The only reason I’m not giving this a 10 is because, for me, it does not top the original Toy Story (1995), which is a beautiful film in every respect. This third movie retains mostly the same level of brilliance; however, in the latter half—when the toys were at Sunnyside daycare and when they were making their escape—there were just a few parts that were very predictable, almost unimaginative.
The specific part I didn’t like was at the end of the conveyor belt scene, when the toys were to avoid falling into an incinerator. The beginning of the conveyor belt scene was very nice: to escape a shredder, the toys grab hold of metal objects which are magnetically attracted upward—and even better, Woody and Buzz save Lotso, the main antagonist, out of compassion. Lotso is helpful and seems to turn to the good side, but within a minute turns bad again, leaving the other toys to perish in the incinerator. This I felt was a rather simple characterization of Lotso, and that part and the parts immediately after are very predictable.
That said, the previous paragraph is just some mad, futile criticism for the sake of criticism, solely because I can’t reason out why I liked the original Toy Story better than this one. Perhaps the plot in general was too similar to the first: the main idea is to escape from a building, only the antagonist is changed from Sid (in the first) to Lotso (in the third). I admit I haven’t watched the second.
For some reason the third film evoked more nostalgia for the first film rather than for my life, even though I am exactly in Andy’s position—I just graduated high school, and shall be off to college in less than a month; like Andy, I must leave behind many things. For me, the best moment of the movie came not at the very end, though that was certainly the most emotional, but rather at the escape from the incinerator, when the three-eyed alien toys operate a crane to rescue the others. This is most certainly built in as a reference to the first film, in which the three-eyed aliens were precisely with Andy and Buzz in such a claw crane game (those booths where you operate a claw but always fail to pick up any toys with it), whereupon Sid picks them up. This turn is joyfully ironic because it is now the aliens operating the crane.
The ending is definitely a sad, emotional one, and it will probably be a classic film scene. But because of my blog’s audience, I definitely don’t want to spoil the ending here. Especially for those of you who just graduated in the class of 2010—watch this movie.