Toy Story 3 (2010)
I feel the need to preface this review with my personal relationship to the Toy Story franchise. This is a series that is absolutely loved by basically everyone. Whether you are talking to the casual audience or critics this is a series that seems like it can do no wrong. Yet for whatever reason, these are not films I have gotten much from. There is not a single film in this franchise that I have come close to loving and overall they just don't work for me. In this third edition into the series Andy (John Morris) is packing up and leaving for college when he has to decide what to do with his old toys that still are near and dear to his heart. He decides to keep them at home in the attic but through a series of events, his mom mistakes them as trash. Just before they get thrown away they are able to escape and due to believing Andy wanted to get rid of them they make it into the donation box going to Sunnyside Daycare. Once they get there everything seems like it's going to great yet they quickly notice something is up and have to develop a plan for escape.
Before I get into what didn't work for me about this movie and piss everyone off let me get through the things I actually liked because there were some things. The voice acting is really solid, by this point so many of these actors have such iconic characters and they are able to jump right back into them. Especially Joan Cusack as Jessie really stood out to me, sure people like Tom Hanks are really good but so much of their emotional arc is told through the visuals in this movie. Jessie is very vocal though about her pain and just in her voice, you can feel the emotional depth her character does have stemming from her background which we learned about in Toy Story 2. The animation is also pretty solid, it's crazy seeing how much development has been made just in the past 9 years as so much of this animation lacks a weight to it but I can't hold that against the movie as it had to work with the technology of the time. What I do love about the animation is the creativity in it. Similar to the Cars franchise I love seeing this word through the lens of these toys and seeing them have to figure out how to interact with the world around them.
The emotion in this film is also really hit or miss for me throughout but I will say the final few scenes which have now become iconic do hit really well. They are bold and do not go how most films like this would go. I don't want to get into spoilers with these but the relationships between these characters are clear and effective in these scenes and the very final scene has one of the most effective fake outs I have ever seen in film. I will also just say that personally, I am really bad with goodbyes so the ending does hit me personally just with who I am no matter how well crafted it was. It just adds another level that I think these scenes are quite well crafted.
Now onto my issues, most of which come from the plot and story. It makes little to no sense especially with some of the choices from the characters, a quick example would be with Woody. These characters have now known each other for at least 15+ years but they no faith in him at all and call him a liar despite him gaining nothing from what would be the lie. It just grows from there as more and more plot holes and frustrating ideas form that infuriated me. I know this is a kids film and I can respect a weaker built plot for that but this got a Best Picture nomination, so many regard it as one of the best films of the decade and when I see so many elements of the plot that are just not well done or built I fail to understand why this connects with so many. I also find the layout to make the movie feel rushed, there is very little build here as we jump very quickly between the mindsets of getting to the daycare to escaping the daycare which also was a big reason I failed to get engaged with the movie. It's not even that the film is really short clocking in at around 109 minutes but it just needs more time to really flesh out the story they are trying to tell. The score also feels out of place and distracting, if I was to listen to it outside of the film I would enjoy it quite a bit but it is so powerful that I found it distracting in so many moments. It kept taking me out of the film and what was going on which made it a negative in the context of the movie.
This is not a movie I completely hate but it's not one I get much from, maybe its because I lack nostalgia with this series and these characters but up until the final few minutes that really pick up for me this was a struggle at times to get through. I don't like these movies and don't understand why they are so liked. If you are someone who likes these films then more power to you, I just know I would donate them to a local daycare if I could.