I missed this on its theatrical release but had the very great pleasure of watching it on DVD at home last night. There is talk that TS3 is a live contender for the overall movie Oscar and I wouldn’t argue with that, because alongside Monsters (which won’t win) The Kids are All Right, Let Me In and Social Network this is amongst the last year’s best.
It’s one of the most engaging, laugh out loud funny and deeply moving movies I’ve seen in a long time. It unashamedly goes for the heartstrings in the final act as Andy leaves home to go to his Freshman year at a US college. And that’s what this film is all about, the loss of childhood and what that means to a young man as he comes of age. It’s clear from the off that Andy has a degree of maturity that is not normal amongst late teenage boys. He is a sensitive and thoughtful soul who really will be missed by both his Mum and his sister. Dad is never seen, is this a modern day dysfunctional family or is he just always at work. In this respect perhaps it is Andy that has assumed the role of Patriarch and hence his maturity. It matters not because after the establishing of his departure and before the hugely emotional denouement we have a comedy classic full of slapstick, crazy chases and, unusually, a brilliant plot. The script sizzles and the acting (by the usual humans – you know them all by now) is universally brilliant. Having watched TS1 the day before I was impressed with the technical advances in the animation. Pixar just keep getting better. For instance human movement which was a bit out of sync in TS1 has been nailed in TS3.
Randy Newman has made the franchise his own with his bittersweet and mostly beautiful music. Perhaps the highlight in this installment is Buzz Lightyear’s fantastic Spanish rendition of “You’ve got a friend.”