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November 2, 2010

DVD of the Week – Review of Toy Story 3 (2010)

by NIR SHALEV

Toy Story 3 is not just the DVD of the week, it’s also one of 2010’s best films. And seeing that its animated competition is a couple of films about childish antagonists and a film that’s very reminiscent of Star Wars but starring owls, it’s also the front-runner for the Oscar.

Andy is packing up for college and the toys we grew to love during the past 16 years might be on the verge of disposal. Andy makes a quick decision to store the lovable toys in the attic instead of throwing them out or donating them, but because of a mix-up they end up relocated to a daycare center. Once there, Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, and the rest of the gang meet and befriend the resident toys: Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton), who dresses very flamboyantly; Chatter Phone, an evil surveillance monkey; and their leader, a hugable and lovable Lotso (voiced by Ned Beatty).

After a very tiring first day, the toy gang is almost destroyed by the toddlers frequenting the daycare and the new toys (new to the audience but old to the daycare) seem like they’re hiding a secret. From that moment on the film grows darker into a story-fueled second act and a devastatingly powerful third act.

Like its predecessors Toy Story 3 is still heavy on brilliant comedic bits. There’s a terrific segment involving a Spanish speaking Buzz who also acts the part of a Spanish lover, for reasons I won’t go into, and my favorite segment involving Mr. Potato Head replacing his potato with flat bread, again for a reason one will have to experience on their own.

This is a terrific film that’s widely considered to be the first great trilogy in, well ever. (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and Back to the Future trilogies suffer from only having one or two good films contained within and Die Hard, Rambo, Star Wars, and Alien have more than three movies in their series so they’re automatically disqualified.) Pixar emerging with Toy Story film was a momentous cinema event, and soon after followed by other masterpieces such as Monster’s Inc., Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. And knowing that Pixar looks up to Hayao Miyazaki as their idol makes it very difficult to lose faith in them.

Toy Story 3 comes on DVD and Blu-ray. The Blu-ray comes as a 2-disc set or 4-disc combo pack that contains the film, a Blu-ray disc for all of the special features, a DVD version of the film, and a digital copy. The quantity of special features is ridiculous in their amount and too long to list so I’d suggest reading up on them at Amazon.com or the Disney website.

Original Commentary Track review of Toy Story 3 by Helen Geib.

Other new releases this week: Centurion, Winnebago Man


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