I went to see Toy Story 3 for the second time this week. While Dreamworks, in How to Train Your Dragons outdid itself, Pixar proceeds to one up them again by outdoing itself in Toy Story 3. I mean, there’s no denying the plot is enjoyable. It’s a plot that never stalls, but until the final half hour, just keeps on giving. It also keeps on twisting—rarely, does anything go perfectly for the toys in their missions. There’s nothing groundbreaking here in the plot, especially as rather then trying anything new, it just pays one homage to jailbreak movies after enough, but damn it’s fun.
-spoilers from here on out-
What truly makes Toy Story 3 stand out is the emotional maturity that the film reaches. Toy Story 3 is ultimately a film about letting go, growing up and moving on. In a way, the conclusion of the toys’ story mirrors that of Andy. He is moving onto college, where he will be meeting unknown people and territory. The same happens to the toys, they have to move on as well, ending up in Bonnie’s home. The toys end up extremely happy, and we can only hope the same of Andy at college.
What helps add to the emotional depth is when the toys are faced with the fact they have to move on, they all have different reactions. Woody stubbornly resists out of loyality, Jessie wants to skip town rather then get hurt again, Rex will do whatever it takes to return to happier times, and while I could go on, it’s easier to say that each one of them has a very human reaction, and the wide variety makes it feel more real.
Toy Story 3 effectively broaches that moving on often means saying goodbye, and for this, they don’t hold back. Even though we know the toys are going to be happy, it’s still a very bittersweet moment when the toys and Andy part. There’s no around the parting, there just comes a time when we have to say goodbye to, well, everything. It’s hard going to college, and I really felt for Andy. No matter, whether we leave everything we’ve known, or the people we know leave us behind, there is going to be that goodbye moment. The scene where Andy’s mom says goodbye to her son…I still have a few months before I go, but I’m going to be 2 ½ hours away from home, and it’s hard to explain the looks we exchanged with each other. I think we could relate.
Toy Story 3 even confronts the ultimate goodbye. Death. I think my favorite scene from Toy Story 3 are the toys bravely awaiting their end, holding each other to comfort them as well as their selves, and awaiting the worst. It’s a short, but powerful scene.
This movie has been popular with other people of my graduating class, and I think it speaks a lot to us. I can’t speak for anyone else, but frankly, as excited as I am to go to college, I’m also terrified. Toy Story 3 was powerful for me, partially because it addresses everything about letting go of a past life and moving on to a new one. It then ends with the messages that ‘It’s scary to do, but it will be okay in the end. I think it will be, for me.
There were many other things I enjoyed. Having recently watched the previous two in preparation for the third, I enjoyed all the references to the earlier films. Pixar has a wonderful, quirky sense of humor, and as everything was top-notch, so was this. I really liked the appearance of Totoro, and the seeming homage to Miyazaki. It seems appropriate, Walt Disney inspired Tezuka, who made manga (which led to anime) popular in Japan, one of the most beloved animators of anime, Miyazaki, inspired and is friends with John Lasseter of Pixar, who would rise to be one of the greats in America, and now they paid homage to Miyazaki in their masterpiece. It’s a never ending circle of inspiration and love! Pixar’s really popular in Japan as well. I loved every moment of Totoro, I thought his character was well done.
If you haven’t had enough of Toy Story 3—and I sure haven’t, be sure to check out this link here! These people point plenty of easter eggs and fun facts.