4 ½ out of 5
Woody, Buzz and the rest of this batteries-included crew have taken us a long way over the last 15 years. Toy Story 3 is, as to be expected, brilliant. Yet again, Pixar Studios have hit their ridiculously high benchmark with a story that plays all the right notes. This adventure takes these now very familiar characters to day-care, after their owner Andy accidentally misplaces them while packing for college. And this is the story at hand: what happens when the kids grow up?
This film is obviously a labour of love for all concerned. As the first Pixar 3D offering (and as such, a revolutionary piece of cinema), the original Toy Story gave us brilliant story-telling through cutting-edge animation. Where Shrek has used all its sequels to explore new paths circling the drain of credibility and relevance; this third instalment rounds out one of the truly great trilogies.
Viewed with an overly-harsh-critic’s lens, number 3 is a hair behind its forebears in terms of quality. The story has slightly less surprises, though this could be due to the very clear, strong structure behind it; and the fact each plot point flows so effortlessly into the next. It’s probably also a little scary for many ankle-biters. The climactic sequence in particular has some very intense imagery attached to it, though this is also undoubtedly the most impressive visually. But we can’t really blame them for appealing to a more adult audience. With so long between sequels, this is probably less a kids’ film, and more about the rest of us proving we’re not too old to dig in the toy-box.