Toy Story 3

Voiced by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusak and Don Rickles. Directed by Lee Unkrich.
Rated  PG. 103mins.

Over 15 years, Pixar, the revolutionary animation production house, has given us 11 feature films including A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and Up. These films have been as popular with adults as they are with children.

Among the most popular has been their Toy Story series, and Toy Story 3 does not disappoint. It is terrific.

Andy is now 17 and is packing up his room as he prepares to move to University. He has to decide what to do with his childhood toys, to take them, throw them out or put them in the attic. Andy decides to take Woody (Hanks) with him to College. The other toys, who have felt neglected for years, are appalled when, in a mix up, they are almost thrown out. They decide to take asylum in the Sunnyside Daycare Centre. Initially this looks perfect, but they soon discover this is a concentration camp for toys run by the tyrannical Lot’s-O-Huggin Bear.
Woody takes charge and leads his friends and colleagues in a daring jail break, and then finds them a new and appreciative home to live.

I cannot recommend Toy Story 3 more highly. It is family entertainment of the highest order. Written by Lee Unkrich, Michael Arndt, John Lasseter and Andrew Staton, this multilayered film has as much fun and emotion for adults as it does for children. Each character holds interest and appeal, all of them grow and develop and even the back story of the evil bear is poignantly handled.

The values of Toy Story 3 are excellent too, attending to the weighty issues of tyranny and oppression with a fine balance between teaching and warning young viewers. There are allusions everywhere to the horrors of World War II, present day refugees, and the plight of those who need escape the rule of dictators. For those who prefer just to be entertained, that’s on offer too with action and humour in abundance.         

Pixar has become the world leader in CGI animation, having won 24 Oscars and numerous other awards around the world. It all began with the first Toy Story in 1995, and the look and polish in this third chapter of this particular series is even better than the other two. Pixar just gets better and better.

You do not have to have seen Toy Story 1 & 2 to enjoy this film, but I guarantee that on seeing this latest instalment you will want to catch up on what you have been missing all these years. Find a child to take if you must, but do not miss seeing this disarmingly moving film.

Disney   Out June 24

Fr Richard Leonard sj is the director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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