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Toy Story 3 (2010)
Three for Three!
Sequels by definition mean very different things to very different people. Sequels are met with sighs, gasps, cheers, dollar signs and more than often "wtf?" This is because sequels notoriously never quite (or at all) live up to their originals, it is a sad fact that some of your favourite films have more than likely be ruined by inferior siblings. Films such as Speed 2: Cruise Control and Ocean's Twelve spring to mind as two films that we could all do without ever seeing and no doubt omitted from numerous stars résumés. The secret lies in recreating the magic that made the 1st film such a hit and for many directors, writers and studios it is something they all too frequently fail to achieve. There are exceptions to the rules, as ever, and every so often sequels manage to muster together enough cinema gold and give birth to a sequel that is on par with its older sibling and on that rare special occasion a sequel that I dare say is better than its predecessor. Films such Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Aliens, Clerks 2 and X2, have all shown that sequels can be just as good or even better than their originals. Further down the line the dreaded threequel and numerous non-direct sequels plague the video-store shelves covered in dust and outlandish quotes engraved on the cover claiming to be "better than the original" or "if you loved Mega Piranha, you are going to love this". They are an inevitable evil in this world that tarnish the name of its forbearer that we must live with, Shrek The Third, Spider-Man 3, Stars Wars: The Phantom (JarJarYouAlmostRuinedStarWarsBinks) Menace, The Godfather 3, Alien Resurrection etc, a horrible list that goes on and on. Which brings me somewhat fittingly to the matter of Toy Story 3, a sequel, a threequel , so is it any good? Rather simply no, to call Toy Story 3 simply good would be both an insult to Pixar and every 20-something who 1st watched Toy Story 15 year ago because Story isn't good it's brilliant.
11 days is a fairly long time, 11 months is almost a year and 11 years seems like a eternity for some but that's how long it has been since Toy Story 2 graced our silver screens. In those 11 years gone Pixar have released no fewer than 7 films, in which we have seen superheroes, cars, monsters, rats, a flying house, fish and a very special robot light up our picture houses but not since 1999 have we seen the return of Toys until now. Initially my reaction was "oh no, they are going to ruin Toy Story" but then I reassured myself with the notion that this is a Pixar film after all, and while I will admit that I am not a huge fan of Cars, Pixar are pretty much 10 for 10. Furthermore we only have to look at Toy Story 2 and see that lightning can strike twice in the same place, and if anyone was going to make lightning strike for a 3rd time it would be Pixar.
What you have to admire immediately about Toy Story 3 is just how accessible it is to both devoted followers now in their twenties and the new generation of booster seat lovers. Moreover how the parents are the ones that are dragging their kids and not vice versa, as trust me I think I can safely say that I will not lose any sleep over missing Shrek The Incontinent come its premiere in 2022. Toy Story 3 picks up with the gang minus a few members in the same bedroom that we met them in 15 years ago but now resigned to the toy chest. Andy is all grown up and off to college soon, the bedroom we once knew is now a distant memory and now that of a teenage boy. During the clear out of his room ,Andy comes upon the toys he adored so much as a child and is met with a difficult decision of what should become of the toys, attic or rubbish? But of course things don't go to plan and the toys wind up at a day-care and in true Toy Story fashion it is up to Woody to convince the gang that they don't belong there and need to return to Andy before he heads off to college.
While the story may feel familiar, as you may remember in Toy Story 2 the gang were trying to make their way back to Andy after Woody was mistakenly picked up at a garage sale, it doesn't feel old or rehashed one bit. Written by Pixar genius John Lasseter and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton, the series regulars appear to be both new and refreshing while instantly familiar as if they had never left us all. Woody is still loyal as ever to Andy despite being neglected for some time now, Mr and Mrs Potato Head still fighting like a newlywed couple, Hamm sarcastic as ever and Jessie still showing signs of a underlining fear of neglect. In which lies Toy Story's emotional core, the themes of friendship, loss and moving on. Whether we like to admit it or not we don't like change, we get used to things the way they are and when that changes, it's sometimes hard to admit that a change has occurred. Woody has always had a issue with change, ever since Buzz turned up on Andy's bed and that fear of change still carries weight throughout Toy Story 3 as Woody tries to convince himself and the group that they need to get back to Andy
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