Contributed By Sim Yee Tat
After an 11-year absence from the big screen, the third installment of the Toy Story franchise returns with a bang (in 3D of course). Spruced up with better effects and a well-crafted story line, it also features familiar characters such as Woody (Tom Hanks) the sheriff and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). The movie begins with Andy cleaning out his room before heading off to college. A mix up ensues and the toys end up at Sunnyside day care, where most part of the movie plays out.
The movie does not deviate from the tried and tested formula used in the first two films: A steady blend of adventure peppered with nuggets of hilarious and heartwarming moments.
The visual effects of the movie co-produced by the much-heralded combination of Disney and Pixar are reason enough to buy a ticket. Eye-popping 3D CG was masterfully used to augment the experience while not distracting from the actions.
Director Lee Unkrich, perhaps considering the shorter attention span of the younger audience, timed the film perfectly. In fact, it drew comparisons to the similar directing styles seen in Pixar’s animated works like Ratatouille and Finding Nemo. There is never a dull moment as Unkirch balances emotion and excitement with the finesse of a tightrope walker.
We are introduced to a new group of toys at the Sunnyside day care. Unfortunately, like awkward newcomers, the toys led by Lotso the Bear (Ned Beatty) had a hard time fitting in with the old favorites.
Overall, the movie is good entertainment for the entire family with its ability to enthrall both children and adults alike. For those who grew up with the franchise, you will find yourself reminiscing childhood memories where toys were not just playthings but cherished companions. For the young, talking toys are certainly a dream come true.
But beneath the technological achievement that Toy Story has become lies a very human message: that is to cherish the things we have no matter how small they seem to be.
Indeed, Toy Story 3 is a fitting conclusion to this three parts, 15-year epic. Farewell Woody and Buzz.