One of the movie releases of the year I’ve been most anticipating is Toy Story 3. Anyone around the age of 20 will have grown up watching, and most likely, loving the Toy Story franchise.
We first met Woody and the gang in 1995, then again in 1999. But by 2010 those initial fans are likely to be a lot older and college or University students like me. This was something Pixar certainly did not ignore. In the US free screenings of 60 minutes of the film where shown to college students which they signed up for via the dedicated Facebook page. They were left with a cliff hanger ending in the hope that they’d return and pay for a ticket to see the remainder.
In addition, this age of viewer is also likely to blog or talk about their viewing on social networking sites, which would then create an online buzz about the film and get people talking, creating yet more anticipation for the release.
Alongside this, they also released three teaser trailers as well as gradually releasing character profiles of the latest additions online. My favourite trailer was an IM chat between Woody and Buzz but all are pretty funny and clever, and again likely to get people talking and excited about the film.
Having pre-booked my tickets for the first day of release (yeah a bit sad I know), 3D glasses in hand I sat down to watch the third instalment, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
This time around Andy is leaving for college and the toys are facing their inevitable expiration, much like the franchise itself. They end up in Sunnyside play school where they encounter a host of new toys, Barbie meets her Ken, and a strawberry scented fuzzy bear called Lotso Huggin’ sets a cruel agenda for them to live by.
Unusually for an animated sequel, or even a third instalment, this one actually bucks the trend and is really good! The new characters as well as the old are as good as ever (I particularly like a new dinosaur called Trixie) but there is a sense of sadness and finality which runs throughout.
A lot of high hopes were placed on Toy Story 3 but ultimately I think it not only lived up to them, up also surpassed them. Entertaining from start to finish, without a dull “nothing’s happened for a while, I’m bored” moment in sight and just enough twists and turns to keep you interested without losing you, Toy Story 3 is definitely one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year- although admittedly I never got round to seeing either Avatar or Slumdog Millionaire)
A stand out sequence has to be the gang’s ultimate escape from Sunnyside, as well as the inspired character of Mr. Pricklepants (a thespian hedgehog) and the adorably cute Bonnie.
The ultimate message is that although you may be attached to something, sometimes you have to accept that it’s come to the end and it’s time to move on. However, as we learn in the open ending of the film as one door closes, another opens. It’s a tear jerker but ultimately delivers all we expected and more.