Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Toy Story 3, or how I cried like a big man baby

Ok, before we get to the me gurning part, let me explain, I saw the original Toy Story when it came out in 95. I'm sure a lot of you did. I was 10. These characters were new and awesome, and most importantly, real. Yes, they were toys, but they really did leap off the screen and you wholly believed that they were coming to life anytime a person wasn't in the room. And I got teary eyed at the emotional bits.

I saw them again in 1999 for the sequel which was just as good if not better than the first. I myself was older and wiser, but still young enough to play with toys, and beleive in the magic of the movie. And get a bit teary eyed at the emotional bits.

Today, at the cynical old age of 25, I honestly did not expect to be taken in once again by this world. I figured I'd laugh at the jokes but the emotion wouldn't hit me as hard this time and I wouldn't get teary eyed at the emotional bits. I was wrong.

I grew up with these characters. I know that sounds like such a cliche, but it's true. So at a certain point in the third movie, the 'incinerator moment' as it'll no doubt be remembered til the end of time, when the charcters seem to accept their impending doom and agree to ride it out together, I lost it. There's a point where Buzz looks at Jessie and, if memory serves, shakes his head as if to say "There's no point, so let's just all die together" and all the remaining charcters, even Woody, join hands that I flipped. And even though my rational thinking brain knew that Pixar would never ever do this, every inch the toys moved closer to the fire, I started to think that they would. I honestly think this is the best scene in the movie, the trilogy. Hell, maybe the last five years. And when they did get saved at the last second (in a cute gag involving the Pizza Planet three eyed aliens and 'The Claw') I think the whole cinema's buttocks unclenched and they realised they hadn't been breathing for the best part of 3 minutes.

It's a standout sequence, and everything after it...well, if you didn't at least let a single solitary tear roll down your cheek then you're a f*cking robot. Andy giving his toys to Bonnie, but specifically Woody was pretty heartbreaking. But again if memory serves, Woody waves to Andy as he drives off (I think it's the last shot of the movie) and it slayed me again.

All I can say is I'm glad I had my 3D glasses on. Sob.

Anyway, enough of this mushy stuff. How funny was Toy Story 3? Answer: very. To me it seemed much more laugh out loud funny than the previous two, with a particular highlight for me being Mr Tortilla. And of course Spanish Buzz. And Ken and Barbie.

The set pieces also seemed a lot more dynamic in this than the first two. Of course computer animation has come a long way in the 11 years since TS2. The opening action scene was tremendous and allowed Pixar to go big, and they accomplished this with aplomb. However, the smaller and more intimate action beats were just as good. The whole prison break was superbly staged, never once getting boring or obvious. And the aforementioned scene at the dump was technically perfect, and incredibly exciting.

I think what Toy Story has that sets it apart from many other animations, is it's heart. You know, I'm all for cynisicm in kid's movies. You know, having jokes that the adults will get but will go over the kids heads, but if I had to choose I'd rather watch this than any of the Shreks.

So, one of animations finest franchises is now done (hopefully, another would ruin an otherwise perfect ending) and we all have to move on - the theme of the movie really - so thank you Toy Story 3. I'll be seeing you soon on DVD.

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