Pixar’s original and most memorable film series reaches its climax in this 3rd installment of Toy Story. Last time we saw Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and co, Woody was stolen by a toy collector and made new friends in Jessie the cowgirl (Joan Cusack) and Bullseye the horse. But he also realised that one day, Andy (John Morris) would grow up and be setting off for college. In this installment, that harsh reality is finally realised, and after much deliberation, Andy decides to take Woody with him and put the other toys in the attic. But then Andy’s mother (Laurie Metcalf), donates the other toys to Sunnyside Day Care Centre, with Woody ending up accompanying his friends whilst trying to save them.
Once Andy’s toys reach the Day Care Centre, they meet many new ‘friends’ such as Lots-O’-Huggin Bear (Ned Beatty), Big Baby, and for all you Barbie (Jodie Benson) fans, Ken (Michael Keaton). Woody however would rather try to return to Andy and ends up having to go alone as his friends refuse to listen to him. Woody’s attempt to return to his master is thwarted when he is found by Bonnie (Emily Hahn) who treats him like all kids should treat their toys. Unfortunately, the rest of Andy’s toys learn the hardway why Woody refused to stay when the children at the Day Cay Centre are too rough with them, and they find that they have been set up for this by Lotso. Andy’s toys attempt to escape with Buzz trying to lead a rebellion against Lotso, only for the neglected bear to capture him, and turn him back into space-ranger mode. Things look bad for Andy’s toys, and only Woody can save them, egged on by Mr. Pricklepants the Hedgehog (Timothy Dalton) and Chuckles the Clown (Bud Luckey). So Woody heads back to Sunnyside to rescue his friends, but Lotso is determined to stop them, culminating in a spectacular battle at the local dump.
The original and the best, Toy Story is just as popular as it was when the ground-breaking 1st installment was released in 1995. The 2nd installment, released in 1999, only went on to build on the success of the 1st film. There is an amazing influx of new characters in this 3rd installment, all of them weird, wacky and wonderful in their own special way. As well as Beatty, Dalton and Keaton, Bonnie Hunt and Whoopi Goldberg to name a few also make their 1st appearences in the Toy Story franchise. It would be a travesty if Toy Story 3 is not in anyway as successful as 1 and 2, for I feel it is just as good as the 1st 2 films put together.
It is not hard to tell that over a decade has passed since the last installment of Toy Story as many of Andy’s toys are now gone, sold, donated or dumped. Of the original characters, only Woody, Buzz, the Potato Heads (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris), Rex (Wallace Shawn) and Hamm (John Ratzenberger) remain, with Blake Clark assuming the late Jim Varney’s role as Slinky. We all knew this day would come, and don’t we know it, but there is always going to be another kid like Bonnie to take in those toys who have survived. Or on the other hand, the toys can just make a break for it while no-one’s looking. But all in all, Toy Story 3 maintains the charm of the 1st 2 films, and reminds us of the importance of growing-up and moving on.