Best Picture Profile: Toy Story 3

Directed by: Lee Unkrich

Written by: John Lasseter (story), Andrew Stanton (story),

Lee Unkrich (story), Michael Arndt (screenplay)

Company: Pixar Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures

Runtime: 103 minutes

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The film is the third and final installment of the beloved animation trilogy that started in 1995.

The film tells the story of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their group of toys as they face the dilemma of being left alone because Andy, their owner, is already going to college, and even if Andy wants to take them with him, he simply cannot. What he did was he placed the toys, except Woody which he will take with him to college, in a plastic bag to place them in the attic where thy can still be in peace. Misfortune follows and they were mistakenly placed in the garbage.

Woody makes a way to let them escape and go back to the attic, but the other toys refuse to listen to him and chose to be donated and stay in Sunnyside Daycare, a playground for children. Everything looked perfect, with Lotso, a teddy bear, leading the toys there in welcoming them.

Andy runs away from Sunnyside, but was taken by Bonnie, an innocent little girl. He’s taken home and found a very welcoming friend in her. But Chuckles, a sad clown, told Woody the dark truth that Lotso has, often showing violence and bullying to the other toys in Sunnyside. Woody then finds a way to save Buzz, and his other toy friends.

In Sunnyside, they experience the unimaginable – being played by monstrous, reckless, careless, and almost diabolical kids who treat them violently and play with them in such disgusting ways.

Woody goes back to Sunnyside and makes an escape plan for all of them.

What a fantastic way to end this great trilogy!

The direction is fantastic. It has this very special way of putting things together, reaching almost perfection in the execution.  don’t believe that there is a perfect film, but Toy Story 3 has this very suave way of making it appear that it actually is. The story is already fascinating, so what the film only needs is a direction that can handle the greatness of the material. And it sure delivered a very great direction. There are times when the direction is so in charge of the proceedings, and there are times when the story asks for the direction to hold back for a moment and keep a moment of restraint, but either way, the direction was able to make each and every one of the elements in filmmaking shine in their own way in their right timing. The film is special, and that’s because of the direction, if not only reason.

The screenplay is what keeps the film as fresh as it was the first time you watch it in repeated viewings. Most films come to a point of wearing out once you see the film for the 2nd or 3rd time, but the screenplay of the film made the film endearing to watch. Now what made it so fresh just like it was in the first time? Well, the characters are so sturdily built on humanity, humor, and pathos with skillful mixing of the three in every bit of the movie that made the story so easy to watch, so watchable, yet so full of intelligence. And the intelligence lies on the perfect timing of the words the characters throw to each other. The humor is not forced, the drama is not cheesy, and the characters, believable.

The cinematography was very efficient in sustaining the fantastical yet realistic look of the film. There is quite a big amount of richness in color in every frame that never got tiring and exhausting to watch since there is control in it. The whole film is just a big delight to watch. Some scenes have the very realistic feel, like the incinerator scene, that it’s just amazing to watch.

The editing makes the film extremely fast-paced yet unusually relaxed. It effectively brings the action that the film requires but it never neglects the characters involved in the scenes. It’s something outstanding for an animated film and an action film as well because those two types of films have common tendencies – to veer away on the characters and to focus more on showing off to the audience wither by eye-popping visuals or by loud action scenes. The dramatic scenes had the very natural flow, editing wise. It knows when to cut back to an other angle, but the clicks never felt obvious in any way.

The music is dynamically fascinating. It reaches a point when it became a very powerful emotional swayer in the scenes. It knows how to manipulate the scenes to turn them into scenes that really affect us, but every music never became obtrusive to the narrative of the story. It is actually quite smart in putting itself in the middle of the proceedings to almost became incidental music but still keeps the theme in it. Whether it be the prison escape or the incinerator scene or the farewell, everything is so worked out, and there is the music, subtly inching in the emotions needed in each scene.

The voice acting is very good.

As Woody, Tom Hanks proved here that you can breathe in another character just by hearing the voice. When you listen to his voice, he channels a much more mature and affected Woody that faces some personal crisis, but optimism clearly leads him. Woody has a very determined mindset, and you can clearly feel that with his voice.

Tim Allen also does good as Buzz Lightyear. The seriousness that Buzz has never sounded corny. Never, not even a line. The seriousness Buzz had is fun, but also effectively dramatic. There is a bit of calculation in the voice, but well, it comes as very effective and fit for his role for he is a robot!

Ned Beatty is endearingly terrifying as Lotso. The deceiving element of the character is very convincing because in reality, who would not love the kind Lotso? The voice resonates gentle authority, and Beatty has that in his voice. His voice when he already shows his demonic side is still the same, and that’s what I like about the voice – he character is still maintained. The voice is still the same, and that, for me, is an accomplishment for voice acting because some voice actors does not find grace in the way hey shift their tone in the voice.

The rest of the actors gave the utmost justice on their characters. That means to say, they were able to give the characters the life that they should have for us to care for them. And I also think that no one could replace any of the voices in their roles because they made it feel that they own the characters, and no other voice could match their roles.

So what do we have in the end?

What we have is a film that plucks the heartstrings of the viewers to subtly bring them to the emotions and to confront the characters in this film with ultimate honesty. I have watched the first film, but after fifteen years, I did not believe at first that a sequel like this will actually worked. And it did. It was so touching, so amazing, so overwhelming, and yet, so humane. I love this film.

For this, the film gets:

What are your thoughts? Disagree or not?

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