Disney and Pixar have done it again. Toy Story 3 opens with an action packed scene in the old west with all of the old classics. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Hamm, Slinky Dog, Rex, Jessie, Buzz, and of course, Woody. The suspense is at its peak when we are taken to Andy’s bedroom. He is a little boy and he is just as we remember him from years ago. Flash-forward via camcorder montage to present day. Andy is getting ready to go off to college and the first thought I have is “My, how you’ve grown! You’ve gotten so big!” As if I were watching a real child grow up and go off to school.
The toys are in remarkably good shape considering it’s been ages since we’ve seen them last. In the same old toy box from the days of yore, the group is devising a plan to get their kid, Andy, to want to play with them again. If they are very lucky, they will get to accompany him to college. In a clever trick using the house phone and Andy’s cell phone, the toys make one last-ditch effort to gain back the love Andy once had for them.
When faced with the question of what he wants to do with those old toys, Andy tosses Woody in a box marked “College” but puts the rest of the toys in a black garbage bag. While Andy’s original intentions were to take the toys up to the attic, an inevitable turn of events leaves the toys on the curb, dreadfully awaiting the garbage man. Woody races to their rescue and is swept up in the mix and taken with the rest of his comrades to be donated to daycare.
Upon arrival, the group is welcomed by the other toys with open arms. Lotso, the huggin’ strawberry-scented bear, comes out to act as tour guide for the toys and acts just as sweet as he smells. With his buddy for life, Big Baby, he shows the toys around and promises them that they will be played with everyday from here on out. The clan is filled with glee at the thought of being played with and start to accept this new reality.
Woody wants to stand by his kid because even though the rest of the group believes that Andy intended to throw them away, Woody knows it was all a big misunderstanding and that Andy really does love them.
Throughout the rest of the movie, the audience meets a slew of new characters, some friend and some foe. Notable voices include the charter members of the movie. Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as Rex, John Ratzenberger as Hamm and Laurie Metcalf as Andy’s Mom. Some of the same from the second installment return as well. Estelle Harris as Mrs. Potato Head, Joan Cusack as Jessie, and my girl Jodi Benson as Barbie. The same Jodi Benson who voiced Ariel in The Little Mermaid and more recently played Robert’s assistant in Enchanted. I was simply ashamed of myself for not picking out her voice before the credits rolled.
Newcomer to the trilogy, Ken, is voiced by Michael Keaton. Ken is dimwitted and hilarious and a welcome addition to the movie. One of my favorite bits in the film was when the team has to help Buzz come to his senses and discover a highly comical defect in his factory settings.
Get your tissues ready, ladies and gentlemen, because my eyes were not dry at the end of this delightful little romp. The movie is fun, touching, full of laughs, and will surely remind you of those dusty old toys in your attic.