Toy Story 3 is this summer’s offering from Disney-Pixar. The final installment that reunites us with Woody, Buzz, Jess, et al. had a recording-breaking opening weekend for Disney. I thought Hollywood stopped numbering sequels? Let’s get on with it:

What I Liked

Disclaimer: I’m a big Pixar fanboy, and while they have a nearly perfect track record (I wasn’t really a fan of Wall-E), I’ll try to remain objective. In 1986 I attended SIGGRAPH, and the Electronic Theater that year saw the debut of Luxo, Jr. – the lively father and son lamp animated short that inspired the Pixar logo. It’s not a stretch to declare that everyone in attendance witnessed the beginning of great CG animated entertainment.

  • The voice performances, the character design, the lighting, the textures, the special effects. It is very easy to forget that dozens of people make contributuions to the characters, and equally remarkable that these fictional characters and synthetic actors can plausibly seem like old friends.
  • Don Rickles. Because he’s a God to me, and is used only enough to not be overused.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The ending didn’t make me cry… nice try, gang.
    Seriously, if you are not moved at the closing scene then clearly you are a robot or a zombie.
  • The story seems to have been done before, toys escape/are lost/need to find their way home/Woody saves the day (with help). This is forgivable in this case, because Disney-Pixar took the time to produce a proper send-off.

Best LOL Jokes (Spoilers!)

Rather than spell them out this time, suffice it to say the ribbing of the Ken doll’s masculinity (of the Barbie™ toy empire) provides good fun throughout. The aging of all the human characters is handled seriously, yet the family dog’s appearance provides the film’s early laugh-out-loud moments at Buster’s expense.

Parental Watch-outs

This is Disney-Pixar, i.e squeaky clean.

Overall Grade: A+

It’s this summer’s must-see family film, particularly if you are a fan of the first two.