Monday, 19 July 2010

Toy Story 3: How Canadians Ruined It All (Some Potential Spoilers)

I was seven years old when the first Toy Story came to the UK. The perfect age to be magically taken away by visuals that even then I knew there was something new and unseen before, and if not for the strange and alluring visuals, but for the story. Every child imagines their toys come alive when they are not looking! And here they where all along, in the mind of John Lassater. Everything we children wanted from a film.

Then soon after, Toy Story 2 came along, and for me at my tender age, I felt that the story of Andy and his Toys had some sort of closure. The ending of the sequel capped off the films with a sense of optimism, and counter balanced the first outing like only a brilliant sequel does.

Then there is Toy Story 3. 11 years in the making, and by anyones standards a brilliant film. Unfortunately the cinema I saw it at was full of the most wretched slime of Vancouver, one in particular who thought it was wholly except able to guffaw at every opportunity that they could. Even the most poignant moment in the film (and there are a few) he felt like it deserved a chuckle. Because hey, this is a cartoon! Its here to make me laugh right? So if some of the comments seem a bit harsh for this otherwise 5 star film, my concentration and immersion was taken away by this man. May he stumble back in time and kill his grandfather so he never exists and butterfly effects his way into making this review better. Amen.

Toy Story 3 is a fantastic film. Perfectly put together and the animation, a quality that we have become accustomed to with Pixar Films, is the best they have ever created. Its something that every single person who worked on the film will be, and should be, proud of for the rest of their lives. But me being me, I still had a couple of little things wrong. Baby things. But ones that took me out of the moment and made me remember Im in a cinema again...

Toy Story 3 opens with a spectacular scene in which Woody and the toys are in a wild west chase scene, and as the story unveils it becomes clear that this is either in the eyes of Andy, or its what the toys experience while they are being played with. Personally I prefer to think of it as the latter, explaining why they would want to be played with all the time instead of going ahead and making a Toy Zion somewhere and christening it the homeland.
But as the scene develops, what strikes me most is Andy's lack of imagination. The characters that they portray are the same as the first film. For me this set the tone of the film as going to be filled with attempted nostalgia by making you remember the first ones. As if this one wouldn't be able to stand by itself. Lee Unkrich should have more faith in his storytelling. To me it seemed as wrong as people who say that there must be an Incredibles 2 because there is the Underminer at the end! With this instalment being "lightyears" ahead of the first two, to me it needed to be more separate, instead of constantly reminding us that the first two films existed.

And one you noticed that, its everywhere. If you know the previous films well enough you notice that a lot of the dialogue is reworked to mirror its original counterparts, such as "this is the perfect time to be hysterical". Then there are total reworked scenes that take essence from the oldies: Flashbacks, baddie comeuppance etc...

As I said before, this is probably down to my lack of total immersion in the film due to this now cursed man who was sat next to me. And as the infamous Facebook group put it: "ive been waiting 11 years to see this film", and it was ruined by someone who thinks every move on the screen needs to be rewarded by a chuckle. Sad smiley face time :(

It was a great film, and I am watching it again when I get back from Canada when the hype has died down in the UK over it, and yes I did well up at the ending, but probably more due to the fact that after waiting so long to see this film it was ruined and it wasn't effecting me as much as it should, and I will never be able to see it for the first time ever again.

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