Aw, you guys, why are you always so gosh darn reliable? I knew Toy Story 3 was going to be good—everything you’ve done has been, bar Cars (but then perhaps I wasn’t the target market there). But I didn’t realise it was going to be quite so completely heart-wrenching, though after bawling through the entirety of Wall-E and for hours after Up, you’d think I’d learn. My mother reports that she took my nephews to see Toy Story 3 and the youngest crawled into her lap at the sad part—you know, the sad part—and said, “I want to go home.” Do you have a specific member of staff whose job it is exclusively to tug at heartstrings? Does he have an anatomical heart he tries it on? (*yank* “What if I killed off Carl’s wife before the first ten minutes were up? Oh, there we go, the tear ducts are working just fine!”)
It’s good you went back to Andy’s life. Now that he’s older, it’s clear the toys aren’t played with any more, but it’s nice to see them still hanging out and reminiscing about The Good Old Days. And with him off to college, it was interesting to see what he was going to do with his beloved Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye and friends, his name still etched onto their feet. When Andy’s mother accidentally sent his box of attic-bound toys to the day care centre, I knew we were in for some hijinks. But lordy, that Lots O Huggin Bear, the one who’s in charge of the toys at the centre, is one grim dude. And you’re marketing him as a giant plush huggable fun toy? He’s awful! Only the meanest of parents would give that to their children. Anyway. It was interesting how you made him out to be so wonderful and benevolent, only to have him turn on our pals and put them in an age-inappropriate room with kids who stick them up their noses and paint with Jessie’s head. What a rascal! Though I can’t deny it’s an awful lot like Toy Story 2, when Stinky Pete the Prospector came across as wise and all-knowing before turning into a giant bastard. Just sayin’. Also, Jessie’s voice is insufferable. Sorry.
But thanks, Unkrich, Lasseter and co., for a great watch. When Mr Potato Head sticks all of his features onto a piece of flatbread and flops about the screen attempting to save the day, I was almost hysterical with laughter. Buzz’s Spanish mode is something I wish all my talking toys had (and I hope the new release Buzz Lightyears will have a hip-twitching new feature.) I approve heartily of the cameo appearances from Barbie and Ken (who have never been so entertaining, even back when I was the one in charge of their comings and goings) to the plush, smiling Totoro. The drama at the end was absolutely nail-biting and I was openly weeping. Chris even held off speculating on how they were going to get out of this one until the last minute. (And then told me about it, what a surprise.) And I wasn’t sure if they were. We know you don’t hold back on the heartbreak. I can’t remember the last time I was that upset. Like reality isn’t awful enough at times, then you go putting poor innocent figurines in mortal fiery danger? You just have no shame, do you? Children everywhere will be having nightmares about Big Baby too with his creepy rotating head, lazy eye and ominous giggle.
Clever move, also, not pulling a Dreamworks and calling it Toy Story 3: The Final Chapter like they named the new Shrek. I like to think there’s going to be life in this franchise for all eternity. The idea that toys come to life when you’re not there—well, to this day, I still like to think that’s true. I mean, I know it’s not, because I’m a grownup with all my faculties, but it’s pretty adorable to think of. I imagine my three Wall-E figurines (four if you include the Pez dispenser) all rolling around filling their compactors with stray hair clips. (Which would explain where they all go.) Or my small robot collection saying, “Roger Roger” to each other and shooting lasers out of their eyes at my moneybox pig. Now, the people who saw the first two Toy Story movies in primary school or, like me, high school, are getting old enough to have their own children to take to see it, and in turn, they’ll take theirs. So how about it, dudes? Toy Story 4: The Devastation. Come on, I’d see it.
In conclusion, thanks a bunch. Keep up the good work. Love you!
P.S. “That’s Mr Evil Dr Porkchop to you!” Ha. Classic.