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Wick's Review

Created Jun 27, 2010 12:50PM PST • Edited Jun 29, 2019 03:03AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Flawless. Silly, deep, wonderful and wise, TS3 pegs the perfection meter. Boing!! Purple, purple, purple. Every toy gets its due, every heart string gets plucked, every joke works. Wow, how does Pixar keep doing this? They’re the Jacksons – the Phil Jacksons – of movie making.

    TS3 gives sequels a good name by reconnecting with a treasured past, naturally deepening it for the present, and then providing closure for the characters and for us. In its wake, blockbusters from Hollywood to Beverly Hills are saying to their offspring: “Why can’t you be a sequel like TS3 over there?” Indeed.

    Movies get no better than Toy Story 3.

    Describing this as a comedy for “Kids of all ages” undersells it, not that it’s not deeply appealing to children as much as to the child inside every adult. Its core genius – as is the Pixar Way – is to not condescend to kids, and therefore not to adults either. TS3 shows that into every life comes belly laughs, friends and family gained and lost, good and evil, free choice, responsibility and consequences. Taught by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen’s redoubtable Woody and Buzz, these are lessons kids of all ages can absorb.

    Pixar should have earned a Best Picture Oscar by now, making TS3 all the more deserving to win this year. Could there be a more worthy candidate?

    Random notes:

    • I saw it in IMAX 3D, from the center of Row 1 no less. (Love the cinematic intensity.) Anyway, the IMAX effect didn’t seem worth paying more for or going out of the way to find. OTOH, the 3D was worth it, though not de rigueur for this movie.
    • Day & Night, the short Pixar gave us this time, is another brilliant delight, contrastingly ironically with Cruise and Diaz’s Knight and Day, also now in theaters.
  3. Perfect 5.0

    Tom Hanks & Tim Allen ably lead a large cast that has become like family to us. New this time are Ned Beatty as the nefarious Lotso, Michael Keaton as Barbie’s metrosexual Ken (“I am not a girl’s toy.”), and a gaggle of small turns from the likes of Timothy Dalton as a wizened Chia Pet, Bud Luckey as a sad clown, Teddy Newton as a grim Telephone, and Javier Fernandez Pena’s sidesplittingly funny Spanish Buzz.

    Not to forget the toys we came to love in TS1 and TS2:

    • Joan Cusack’s spirited Jessie the Cowgirl
    • Don Rickles and Estelle Harris’s Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, comic genius from 2 masterful comics
    • Wallace Shawn’s cowardly dinosaur
    • John Ratzenberger’s boastful Hamm. Anyone who’s ever seen a single episode of “Cheers” loves this casting.
    • Jodi Benson’s perfect Barbie
    • Blake Clark’s reliable Slinky Dog
    • R. Lee Ermey (the ultimate movie soldier) as Sarge the leader of toy soldiers.

    Of course, this list just scratches the surface of the 302 characters in the movie.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    Authentic pathos about loving, losing, aging and friending (in the original meaning of the word) gets generated and resolved, again and again and again. Live action films – even the best – do this no better.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    Lee Unkrich co-directed TS2, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo. By singly directing TS3, he joins the pantheon of stellar Pixar directors populated by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Brad Bird and – of course – John Lasseter, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer. Classical Athens didn’t have as many great philosophers as Pixar has filmmakers.

  10. Play Perfect 5.0

    The screenplay comes across as wickedly clever and plainly obvious at the same time. Genius is what it is. Genius. This should be no surprise since it’s primarily credited to Michael Arndt, who earned a Best Screenplay Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine, another transcendent family movie.

    Amongst the brilliant bits:

    • Two with Buzz: “Spanish” Buzz and “Demo Mode” Buzz. The former turns the All American Space Ranger into a Latin Lothario, with hilarious results. The latter provides a fresh take on the concept of self-knowledge and the role-choices we all make in life.
    • Sunnyside Day Care: Life goes on, but often not how we expect, as the toys learn at this child’s garden of good and evil.
    • Lotso’s backstory: Evil individuals often are victimized as a precursor to becoming evil. That doesn’t, however, make them not evil.

    Plus the de rigueur fart joke is funny and subtle. Thankfully.

  11. Music Perfect 5.0

    Randy Newman reprises You’ve Got a Friend in Me from TS2. We also get a cover of this now iconic song by the Gipsy Kings. Cool.

    Gary Wright’s Dream Weaver and Le Freak from Chic also sound just right in the context of the movie.

  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Renderman has become an authentic artificial reality machine, with the notable exception of the still too planar human faces. Exterior scenes – in particular – don’t even appear animated, so when the movie opens with a pan up to Andy’s house, it’s like reality. What a concept.

  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.3

    TS3’s emotional weightiness proves just as exhilarating as traditional edginess does in “mature” movies.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.2
  16. Violence Gentle 1.5
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.1
  18. Surreal 2.7

    The human world is resolutely natural. Only when people are out of the picture do the flights of imagination take hold. These are obviously fantastic, but I’m scoring the whole as Surreal because we live in a human world, which the movie respects and doesn’t play games with.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 2.0
  20. Biological Surreal 3.0
  21. Physical Surreal 3.0


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Jun 27, 2010 4:13PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Good catch MJ. Thanks.

Jun 27, 2010 4:07PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Great review, Wick, and a well deserved perfect. Although not to seem naggy but Buttercup is actually the unicorn. Bullseye is Jessie’s horse.

Jun 19, 2010 9:18AM

Regarding MetalJunky5000’s Review
Wow. I’m with you on Toy Story 1 & 2, Junky. Now I’m superpsyched to see 3.