Toy Story 3/ Day and Night
Bring out the Kleenex! Everybody’s favourite toys have now ended their 15 year journey with the final instalment in the Toy Story series… in 3D!! It was obvious after Up that Pixar were on a winning streak and twinned with the already successful Toy Story formula they could do no wrong; and they haven’t. Despite it being the dreaded second sequel, which is usually a bad game of Russian roulette for some franchises, Pixar has maintained the same quality in this instalment that gifted instant success to the previous two films. Toy Story 3 is an emotional and exciting final journey for Woody, Buzz and the gang which sees Andy, their very long time owner, finally grows up and has to make a decision about the fate of his beloved friends.
The toys are lonely, they don’t get played with anymore, Andy is soon going off to College and spirits are at an all time low. While packing for college a miscommunication between Andy and his mum results in the toys being sent away for donation while Woody, having been saved by Andy, honours his duty to his fellow comrades and begins a rescue operation which takes them into the seemingly tranquil Sunnyside Nursery; it turns out that the name is a bit of cruel irony as Buzz, Mr & Mrs Potato Head, Jessie, Rex and the others find it hard to survive the clutches of the nursery’s warden, Lots O’ Huggin’ Bear, and his henchmen. The story is pretty solid but it doesn’t match up to the first film but I wouldn’t expect that from a third outing so it isn’t much of a flaw; the action flows well and it was still exciting…oh and it’s in 3D!!
The usual suspects are in it barring a few old favourites like Bo-Peep and RC as Andy’s toy collection dwindles a bit towards the end. Although Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Woody Allen) maintain their title roles all the characters get some more screen time and some pretty hilarious moments. Keep an eye out for the Mr Potato man/ tortilla wrap scene, it’s a classic! The baddie this time around is the deceptively friendly looking Lots-O’, he is more of a tragic enemy who proves to be pretty dangerous, but nowhere near as scary as his dolly sidekick who reminds me of the mutant spider-doll from the first film. There are a few other famous toy cameos that were somehow missed in the first two films but really work well in this one…And they’re all in 3D!!! Did I mention that already?
Ahem if you haven’t noticed I have been commenting on 3D in Toy Story 3, now I know it seems rather bitchy to criticise the 3D as it doesn’t ruin or take anything away from the film at all, my problem with it is that it doesn’t add anything to it! I nearly forgot I was in a 3D movie as it played such a non-existent role in the visual aspect of the film. I would have taken the glasses off had I not been greeted with the usual Andy Warhol-esque blur when you look at the screen without them. Toy Story 3 would have looked just as good in 2D, it’s just an excuse for cinemas to lure us in with 3D!! advertising and pocket more of our cash. If you do find a 2D showing then I would recommend you see that one and save your money from the clutches of the evil capitalists! Okay rant over.
Toy Story 3 uses some of the best themes from the previous two films to culminate the series with the themes of abandonment and when the gang have to make a choice as to where their allegiances lie. Their journey springs quite a few surprises along the way and features some genuinely heart warming scenes, as well as some very hairy ones that from what I could see kept a lot of the kids (and adults) at the cinema on their toes. I won’t spoil in the ending from those who haven’t seen it but put it this way, I felt heartless for not crying! Everybody else in the Dundee Cineworld had little shame in bawling their eyes out however, as when one person in the back row started blubbing a concertina effect hurled over the aisles; by the end of the film there were quite a few red eyes and tissues. I wouldn’t say it is a deeply emotional film and when set apart from the other films you wouldn’t even feel a hint of emotion when watching the film, it’s just the characters have been with cinema goers for a decade and a half now so naturally people are sad to see them go. It’s a testament to how talented Pixar are at tapping into people’s hearts and minds with their unforgettable, pixellated characters.
The end of Toy Story truly marks the end of an era when the world was introduced to an entirely CGI made world that in its day wowed audiences, was so groundbreaking and made for a real cinematic spectacle. These days CGI is pretty much the norm and some films fly past viewers with little notice (e.g. Christmas Carol, Cloudy, With a Chance of Meatballs) and few challenge Pixar’s acclaim in the medium. Toy Story was the platform for an entirely new medium in animated film and raised the technical bar for CGI in general throughout the film industry. For me Toy Story 3 is more than just the conclusion of a successful series but it is an end to the original computer animated series.
So hats off to Pixar for completing one of the most successful film series ever on a high note and maintaining the standard of quality for three straight films, an achievement that few achieve. It is not the best in the series but is a fitting farewell to films beloved family characters. I just hope you save the pennies and go see the 2D version!!! Not quite as impressive is it? I wonder now what Pixar will do to replace it now? It’ll be interesting to see how the company develops without its signature franchise, but judging by its other successes I’m sure Pixar will do just fine.
No it’s not the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie, it’s Pixar’s new short film. I feel it deserves a mention as I thought it was made of sheer brilliance and is much better than watching Tom Cruise for two hours. You will see it just before TS 3 and, in short, it is a whimsical and beautiful short piece. It features two characters, Day and Night, who are essentially silhouettes that show images of their respective times of day. Night is jealous of Day and of all the exciting things that happens when he’s around and this culminates in a conflict between the two sides with spectacular effect. The characters are mute and there is no narrative that explains the story other than what is happening inside the two characters but it communicates its message clearly and intelligently while also making it accessible to the kids. I won’t give anything away but all I will say is that it is nothing like you’ve seen in the cinema before; the best way I’d describe is a cross between Norman Mclaren animations and Warner Bros cartoons. I’ll leave it to you to see for yourself but let us know what you thought of it by commenting below.