What we thought was the end.
Toy Story 3 is a good movie, I like the way the series has progressed but I have a few nitpicks if you can even call some of them that. It's a beautifully animated movie with just as much heart and care put into it as the last two movies, I got invested into it, I enjoy it, but there's some off things I need to bring up. Okay so we flash forward after a great opening by about 6 or 7 years, Andy is now 17 and headed to college (guess he was really good in school), and his poor toys have not been played with in years. Through a series of events our lovable lot get whisked away to a daycare center, and all seems well. You know, until it's revealed as a prison that would make Alcatraz look like a pleasant vacation spot, forcing our friends to try to find a way back home. I have no issue with this scenario, it brings up a lot of truths in this world for these characters, and the daycare setting is a brilliant idea for the toys to travel to. We meet a few new characters, Barbie finally meets a Ken whose even voiced by Michael Keaton (Yaaaay!), a few toys who might as well be a street tough gang from an 80s movie, and our "warden" of the daycare Lotso. I....ooh, I really don't like this bear. I hate him with a fiery vengeance the world has not seen for millenia, which is odd because villains have always been my favorite since the beginning but this fffffflip flappin bear is a massive prick. And his story tries soooo hard to elicit sympathy but garnered nothing but contempt from me, basically he was a happy go lucky bear yet somehow was left accidentally and instead of this kid's parents going back to get him they replace him, and he goes from Care Bear to controlling psycho in the span of oh about 5 seconds. He really does run the daycare like a combination of the warden from Shawshank and Jackie Treehorn from Road House. I swear if they sold legit toys of him I may have to take the Shaq-Fu angle and dedicate my life to destroying every one of them. The hate was so real, it damaged my love of the movie. I really don't want to watch this movie again and all because of a jerk bear. I guess that's a good villain if they can pull that sort of reaction out of a person but God, I need to take a woodchipper and a tank of gasoline to that bear for me to feel better. But I dig the whole prison escape feel the movie has for a good majority of it's length, and sweet Jesus does it get dark at that climax. I mean. Whoa. I'm not saying it's too dark or it's going to severely screw your kid up but even I was shocked to see it get that bleak. But if Don Bluth has taught us anything as long as the movie has a happy ending you can do whatever the hell you want with kid's emotions. Speaking of endings, this ending...sort of perplexes me. The fact that Andy was fully ready to take Woody to college with him seems well, stupid. I had favorite toys I held onto even to this day, but I didn't need to take them to COLLEGE with me. And when he introduces all the toys to a little girl, who I swear is the most pwecious thing in human existence, and has one final playtime I just, ugh. I'm not saying it's forced or contrived or even bad. But seriously, what is this ending? Even on my first viewing of this movie which I will freely admit I did not see opening day, nor did I not see it when it hit video, hell I didn't even see it until about 3 years after it came out when I was in highschool, the ending didn't do much for me. Oh sure, it's a touching and very bittersweet ending but if Andy came by, told the little girl about them and then left with a bittersweet but ultimately happy expression on his face, I'd pretty much call it perfect. Maybe it's too sweet that I practically got 5 different types of diabeetus from it, and maybe I'm an old cynical bastard that doesn't like anything anymore, but I still enjoyed it. But I mainly blame it on the bear. I should have seen stuffing shoot out in 80 different directions when he went through those cutting blades. Why am I so angry?? I don't know! Toy Story 3 is a good movie, I still recommend it, I give it a solid 3 stars, it just had elements that, shall we say diminsihed my enjoyment factor. Other than one character, and one ending, I very much liked the movie, maybe not loved but certainly not hated. All that's left to say is, this is not over bears!!
But how will Toy Story 4 impact the series? It ended the best way it could, so is the fourth movie going to be a completely unnecessary sequel and a quick cash grab, or is it going to be a welcome and fine addition to the series? Tune in tomorrow to find out.