Toy Story 3 Blu-ray review
The cowboy doll and his space ranger friend were Pixar’s first heroes, and the studio gives them a proper send-off in the last part of the Toy Story trilogy. The idea of growing up and letting go runs across the film like a tear mazing its way down your cheek. The sight gags, in-jokes and one-liners rattle through at the same entertaining pace; it’s just that this time, there’s a lot of darkness in there too.
With their owner Andy now college-aged, the toys’ situation is achingly sad. Their ranks slimmed down by yardsales, the toys go through the routine of preparing for Andy to play with them – which he never does, because he’s now an adult. It’s the Twilight conundrum made actually moving: how can you bear to love someone who ages while you always stay the same?
But it’s not all heartbreaking metaphysics. The meat of the film is a thrilling Great Escape-style breakout, and one of the most convincing (and devastating) heroes-in-peril scenes you’ll probably ever see. Just make sure you’ve got someone nearby to hold your hand, because things are going to get very dicey for your favourite band of plastic (and rag) brothers.
Some domestic confusion ultimately lands the toys at Sunnyside Daycare, where genial Care Bear-alike Lots-O’-Huggin is the king of the toybox. Woody makes his escape to find Andy, but Buzz, Jessie and the rest remain, hopeful of a new life full of playtime. Instead, they wind up in the toy equivalent of a concentration camp: forced to work till they break while Lotso and his cronies police the joint and play poker.
New locations let the film bring in new characters – and from a himbo Ken to the sinister Big Baby squeaking “mama, mama” as he pounds his fist (a dead ringer for Sloth in The Goonies), they fit into the Toy Story world as though they’ve always been there. In particular, there’s a sadistic chill in Lotso’s turn from embracing father figure to cruel commandant that makes this a starker portrayal of human (well, plush) nature than most films supposedly aimed at adults.
Give the gang a big hug. We’re going to miss them all.