The studio sent us a preview copy of the new Toy Story 3 DVD. I’ve been waiting a few months since both my son and I missed the theatrical release and my daughter has been raving about it. The family was not disappointed.
First of all, we do not have 3D, but we did spring for a Blu-Ray player after our old DVD gave out a few months ago. Since Netflix doesn’t do Blu-Ray, this was actually my first time watching, and it was undeniably clearer. This is one beautiful movie, in terms of color and clarity.
As for the plot, I have to admit to being somewhat cynical. I can be very sentimental, but I found most of Toy Story 2 to be lachrymose to the extreme, and I found myself anxious for it to end. Having heard that Toy Story 3 was also “emotional,” I wasn’t looking forward to a big tear-fest. Lucky for me, this movie is anything but. As many of the reviews have said, this movie starts in the middle of the action and keeps going for the next 90 out of 100 minutes.
We loved it. The interactions among the characters (T-Rex, Potato Head, and Buzz) are familiar and, as always, you’ll enjoy seeing favorite toys you probably haven’t thought about for years (or since Toy Story 3). But, what is always the most fun is watching the characters do the kind of stunts that Bruce Willis and Tom Cruise only wish they could do. The final escape and chase scene is inspired for all the things these little toys can make themselves do, using the full power of their unique toy features.
My only complaint, and it’s a big one, is the end. We may all have different opinions on what should happen to old toys when kids grow up (attic, charity, or trash?). But we were surprised that is no dad in the story. As Andy finishes packing and leaves for college, he shares a big hug with mom, but there is no dad. I don’t recall seeing any in the whole movie, even as background at the school scenes. My ten year old daughter noticed it before I did. “But where’s the dad?” she exclaimed. There was no plot reason for the omission unless Disney, after years of killing off the mom character (moms of Bambi, Nemo to name two of about 20), has decided to start inflicting the same punishment on fathers.
Dads should also know that, like Nemo, the film does include a lot of action and violence. Adults will say that it’s only cartoons, but it will not seem any less frightening to kids. My six year-old spent a good amount of the movie pacing nervously, or cuddled in my arms because he was really worried about how things might turn out. There is mention of the possible death of some of the toys, as well as a torture sequence. I’m not suggesting this is politically incorrect, but too often parents go to these movies with no knowledge beforehand of what their kids will see, whether enacted by cartoons or not.
Despite the lack of a father figure, we’d still recommend this movie. It’s that rarest of all beasts, a family film that the the whole family can really watch, rather than all just tolerate together. And that alone, makes up for it’s one major flaw.
- “Toy Story 3? DVD release triggers Pixar catalog on demand (hollywoodnews.com)
- “Thoughts on Toy Story 3 Blu-ray/DVD” and related posts (pixarblog.blogspot.com)