Thursday, April 15, 2010

We Can't Wait #6: TOY STORY 3

Robert here with JA and Dave, discussing what's sure to be the year's most anticipated threequel.

Toy Story 3
Directed by: Lee Unkrich
Starring: the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Don Rickles, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Keaton and John Ratzenberger

Synopsis: Everyone's favorite gang of toys finds their world turned upside down when their owner, the college-bound Andy dumps them in a day care.
Brought to you by: Disney/Pixar
Expected release date: June 18, 2010

Robert: Immediately that trailer gets me. I think it's the Randy Newman song that transports me back to the Toy Story world without missing a beat. I find myself joining in with the chorus of "Andy's going to college!" My how time has passed, Andy's going to college already (yes, that's me getting sentimental about a tertiary character in a movie from a decade ago). Yet there are plenty of reasons to be dubious. Lee Unkrich has never been the primary director of a Pixar film before. Michael Arndt has never written a Pixar movie before. Is it me or are there sure a lot of new characters? And part threes can often be problematic, especially when parts one and two are of such high quality. Then again, we don't anticipate the film starting with a machine gun-packing helicopter assassination attempt on Buzz Lightyear, so we might be okay.

But clearly the excitement outweighs whatever concerns we might have. So let me ask this (in addition to why is it among your most anticipated?): What are you hoping this film adds to the story of Woody, Buzz, and the gang?

JA: I was standing in the lobby of a movie theater last weekend where on one of the TVs they were playing the Toy Story 3 trailer and I realized I hadn't even seen it yet. I spend all day poring over these sorts of things, and yet here was the trailer for a movie I'm dying to see and not only had I not watched it yet, I didn't really feel any need to watch it then, nor do I feel the need to rush over and watch it now.

And yet, I really do want to see this movie something desperate. Pixar's just gained such a level of trust from me - give or take a wobbly final third of Up - that I'm essentially a zombie for them. I'll just be there opening weekend, wide-eyed with enthusiasm, happy to spend another 90 minutes with these wonderful, rich characters. Where ever they want to take me, I feel safe that it's somewhere I wanna go.

Dave: You forget, Robert, that Toy Story 2 opened with something not unlike what you just described. (Something, I must say, that has somehow never failed to take me in completely; I feel such a fool when that 'Game Over' screen pops up!)

I think the key thing for me here is how long it's been since Toy Story 2. If they'd made Toy Story 3 back in, say, 2003, it may well have been subpar because they'd really explored all aspects of the "toy experience" there were at that point... without reaching for absurdity, that is. But letting both audience and characters grow for eleven years opens up a number of new possibilities. You could argue that they already perfectly encapsulated the "child grows up and leaves toys behind" idea in that devastating, Sarah McLachlan-soundtracked four minutes about poor Jessie, but thankfully they seem to be going for a slightly different angle here. Even if Andy really caring so much about his childhood toys seems a bit unlikely; but then, don't we all still care about them all? We are Andy and we're all going to queue up to get our beloved toys back.

Pixar have actually been going slightly downhill for me lately (this is where half the readership gasps in shock and disregards every word I write from now on, isn't it?), but they've not disappointed me enough as yet to make it so that I'm not going to be sitting eagerly slap-bang in the middle of the theatre at the earliest opportunity. It should be very interesting; I know Pixar movies always have a big mixture of ages but this is probably the first time the adults in the audience will be the ones being told to stop squealing with excitement. Sorry kids, but this one's for the grown-ups.

Robert: It seems like the universal opinion is that, even if we don't love every single thing Pixar has done, they've built up so much good will, that we couldn't not eagerly anticipate every new movie. What interests me about Toy Story 3 is that there can't be a completely safe happy ending in the same vein as parts 1 and 2 (where everyone ended up back together comfortably in Andy's room). There's sort of a "you can't go home again" vibe. And that is a very grown-up concept.

JA: It did just strike me that I'm probably going to cry at this movie. I'm gonna look over and a five year old little girl is gonna be snickering at me. "Mommy, why's that old man all by himself crying at the cartoon?" Not again!

How about you readers? Are we all happy in the warm embrace of Pixar's track record? Do you agree with Dave's assessment that 11 years was in fact the right amount of time to wait for part 3?

"We Can't Wait: Summer and Beyond"
The "orphan" picks Nathaniel (Burlesque), JA (Love and Other Drugs), Jose (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), Craig (What's Wrong With Virginia?), Robert (True Grit) and Dave (Brighton Rock); Team Film Experience Countdown #12 It's Kind of a Funny Story, #11 Sex & the City 2, #10 Scott Pilgrim vs the World, #9 Somewhere, #8 The Kids Are All Right, #7 The Illusionist, #6 Toy Story 3, #5 Inception, #4 Rabbit Hole, #3 Never Let Me Go, #2 Black Swan and #1 The Tree of Life.


Agustin said...

I already cried with the trailer, so, yes, there will be heavy crying throughout

Jess K. said...


CT said...

Just two months ago, I watched both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 with my nephews (5 and 3), and I'm pretty sure I can't express how fun it was for me to watch them watch these movies for the first time.

Of course, after both movies, we went online to watch the trailer for the third movie, and I cried. And it was exactly as you put it, JA. "Why are you crying?!" And I cry just even thinking about Andy going to college. Sigh.

But still so excited!

Arkaan said...

Yes to all questions.

1. I agree that Pixar's been on a downhill slide. Excluding WALL.E (a classic masterpiece), they've had disappointing entries their last times at bat (Cars, Ratatouille, Up!), but Toy Story 3? Definitely looking forward to it.

2. The trailer gets me teary-eyed. Dammit, Randy!

3. Props to Dave and Robert for nailing my feelings and thoughts.

Wild Celtic said...

::jumping up on toes escitedly::: Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait! They always release Toy Story abourd my birthday, so it's been a treat for me since I was a little girl. So thrilled!

billybil said...

OK - I got total crushes on all you guys who are crying over the preview of this movie. You are all so dear I want to eat you up!! And, yes, I cried too. Aren't some movies wonderful!! And I agree - damn you Randy Newman!


i would like to echo the "damn you Randy Newman" but for different reasons ;)

I am SO tired of hearing him in animated movies. Let's move on.

I'm excited for this too but i must be slightly dead inside because i didn't tear up watching this trailer. I am excited to meet the new characters though

James T said...

A part of me says "why one more? don't you people respect our memories?".

Another part of me says "Thank youuuuu!!"

Amir said...

i can't freakin wait for this movie.
also, personally i don't agree that pixar has been going downhill.
with the exception of Cars, i actually like all their films. (Cars 2 is the movie i'm not excited about)

speaking of pixar, has anybody read the synopsis on 'newt'?
it sounds really interesting to me.

A.R. said...

I was surprised by how good Toy Story 2was, so I have some hope that 3 will be good. The premise at least sounds good.

Andrew R. said...

I have loved all their movies except Cars, which was OK. They have not been on a downhill slide. WALL-E was their best, Up was up (ha ha) there.

Basically, if this movie is as good as WALL-E, Toy Story 2, or Finding Nemo, I'm happy.

Jason H. said...

I have yet to see a Pixar movie that has not made me tear up just a little bit (yes, that includes Cars). I'm very eager to see what happens next.

Seeking Amy said...

I think the thing about the third film that makes me such a blubbering mess thinking about is that I'm graduating from high school this June. A lot of my other friends in the class of 2010 all agree that this "send off" I suppose is gonna be really special for us and we're gonna have some extra emotional ties simply because we've grown the exact same time as Andy. If it had been any other year, I don't think it would make me nearly as misty eyed thinking about it.

Catherine said...

I was always a little skeptical, having a general "Don't tinker with magic" feeling, but I think I'm won over. I thought the sequel was even better than the first Toy Story (Sniff sniff sob. Rewatching that Jessie sequence. How were people so surprised by that tearjerking Up opener, when Pixar have been putting out material like this for years?)

Also, don't be hating on Randy Newman. Yes, he's over used and his movie work is a little too sentimental at times, but the man is America's Greatest Living Songwriter.

Jude said...

I've never been a fan of Toy Story (or the sequel) even when I was younger. I think I'll sit this one out. Anyone else not a big Toy Story fan?

paco. said...

uhm Ratatouille dissapointing??
I'd completely disagree, it's probably my second favorite pixar movie, and no WALL-E is not number one

Anonymous said...

check out these kids rapping about Toy Story 3: