2010 Running time: 103 Certificate: u Rating: 5
Toy Story 3 1S 2

Synopsis

Andy is heading off to college, and his toys, including Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen), are worried about their uncertain future. After some twists and turns, the toys end up at Sunnyside Daycare Center where they meet new playmates such as Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear (Ned Beatty), a stuffy porcupine named Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), and a smooth-talking Ken doll (Michael Keaton). Once again, Pixar blow us away with a fun-filled, endearing and action-packed family hit which went on to win Oscars for animation and score.

Director

  • Lee Unkrich

Cast

  • Tom Hanks

  • Tim Allen

  • Michael Keaton

  • Joan Cusack

  • Whoopi Goldberg

Review

Post-pubescence is an oddly bewildering place.

Cherished, rose-tinted childhood memories blaze strong, while the reality of a 'grown-up' existence looms large.

As such, heading back to explore those sunny-hazed heartfelt moments is a disappointment-strewn gambit, and while that works for Toy Story 3 on a grander thematic scale, it's not unfair to suggest that many were fretting that this last hurrah wouldn't match up to its predecessors.

We shouldn't have worried however, as Pixar continue their relentless march towards cinematic perfection with themes, characters and visuals that champion a story based in childhood, yet relatable to all.

Unbelievably, it's been over ten years since Woody, Buzz and co leapt to life, and that disconnect suitably resonates on screen, as we're introduced to a toybox coming to terms with its owner's lessening interest and accelerating age.

Now 17 years old, Andy is heading off to college and confronted with deciding which toys he wants to throw out or keep in the attic. Several obligatory mix-ups later and the toys find themselves escorted to Sunnyside daycare centre; a toddler-riddled playground whose haven-like sanctuary soon gives way to a far darker secret.

As the gang make alliances and enemies with the new toys, they're left to draw on each other if they have any hope of breaking out and returning home.

On a purely emotional level, it's great to see all your old favourites back on screen. And while the heartwarming, charming relationships that made audiences fall in love with them in the first place are back in force, as much humour is generated by the new crew - a selection of blindingly colourful bestsellers from your past.

While Ken (the brilliantly effete Keaton) and Trixie the Facebook-friendly Triceratops draw considerable laughs, it's hedgehog thespian Mr Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton) who steals the show with a string of theatrical one-liners.

Ultimately though, it's the original gang's story, and while the toys have dealt with the inevitability of Andy growing up before, Toy Story 3 is laced with a poignant, touching and subtle message on how to cope with truly accepting change and the cathartic heartache involved with moving on.

Pixar's geniuses have managed to tap into that universal human emotion with dignified aplomb, all the while crafting a multi-genre masterpiece that's truly timeless (while the action adventure and prison heist elements were expected, the foreign language angle has to be seen to be believed).

A fitting, poignant close to the series, and - thankfully - entertaining not only for kids of all ages, but people of all ages too.

Elliott Noble

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