Versus #1: Toy Story 3

Posted by Nick in Movies, Reviews on July 15th, 2010.

A new feauture on Internetspotter! Kilian and I discuss the latest movies in a conversation style format. We watch new stuff on a regular basis in the theaters, so new episodes should come out pretty regulary. A lot of times we seem te disagree about movies, though sometimes we’re on the same page. We kick off with Toy Story 3.

Kilian: Two weeks ago I went to see Toy Story 3, the second major animated movie to be released this year, after How To Train Your Dragon. Growing up with the characters Woody and Buzz, I was very sceptical about this movie. Was it possible for Pixar to elaborate on the themes of the previous movies and not make the movie boring?

The answer is yes. The movie isn’t as funny as other Pixar offerings, but the subject completely makes up for it. Everyone who was a kid when the first movie was released now goes to college, and Andy (the owner of the toys) is going to do just that. Woody and his companions haven’t been played with for years and they try to get noticed by Andy using mobile phones and other things. They struggle to remain positive. Existentialistic questions arise and the growing up aspect of life is being observed. This makes the movie very recognizable to the adult audience, and I think that the strength of the movie lies there. The pace of the movie is good, the new characters that are introduced are strong and overall the movie does not disappoint.

Is it going to win the Oscar for best animated movie? Probably yes, but I for one hope that How To Train Your Dragon is going to take it home. Why? Toy Story 3 used the tricks that Pixar uses in every movie, easy to understand humor, references to other movies and an easy to understand emotional aspect. How To Train Your Dragon however did some new things: big fights with gorgeous effects, great lighting, dry humour instead of the obvious slapstick, and it made dragons cute. Toy Story is more of a standard Pixar offering, because it’s so good.

Nick: I really liked how Pixar was pushing the enveloppe with this movie. It’s the most "adult" film of the three and just like Wall-E it will appeal to both adults and kids. It’s the most visual of the three and it’s the one that has the most suspense and visceral thrill. Everyone who has seen it, knows about one of the last scenes. The last action scene is really intense and there is really a sense of danger. None of the other films were as dark as this one.

The 3D didnt”t really add up a lot, however, it’s also less distracting than something like Avatar. I didn’t notice the 3D effects much, and that’s probably a good thing.

The script is really good as well. There are some really familiar moments like the escape scene, which we have seen many times, but Pixar just doesn’t try to make reference to other movies. The Lotso character is also quite familiar, but it works. The jokes are still there, even though it’s not really as funny as the other two. The basic plot, the escape from this day-care, is simple, but it doesn’t take a lot of space, so there is a lot of room left for the character development.

Overall, it’s a good farewell, they really close the series in a good way. I don’t see how they could make another one (even though anything is possible).

Kilian: I totally agree that every aspect of the movie works (thematics, darkness etc.) and that this was the best of the three Toy Story movies, but Pixar does not innovate with this movie.

How were they pushing the envelope? Sure the thematics were great now, but weren’t they great as well in Wall-E and UP!? The only reason the action scenes (you’re probably referring to the melting part) here were great was because of the fact that the characters involved were crowd favorites.
Probably even if they don’t innovate the next movie still will be greatly entertaining, but the "wow"-factor probably will be lost if they don’t try something different next time.

This movie, however, still was greatly entertaining and nearly got me crying… so I’ll reward this movie a 9/10.

Nick: Pixar was pushing the enveloppe in the sense that it’s the most visual stunning and dark movie of all three. The thematics were there in Wall-E as well, but it’s a different movie with a totally different feeling to it. I don’t see how you can compare a different movie with this series.

Pixar is known for putting a message in all movies, and I particulary like the ending of this movie, which basically tells us to value things that hold great value to us. We are so used to throwing things away and buying new stuff, that old stuff doesn’t mean anything anymore. Stuff gets replaced by new stuff and old stuff.

Perhaps there isn’t a lot of innovation, but I didn’t expect any to be honest. All Pixar films are innovative in their own way and so was Toy Story when it came out. Every Toy Story sequel had a great story and that’s all I ever wanted from a sequel. I’ll give it a 8/10.


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