TOY STORY 3 (2010)
Pretty delightful and tightly wound. I like how the use of an early coincidence that complicates the protagonists journey (the little girl finding woody in the tree as he tries to escape sinusoids and return home) but serves as a means of resolution at the end (when woody writes a note to get Andy to give the toys to the girl).
Overall less “high-low” humor in this than I expected (jokes that appeal to adults while the full meaning isn’t grasped by kids but still makes sense to them).
Watching this was also a reminder with how animated films can get away with raw unashamed awe and earnesty – while live action tends to tip toe around it in the best produced pictures. Maybe because we as humans know that in real live nothing is ever that pure, maybe it’s too much of a burden on actors to pull off well, but animation manages to do it – I think there’s an additional element of suspension of disbelief in animation that allows you to go sappier without the same level of eye-roll that a live action might receive. Perhaps it’s also the audiences expectation of the genre so there’s more leniency on the receiving end.
The exploration of the trash and daycare setting was fun and of course the personification of classic toys is always good ammo for visual and situational humor.
Great when sequels to blue chip franchises are solid. Along with DIE HARD I’ve heard this referenced as a really strong script and it makes sense – pacing, tone, and resolution were all unexpected but satisfying: “Give them what they want in a way they don’t expect.”
Comparatively to ZOOTOPIA, TOY STORY 3 wasn’t as preachy thematically and was more focused on story. ZOOTOPIA’s story seemed to be thinner as a result of overly catering to the theme perhaps. In contrast, TOY STORY 3 was lighter thematically (loyalty, growing up, responsibility, forgiveness) but I think a stronger telling. Perhaps just some of the inherent trade offs in storytelling and proof that favoring either can work well.