It’s hard to believe that the first “Toy Story” movie came out sixteen years ago! “Toy Story 2” came out in 1999. After a long delay, “Toy Story 3” is now out on DVD (yes, it went to cinemas first and did really well there). So how is “Toy Story 3”?
First off, although kids seeing the movie are too young to know how old the first two are, parents can remember when the first one came out. The big time gap is recognized in the film. In the last two “Toy Story” movies, Andy was a little boy who loved playing with his toys (especially Woody and Buzz). In “Toy Story 3” Andy has grown up and is about to move out to go to college. There is a short montage of Andy growing up at the beginning of the film to help kids to recognize that it’s the same person (even though he’s big now).
With Andy too old to play with toys and packing up his room, what will happen to the toys? Several possible futures face the toys: they could go with Andy to his college dorm room, they could be packed away in the attack, they could be given a new home either with a daycare or family, or they could simply be thrown away. What will happen to them?
Spoilers warning: I will include a few story spoilers, so if you really don’t want to find out, stop reading now.
Overall, the movie stayed true to the first two films and brought back a lot of beloved characters, as well as introducing some new ones. My daughters have the first two “Toy Story” films on DVD and had no problems recognizing the characters or continuing the story. Having said that, this was in a way the saddest and scariest of the “Toy Story” movies. Be aware that if you have little children, you may have to end up fast-forwarding several scenes.
There is a happy ending, but before then there are bad guys to face (and the bad guys are toys too, making it even more disturbing because no kid wants to think they could be snuggling an evil teddy bear). Also, Buzz gets reset by the “baddies”, and so forgets everything (and then speaks Spanish for awhile). This really bothered my four-year-old who kept asking when Buzz would “be himself again”. The constantly looming threat of being thrown away (and what happens when they are) is also pretty scary stuff for little kids.
My family really enjoyed this movie, and I think it is a good conclusion to the “Toy Story” series. However, be aware that there are a lot of darker elements to this movie as well. If you have young kids, you’ll need to watch the film with them. You can rent the DVD or you can even watch the movie online for free. There are several online streaming platforms such as 123 movies that you can visit.