*Directed by Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3 features a storyline which sensibly reflects a passage of time since the previous episode.
Thus, we have an almost-grown Andy Davis (John Morris) who, at 17, is preparing to leave for college.
As he packs, he’s prompted by his mom (Laurie Metcalf) to pick which of his personal belongings he wants to keep, and which he wants her to toss in the trash.
This process generates considerable anxiety in the lad’s motley menagerie of toys, because he apparently hasn’t played with any of them for years. Among the anthropomorphic army are astronaut Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Rex the dinosaur (Wallace Shawn), Hamm the piggy bank (John Ratzenberger), the Squeeze Toy Aliens (Jeff Pidgeon) and cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks).
Andy’s decides to take only Woody with him to school, and after a comedy of errors involving his mother and sister, Molly (Beatrice Miller), the others end up at Sunnyside Daycare Center, a seemingly-benign institution which secretly shreds and incinerates old, unwanted toys. Luckily, Woody becomes aware of his pals’ predicament, so he sneaks into Sunnyside to help them escape.
However, en route to that daredevil breakout we’re treated to such delightful diversions as the hysterical sight of Barbie (Jodie Benson) being seduced and betrayed by a sexually-ambiguous Ken doll (Michael Keaton), and the equally-hilarious serenading of rough-and-tumble Jessie by the suddenly-suave Buzz who’s accidentally been reprogrammed to a Spanish-speaking mode.
Still, Toy Story 3 is essentially an edge of your seat roller coaster ride which gradually ratchets up the escalating tension by racing headlong from one crisis to the next. Of course, this heartwarming, modern fable is ultimately resolved in a manner designed to deliver a shamelessly-sentimental lesson about the value of true friendship, loyalty and cooperation.
A fitting finale for a Disney trilogy guaranteed to resonate with kids of any age for generations to come.
Excellent (4 stars)
In English and Spanish with subtitles.
Running time: 103 Minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
4-disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack extras: DVD and digital copies, “Day & Night” theatrical short, featurettes entitled “Toys,” “Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs,” “Paths to Pixar: Editorial,” “The Gang’s All Here,” “A Toy’s Eye View,” “Studio Stories,” “Toy Story Trivia Dash,” “Cine-Explore,” “Beyond the Toybox,” “Beginnings,” “Bonnie’s Playtime,” “Roundin’ Up a Western Opening,” “Life of a Shot,” “Goodbye Andy,” “Accidental Toymakers” and “Making Day & Night,” and more.
To see a trailer for Toy Story 3, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNMpa5yBf5o
To order a copy of Toy Story 3 on DVD, visit: