Now I’m not one to jump too easily on the Pixar bandwagon. As much as I enjoyed the previous Toy Story’s – I had serious issues with the passable A Bugs Life, the (really!) made for kids Monsters Inc. Hell I didn’t even see what was so new about The Incredibles. Sure it was funny, it looked good – but it didn’t amaze me to the same extent all these other UK reviewers got into a frenzy about.
That’s all I saw for years! “Finding Nemo. 5 Stars! Best Pixar film ever. The Incredibles! 5 Stars! They just got better! Ratatouille! 5 Stars! They keep topping their best efforts! UP! 5 Stars! Pixar do it again.”
Seriously anyone who comes up with the idea of creating a cartoon for kids about a friendly rat in a kitchen needs help. That picture aside – I’m not trying to rain on their parade. They do these films very well, if to a refined type of animation. They are all similar in their taste in humour and teach kids moral lessons in life (except that rat one! Kids! Seriously if you see one of them in your kitchen at home DO NOT pet it!)
The worst let down for me was Wall-E. Yup I know, another 5 Star extravaganza! Won awards round the globe. But here’s the thing – that film was getting compared to Silent Running and being touted as them doing something really new… and for the first 30 minutes it really did! Barely a word of dialogue, two robots, one barren location – I was half geared up for a minimalist story of friendship between two cute little bots with perhaps a bit of heartbreak at the end when one of them died through power failure leaving our titular character all alone to field the trash, now that would have been sad but beautiful. But then they had to shuttle off to outer space for a wacky adventure, with lots of dumb new characters and annoying humans (OK, the message about humans getting fat is taken – but it isn’t likely to stop us being lazy). It was a really wasted opportunity, simply because a big studio wouldn’t dare have a 90 minute film with just two characters sitting on a pile of rubbish bonding.
Rant aside – now that you have my view on Pixar – along comes Toy Story 3 – and I have no reservation about saying that this film lives up to the entertainment values of the first two (being that I liked the first two!) Toy Story 3 also features the best ending of the trilogy – and it is one that is likely to be final at that.
Andy has grown up to the stage of being about to head off to college – and the toys are locked away in a truck and barely see the light of day yet alone the kid that once spent so much time playing with them so adventurously. Through a course of actions the bulk of them end up at a day care centre, and what at first seems like a promising future for them all – ends up going disastrously wrong.
Yup, Andy can’t seem to stop losing his toys without knowing about it, and they keep having to come up with decent escape plans. The message in this film is ultimately strong and the full returning cast of voices all manage their parts with some wonderful comic relief as well as dignified grace.
I may have suspicious eyes on Pixar – but thankfully this is one set of films they have managed well – and hats off to them for creating a solid film trilogy!