TOY Story 3 sees the return of Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and their fellow toy friends.
Owner Andy is preparing to move to college, leaving the toys worrying about their future.
A mix-up sees them dumped in a day-care centre and results in Woody trying to get back to Andy and the others facing a battle to escape the clutches of evil teddy bear Lotso (Ned Beatty).
Toy Story 3 arrives 11 years after the excellent second film and is more than worth the wait.
Toy Story must rate as one of the best movie trilogies of all time. Many others contain one, or even two, lesser entries but all three Toy Story films are of an incredibly high standard.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to differentiate between them. The sequels probably better the first ... just, and this is one of the best films with the number three in the title you’re ever likely to see.
Lee Unkrich co-directed the second movie, as well as Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc., and returns for this ‘threequel’.
His use of wide and high angle camera shots make locations like the day care centre look huge and he brings a real sense of urgency and danger to proceedings.
Unkrich and fellow writers John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton deserve immense credit for a terrific script that touches on growing up and moving on, and introduces some top new characters.
The best are the Michael Keaton-voiced Ken doll, who shares some great moments with Barbie, and the downright nasty Lotso, who rates as the series’ best villain.
Woody and Buzz still have their moments, the former’s endearing loyalty to Andy and the latter’s language problems among the movie’s highlights, and Mr Potato Head (Don Rickles) undergoes a funny makeover.
There are a lot of laughs but also some darker moments. Toy prison and torture bring thoughts of Guantanamo Bay, playing kids are a whirlwind nightmare and the Big Baby character is unbelievably creepy.
You have to admire the cleverness and creativity of a universe that can turn a dumpster truck into a ‘monster.’
There’s still plenty of rollercoaster ride-like sequences that are among the best set pieces you’ll see. My heart was in my mouth during one late threat to our heroes.
I’d heard a lot about the ending inducing tears among even grown men and it is very touching ... although the Kleenex stayed in my pocket.
Toy Story 3 isn’t just the best animation of the year so far, it’s in the top three or four released since 1999’s first sequel.
Unlike Shrek Forever After, if this is to be the final adventure for some of the most beloved animated characters of all time then it is a truly fitting farewell.
Rating - 8 out of 10.