Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Toy Story 3

a film by Lee Unkrich

“Sequels are always worse than originals”. Maybe not always but there are only a handful of exceptions to this rule. Toy Story 2 was one such exception. Granted, it missed a real villain — Al the Toy Collector was rather likeable — but it was a real development of the original Toy Story. Alas, Toy Story 3 quickly reminds us what is the rule and what is the exception.

That is not to say I did not enjoy the movie. I did. The opening sequence with Woody pursuing Potato-gang is simply brilliant. There were several rather funny jokes (e.g. involving hitherto unknown factory settings of Buzz Lightyear). And the singing dustman — wasn’t it Sid, the original Toy Story’s baddy? — was great. But the 3-D effects? Nothing to write home about. Score? Nothing new there either. And don’t even start me on the plot.

No matter, I will go on anyway. In TS2, the toys give up their (perceived) immortality in the Japanese (!) toy museum just to be played with again. (Or was it out of patriotism?) Ten years later, the very same toys discover that they don’t actually want any child to play with them. They want only a caring child. Perhaps the ideals of Sunnyside daycare — nobody owns the toys, the toys are their own masters — are too communist for Pixar to endorse. Sure enough, we see straight away that in fact the place is run by an evil dictator. Much better is to be loyal to Andy (why?) and hibernate in the attic. Why don’t they go back to Sunnyside when it is under new management of Barbie the doll? (I quite liked her, will you believe it. That means, she can’t be evil. Right?) The scene of passing the torch, sorry, the toy box to the cute and probably caring child is just too long. Leave the box, Andy, off you go to the college.

So far, I loved all Pixar short films. But in this case, the accompanying short, Day & Night, was a disappointment. Do we really need a moral of the story to be broadcast by a radio station?

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