What does it say about our movies today when animated characters seem more real than they should. If one looks at upcoming films such as Faster or Burlesque, they seem fake. But not Pixar and certainly not Toy Story. Once again, they have proven to be triumph of film making, storytelling and entertainment, not an easy feat.
The story is somewhat reminiscent of The Great Escape and is brilliantly told. Andy is all grown up and on his way to college. What's a toy to do now that their owner doesn't play with them anymore? The choices for them are a)go to college with Andy, b) go to the attic, c) donate them to needy children or d) go into the trash. With only Woody picked to travel, the rest seemed headed for the attic. But a mix up gets them thrown out instead and eventually make their way to Sunnyside Day Care, which at first seems like a godsend. Toys that are always played with sounds great under the watchful eye of Lotso the Bear (Ned Beaty) and Ken (Michael Keaton), but soon the dark side of the day care system rears its ugly head. New toys are given to the youngest children who proceed to chew, beat and slobber all over Buzz Lightyear, Jesse and the rest. Woody breaks in an attempt to save them but is instead taken by the daycare owner's child, who is a good kid to her toys. As Woody tries to get back, the rest try to keep their heads about as Lotso turns more dictator than benevolent leader. This is a surprisingly adult film with scenes of possible death looming over the characters in a few key scenes. It's also about growing up which, let's face it, the real fans of Toy Story have over the years. But new fans are born everyday as my very young niece and nephew proved when they dressed convincingly as Jessie and Buzz Lightyear. I am not one for sequels, especially this year, but this was one sequel that was incredible, well written and surprisingly human. It is a film for all ages and must see in this year of average pictures.
5 out of 5 stars