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NOTE: There are NO spoilers here. I loved this movie and don’t want to ruin one bit of it for anyone.
1. A brilliant short titled “Day & Night” from director Teddy Newton. Sure, Pixar continues to amaze audiences with their animation prowess, but this dialogue-less short is innovative even by Pixar standards. It’s both a conceptual and technological masterpiece.
2. I have to admit I was a bit leery going into “Toy Story 3″ for a few reasons. First, because Pixar has hit towering home runs on their past two outings (“Wall-E” and “Up”) and I honestly didn’t know if they could keep it up year after year. Second, because it’s hard to pull off even one sequel that pushes the boundaries of originality, let alone a third film in a franchise. But with that being said, and I truly can’t believe I’m going to say this, but “Toy Story 3″ just may be the best movie out of the “Toy Story” trilogy.
3. Three words: Mr. Tortilla Head.
4. “Toy Story 2″ came out in 1999. That’s eleven years ago, folks. And while the animation and technology used back then is still impressive today, it’s nowhere near what Pixar is accomplishing in the third film. This is the best you’ve ever seen Woody and Buzz; not only is it darn impressive, but it shows that Pixar is in a perpetual state of evolution. I can’t wait to see what they release in 2021. It just might make my head explode.
5. Michael Keaton brings life to Barbie’s soul mate Ken. The addition of this character to the franchise (and Keaton to the cast) is fantastic. I never thought I’d say this but… I love Ken.
6. I said it about their last two films and I’ll say it again: Pixar likes making audiences cry! Their storytelling and character development is so on point here that by the end of the movie I was hearing sniffling and watching grown adults wipe their eyes! They’re crying over a computer-generated plastic toy voiced by Tom Hanks! You win, Pixar! Okay? Next time can you make a movie that doesn’t make me feel like a middle-aged woman watching “Fried Green Tomatoes”?
7. Spanish. (You’ll know it when you see it… I mean, hear it.)
8. The dialogue is both smart and, at times, a bit adult. For example, at one point Barbie goes on a short little rant about democracy that’s simply brilliant. Just further proof that kids don’t need to drag their parents to see Pixar movies; parents want to see these movies.
9. By far the creepiest character (and toy) of the franchise yet is introduced: Big Baby. And I mean creepy in a disconcerting, David Lynchian kind of way. And no, it’s not an action figure of Robert Blake… though that would be awesome.
10. What “Monsters, Inc.” accomplished with fur and hair, and “Finding Nemo” accomplished with water, “Toy Story 3″ accomplishes with trash. I know you probably think that “Wall-E” holds the title for believable garbage, but you’d be wrong. The trash in “Toy Story 3″ is damn impressive… as odd as that sounds.
One short of a dozen,