Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
When last we saw Woody the Cowboy and Buzz Lightyear, Woody told us that he would stick with Andy until the end, and that “when it all ends, at least [he’ll] have ol’ Buzz Lightyear to keep [him] company”. Andy was 10 when Woody uttered those words. Now he's 17 and heading to college, and that day has finally come.
It’s been years since the toys were played with, and in the opening scenes we learn that we have lost many of our friends along the way as Andy has grown up and discarded them – there’s no Etch, and tragically no Bo Peep.
After a bag meant for the attic actually ends up in the trash on the kerb the toys reconcile to donate themselves to the local day care and get played with. They get played with yes, but ultimately what they find is an almost Abu Ghraib like prison, run by the dominating and hateful Lotso (a Lots O’ Hugging Bear who’s cute and cuddly appearance hides his true dark intentions) and his henchmen Ken (who is NOT a girls toy!!) and Big Baby.
Cue The Great Escape, as the toys all realise that their true friend is the owner they thought had abandoned them, and one last time they must return to him.
So often, animated movies blitz out the rubbishy cheap gags to keep the kids happy and just leave it at that. But Pixar has never really done that. And they aren’t going to start now. This is a tale of loyalty, moralty and redemption, and it’s a truly cathartic experience. You will cry with the characters, you will fear for their very lives, and you will leave utterly drained.
Having grown up with this series, we were the kids playing with toys the first two times out, and now are in university ourselves, and this is possibly why this film works so well. We have all discarded our toys thoughtlessly, with so little regard for them, and its as if this film is here to teach us the error of our ways.
There will be no Toy Story 4. This movie has an utterly perfect end, and this is where the trilogy must conclude. When Inception was released on Friday I said it had the potential to be the movie of the year. Well, just two days later it’s been beaten by the best of the Toy Story Trilogy. The best film Pixar has ever made. The best film of 2010.