“Toy Story 3” Movie Review

     When a film franchise reaches the third time around, often we are left with an abundance of rehashed and recycled material which rarely does justice to it's predecessors.  I wondered if with "Toy Story 3" this would be the first time the famed Pixar Animation Studios (Toy Story 1 & 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles) would put out their first subpar film.  After all, even Pixar was entering uncharted waters having only done one sequel, the eleven year old Toy Story 2.  Fat chance.  Toy Story 3 is every bit as engrossing, colorful, and well done as any of the other Pixar Films and stands as the best film of 2010 so far.

     How much abuse can a toy take? The answers are in this delightful threequel as Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the whole gang are at it again, this time with a whole new cast of fun characters.  With Andy now preparing to leave home for college, the toys of his childhood now face an uncertain future.  Will they be saved in the attic?  Will they go with Andy to college?  Will they be donated to another child? The toys themselves are very concerned and by accident, they find themselves at a local daycare called Sunnyside.  They soon find out what doing hard time as a toy is like.

     Having been put in a room with children not old enough to play with them properly, the toys are pulled apart, bitten, spit on, drooled on, and written on each day leaving them in bad shape.  They soon find out their new toy friends at the daycare put them in the room on purpose and their stay has become more like a prison sentence. This scenario sets off the main portion of the film which puts the toys in countless funny situations in an effort to escape and get back to Andy's house.  The story is excellent and not just in a third movie sort of way.  If you are a fan of the previous two Toy Story films, you are sure to love this installment.

     The writing is as sharp as ever and the environments are absolutely amazing.  In similar style to the colorful balloons in last years "Up", the Sunnyside daycare is filled with colorful and imaginative detail.  There is so much going on in every move of the virtual camera that to catch every creative element will require numerous repeat viewings.  Perhaps the only downside to the viewing experience is the needless 3D. Because of timing, I was forced to see a 3D presentation rather than the 2D as I had intended.  The 3D does nothing for this picture and if you can see it in 2D, then save the money because you won't be disappointed.  There seems to be a post Avatar disturbing trend right now with an influx of movies not shot in 3D, but being converted to 3D in order to suck an extra surcharge out of you. Not cool. 

     People of all ages will love Toy Story 3 as I found there seems to be something for everyone.  Somehow Pixar is able to release a top quality, well reviewed classic every year and this film is no exception.  No doubt, expect an Oscar Nomination for Best Picture early next year. GRADE: A