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Toy Story 3

Old Toys, New Tricks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Toy Story put Pixar on the map. Toy Story 2 solidified its dominance in CGI animation, as well as storytelling. And rest assured, Toy Story 3 completes a near perfect trilogy, a feat rarely achieved. Everything that made the first two exquisite is back in the third and itís a fitting conclusion for Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang.

Theyíve been through many adventures, but this one is the end of an era. Their owner, Andy, is going off to college ó and a young adult has no need for mere toys. Whereas the loyal Woody will do everything in his power to remain under Andyís care, whether in his room or in an box in the attic, the rest of the gang are prepared to do anything but end up in the dump.

But itís neither that holds their fate, instead theyíre donated to a local daycare. There they meet Lotso (Ned Beatty), who introduces them to a world of constant play and no heartbreak. Unfortunately, thatís only a shade of the truth. Instead, theyíre the objects of toddlersí wrath, not a childís love. Soon theyíre in a race for their lives, as they seek to return to Andyís house before he leaves for college.

Whereas in the first two films we got to know Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang, this one isnít centered on character development. Instead itís a bittersweet goodbye as the toys realize their owner has outgrown them. Itís a film about transition, about taking that next step. While it may not be the most exciting of the three, it may be the most touching.

Itís a fond farewell to a cast of characters many of us have grown up and grown old with. They ushered in a new era of filmmaking and itís humbling to see that theyíll go out in a blaze of glory rather than fading into oblivion.