ratzenberger), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Slinky (Blake Clark, taking over the role from the late Jim Varney), the three-eyed aliens (Jeff Pidgeon), and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) -- haven't been played with in years and think they'll wind up in the attic, donated to day care, or thrown out. (Several other toys from the previous movies are gone.) It turns out that Andy is bringing Woody to college and putting the others up in the attic, but the latter think they're being thrown out and all the toys end up at Sunnyside Day Care.

Sunnyside seems perfect -- kids to play with them! -- to everyone but Woody, who believes they have to stay loyal to Andy. Sunnyside's toys are headed by Lotso (Ned Beatty), an avuncular charmer who isn't all he seems to be. There's also an instant romance between Barbie (Jodi Benson) and Ken (Michael Keaton).

Toy Story 3 is a pretty good movie. Pixar always has great visual and vocal talent, and the cast once again delivers a great vocal performance. This movie also feels like a perfect end to the trilogy, hitting the emotional highs of love, nostalgia, and growing up and apart. The story meanders a bit (characters that are barely in the movie, numerous perils), and this time most of the humor feels aimed far more at little kids than at adults. Toy Story 3 is entertaining, and while it's far from Pixar's best, this is a fine finale to this movie series.
Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: