There was a time when I would watch a movie within a maximum of 4-5 days of its release. But I am married now and it is difficult to manage stuff like that. That is the reason I get to watch Toy Story 3 almost two weeks after its release. It is obviously reviewed in a dozen hundred places by now. I am adding my take to the pool.
This was a movie I wanted to skip. I enjoyed the first two movies and I knew I would enjoy the third one too; however, seeing the kind of movies coming out the past few weeks, I was weary of trying this movie. Therefore, when I walked in the movie theatre, I was not expecting much from the movie at all.
I was pleasantly surprised; in fact, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the movie for the most part. The animation and graphics were, as expected, done well; but that is not why I liked the movie. It is the depth of the story and characters that I liked.
It is not new to have a deeply emotional and touching story in an animated film. I can count many animated movies like Wall-E, How to Train your Dragon, Ratatouille, etc… that have an emotional tone and a thematic message. In fact, one can point out that all the animated films adapted from children stories and fables have a strong social message. So why is this so great for Toy Story? The answer, in my opinion, is in the details.
The overall plot of the movie is somewhat different from the earlier two iterations. The first two movies showed a major character lost to the toy gang due to a mistake and the story proceeded to reunite the character with the group. On the way, there is resistance from villains who just stumble into the plot.
In Toy Story 3, the entire toy group is lost to Andy. The villain here: a teddy bear and its sidekick make sure they cannot return to satisfy their own ends. In the beginning, the story looks very similar to Toy Story 1 and 2. As the story goes on, however, we find depth in various characters. We not only see allegiances change, for love or by force, we see the characters take difficult decisions between staying happy and staying loyal.
These facets make the story a much more ‘real’ one than a kid’s cartoon. It has enough fun for the kinds while keeping the adults connected to no-so-simple-anymore story. On walking out of the theatre, it doesn’t just feel like time spent with kids and family but also time spent on a good movie.