It is a rare occasion where I go to see a movie more than once. That is usually reserved for my geek movies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, James Bond. You know, the epic movies that demand more than one sitting to drink everything in and also because I was so geeked out to see it the first time that I missed out on half the stuff. Well, with this movie, I did not see it just once. Or even twice. I saw it THREE TIMES. And guess what? Each time I saw it, it was just like seeing it for the first time. And I had the same reactions and same emotions every time I saw it.
I grew up watching the Toy Story movies. I was 11 when the first movie came out and could still relate to playing with my toys even though granted it had been a few years since I had last done so. After watching the first movie, my sisters and I were convinced that our stuffed animals came to life when we were gone so sometimes we would sneak into our room to try to catch them in the act. They were very sneaky and never got caught. When the second movie came out, I deemed that to be the best Pixar movie ever. We had just gotten into our Star Wars stage, so the scenes involving Fake Buzz and Zurg acting out Empire Strikes Back were just hilarious. Plus the entire movie was just wonderful, with the right mix of humor, emotion and wonderful animation. Even after seeing Ratatouille, Up and Wall-E, I still held a special place in my heart for Toy Story 2 to be at the top of my list.
Until Toy Story 3 came out. It had been 11 years since TS2 came out. Would the magic still be there? It definitely was and more so! My sister and I went to see it on opening night at 10pm to avoid any kidlets in the audience. The theater was packed. There was actually only 1 kid there. I would say that the audience was mostly 20somethings and other adults.
Almost all the voice actors from the original movies came back. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen ARE Woody and Buzz. I mean when I watch the movie, I hear their voices and I just seem them in their characters, if that makes any sense. I love Ham, John Ratzenberger really shines as him (as opposed to just having cameos in the other movies). With the new characters I loved Ken! OMG absolutely hilarious and if you saw it, you know why! And Mr. Pricklepants! I wanted more of him. He was played by Timothy Dalton...my favorite 007! I want a movie starring Mr. Pricklepants!!!! I absolutely loved how they used the same voice actor who played Andy as a little boy and brought him back to play him as an older teenager. And this might sound weird, but Andy grew up into a hottie! He is definitely going to get some girls in college!
The movie is just FILLED with humor. There are just so many scenes that I can't even begin to mention them all. The entire audience was cracking up several times. Oh Spanish Buzz was a hit with everyone. Did you know that the dance scenes were choreographed by Tony and Cheryl from Dancing With the Stars? There are also several Star Wars references. The biggest and most obvious is when Big Baby lifts Lot-so over his head to throw him akin to Vader picking up the Emperor in ROTJ. Actually there are several Star Wars references in the first two movies that match up to the number of the movie and the trilogy. Email me if you are interested because I would get too dorky on here.
I don't want to spoil the story for the few of you that still haven't seen THE MOST AWESOME MOVIE EVER but I will say this. That scene involving the hot, possibly tragic part? Based on that scene alone, the movie should have been rated PG. I mean, it was INTENSE. I was sobbing during that scene. I mean there was so much emotion going on and the fact that such a mature subject (potential death) was being accepted by the characters. This is where Pixar shines as no words are said at all, but from just the expressions on the faces and the music really connected with the audience. I seriously had no idea how in the world they were going to escape. I knew that the worst couldn't happen because there was about 20 minutes left in the film and they couldn't possibly OFF them. But still, how in the world were they going to get out of this one? When the resolution happened, the entire theater burst into cheers and applause. We also let out a collective sigh of relief.
And then the ACTUAL ending. OMG. Tears, tears and even more tears. The entire audience was sobbing, I kid you not. There were a bunch of 17-18 year old GUYS sitting next to me that were sniffling. The last 10 minutes of the movie are some of the most emotional stuff I have ever seen in a movie. Still not spoiling things but from when Andy's mom sees the empty room, to the slight pull away at a reach, to the last little wave, I sat there silently with tears streaming down my face. BTW, this happened during all of my three viewings. This movie made me really understand what it's like to grow up and accept change. It also made me feel horrible for getting rid of my toys. I wanted to drive home to my parents' house and find my old toys and go out and play with them.
With this movie, Pixar has cemented its place as an absolute landmark in movie making. And I don't mean with just the animation. Don't get me wrong. It is top notch. The movie is bright and colorful. The toys look so real now compared to 15 years ago in the first Toy Story. I didn't see the movie in 3D (was told it wasn't worth it) but just the 2D was eye popping. No, the real magic in Pixars works is the writing. They have the BEST writers working on their movies. This is why almost ever Pixar movie has also been nominated for BEST SCREENPLAY. How many other animated movies get that honor? (Dreamworks, I'm looking at you. Your next few offerings look horrible. Although I'm not too sure about Pixar's next movie....Cars 2. Really? Cars was my least favorite one.)
I will close this out this review by saying, if you haven't seen this movie yet...WHY NOT???!!! If you are an adult you will enjoy this movie. If you are a kid, you will enjoy this movie. But I think the people who will get this movie best, are the 20-somethings. This is our movie. We grew up watching the first two, and the movie makers made this movie for us. It is the animated classic of our generation. Just bring tissues. And Lots of them.