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Toy Story 3

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Lest I be accused of mere "hype," let me save anybody who's eager to dampen my hopes the trouble of posting this:

CinemaBlend's Katey Rich:

As much as I loved seeing all the toys again, I'm not 100% sure that this adventure-- as entertaining and lovely as it was-- was the right one for Pixar at this moment. Toy Story 3 takes many big risks, and twists your heart around as much as Wall-E and Up, but at times it felt far safer than what we've come to expect from them.

::bluehaironend::

So there you go. Bone-chilling, I know.

This is immediately followed by:

And yet, I guarantee you will enjoy this film. Same goes for the short that preceded it, "Day and Night," which is yet another gem from the shorts department at the studio. Abstract and experimental in a way, while sweet and funny at the same time, it's in a way an artistic leap even though it boasts some of their simplest animation. I won't say anything more so you can see it all for yourself come June 18.

And she started it off with:

Toy Story 3 fits perfectly in line with the Pixar legacy, and almost definitely represents the 11th hit in a row for the remarkable studio.

Of course, this can't possibly be a thoughtful response, as this person has just come from the Kool-aid room, so we can't take it seriously. :)

Edited by Overstreet

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Overstreet wrote:

: For a complete selection of Tweets, just search for "Toy Story 3" on Twitter.

Good grief. It's like there's just five or six tweets out there and everybody's busy re-tweeting and re-tweeting and re-re-tweeting. (And surprise, surprise, all the re-re-re-tweeted tweets are of the glee-club variety.) I don't think anyone's got time to dig through all that to find just the unique tweets. I know I certainly don't.

A few of the top tweets did link to more substantial posts, though, such as this one at CinemaBlend.com:

The print of the film we saw was not finished, and it's likely that there will be some tweaks before the June 18 release. But when we get there I think we'll be having a conversation about the Pixar legacy, about how groundbreaking their work has become in the last few years and whether or not revisiting the movie where it all began was the right step for a company that, at its best, can legitimately be called avant garde. As much as I loved seeing all the toys again, I'm not 100% sure that this adventure-- as entertaining and lovely as it was-- was the right one for Pixar at this moment. Toy Story 3 takes many big risks, and twists your heart around as much as Wall-E and Up, but at times it felt far safer than what we've come to expect from them.

Well THAT sounds interesting, at least.

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Heh. Looks like you were checking Katey's ("his"?) article out at the same time I was.

Far be it from me to dampen anybody's hopes; I know that that, in some cases at least, would be a futile quest. I am, however, interested in engaging with the film on a deeper level, and I am glad that Katey takes a stab at this, however slight, in her write-up.

As it is, the only qualifier Katey puts in her review is a question that some of us have already been asking anyway: namely, should Pixar be making sequels to its earlier movies at this point in its career? I offered one perspective on that question in the thread on 'Pixar: The studio, its history and process' back in June.

Overstreet wrote:

: Of course, this can't possibly be a thoughtful response, as this person has come from the Kool-aid room, so we can't take it seriously.

Uh, not to put too fine a point on it, but what the hell are you talking about? Who said this person "has come from the Kool-aid room"?

You do know the difference between a good movie and a "hit", yes?

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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I am, however, interested in engaging with the film on a deeper level.

I will be too, when I can see the film. I'll skip detailed examinations until opening day, so I can allow for as much surprise as possible. For now, I'm happy to hope for the best. These responses that I'm enjoying - they might be a bunch of hot air. But I'll smile along for the ride unless something that seems like a serious, legitimate problem bursts the balloon. ::bearballoon::

Edited by Overstreet

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In select theaters, Toy Story 3 will be in Dolby 7.1.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Your best sound experiences in cinemas today probably involve a Dolby 5.1 sound set up. This means you have 6 separate channels of sound. Left, Centre, Right, Left Surround and Right Surround make up the 5, and the .1 comes from a subwoofer or “low frequency effects” channel. From the summer, however, Dolby are rolling out their new theatrical 7.1 system. The two extra channels added here will be Back Left Surround and Back Right Surround.

Read more: Pixar Futures: Toy Story 3 to Debut New Dolby Sound System, The Bear and the Bow Renamed? | /Film http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/03/16/pixar-futures-toy-story-3-to-debut-new-dolby-sound-system-the-bear-and-the-bow-renamed/#ixzz0iO4tXD1x

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Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net:

Essentially what we see in the trailer is the set-up for another amazing adventure...

...

Like the best Pixar movies, it's consistently funny, exciting and moving, sometimes all three at the same time, and as someone who never got around to seeing Toy Story 2 and really had very little emotional investment in the characters, I was really impressed with what was done with a fairly simple story that doesn't require having seen either of the previous movies to immediately understand the idea of growing up and losing interest in one's toys. ... There are also moments as emotional as those in Up without ever feeling sentimental. I'll also freely admit to being close to tears a number of times while watching it, which is a true testament to what Unkrich and his team of talented creators have done in making these toys feel so human, yet making the human characters feel even more real than what we normally see in animated films. ...

Toy Story 3 is the type of movie that I could definitely see again right away and certainly will want to see how it plays in 3D, especially since one of the best things about the look of the movie is how bright and colorful it looks even compared to Pixar's other recent movies. ... We can almost guarantee that Disney and Pixar have another blockbuster hit on their hands, one that is going to stand the test of time more than most sequels.

Nice to hear that what we seen in the trailer is pretty much just the set-up. I love it when trailers are cut in such a way that most of the movie is left to surprise.

Edited by Overstreet

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Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net:

I'll also freely admit to being close to tears a number of times while watching it, which is a true testament to what Unkrich and his team of talented creators have done in making these toys feel so human, yet making the human characters feel even more real than what we normally see in animated films. ...

That's really interesting if true, because the human characters in Toy Story films have never been much more than walking plot devices or over-the-top villains.

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We must, of course, remember that Lee Unkrich apparently told the exhibitors to whom he showed this rough cut that they weren't allowed to "review" the film or give away any plot points, but they WERE encouraged to "hype" the movie. So, y'know, no doubt that may have some bearing here. :)

In any case, Jim Hill:

Speaking of which … I’m going to be very interested to see what sort of rating “Toy Story 3” gets. Because this movie gets really dark and scary at times. In fact, there’s one sequence toward the end of “TS3” where the toys are put in such peril (and then handle this literally horrifying moment with such grace, heart and courage) that I wonder if this moment in the movie may be just too much for little-little kids to handle. But then again – given how the sequence in question pays off, with this great character-driven “But of course!” moment (which got a huge reaction from the crowd today in Le Theatre Des Arts) – I honestly wouldn’t change a frame of this film.

*** BEGIN POSSIBLE LAST-IMAGE-OF-THE-MOVIE SPOILER ***

And then this interesting, possibly spoiler-ish bit:

Here’s something else that you’re going to want to do before seeing “Toy Story 3”: And that’s rewatch “Toy Story” & “Toy Story 2.” You see, Unkrich and Anderson have made a point of filling “TS3” with all sorts of witty tie-ins, clever call-backs to the first two films. And in order to really appreciate what Lee & Darla have done here, the first two “Toy Story” movies should still be fresh in your mind. (That way -- for example -- you'll realize that the last image in "Toy Story 3" echoes the very first thing that you see in the original "Toy Story.")

By that, I assume he doesn't mean the 3D Disney castle (which faded into the wallpaper in Andy's room in the original version of Toy Story; it was deleted from the 3D version of the film that came out last year, so that the new 3D Disney logo could be tacked onto the beginning of the film). So it sounds like the third film will end with clouds against a blue sky. Real clouds in a real sky? Or another set of wallpaper? Who knows?

*** END POSSIBLE SPOILER ***

N.K. Carter wrote:

: That's really interesting if true, because the human characters in Toy Story films have never been much more than walking plot devices or over-the-top villains.

Yeah, exactly. Andy's always been little more than a cipher, someone that audience members can project themselves onto; we're not really supposed to think of him as an individuated character. Or, at least, we've never been supposed to think of him like that BEFORE.

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Now that I've got real hope for this movie to be excellent, I'm going to stop reading this thread, just to avoid possible spoilage/maximize possible enjoyment.

See you on the other side! :)

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So, since 140 characters does make it difficult to offer a thoughtful response, let's hear from slashfilm's Peter now that he's back on the blog, where he has room to be thoughtful:

How does it compare to that last two Toy Story films? That’s a tricky question. The first Toy Story will always be remembered as a classic, and the second film has held one of the top most spots as one of the best reviewed wide release movies of all time. It would be wrong to expect the third film to [Jeffrey's note: TO WHAT, PETER? YOU DROPPED AN IMPORTANT WORD HERE.] the previous entries in the series.

That said, Toy Story 3 did not disappoint. The film introduces a lot of new characters, some of which stand toe to tow with the characters created for the first two features. Barbie’s new “boytoy” Ken steals almost every scene he appears in. The story goes to places you might not expect, and the movie trailers released thus far don’t give much of it away.

And speaking of the trailer, you might remember it contained a few clips of an action scene on a train in the desert. I know I talked to a few Pixar fanatics who were worried about that sequence, as it looks very unlike anything Pixar has done in the past Toy Story films. Let me assure you that the sequence makes sense (for those who care to know, it is the opening sequence — if you remember how Toy Story 2 opened then you’ll understand what I mean).

The story is a fun ride to places unknown, and takes some twists and turns you might not expect. The conclusion is a fitting end to the series, and will probably leave you in tears. The last 20-30 minutes are pure brilliance. I can’t wait to see the film again when it’s completed and in 3D.

Then, Latino Review:

“Lee Unkrich put his co-directing gigs behind him and gave us a fantastic end to the series. All of the toys were present (except for a few, which is explained in the film) and the movie looked great.” … “The last act had some around me crying, probably thinking back to when they had favorite toys of their own growing up.”

And no, I'm not being selective and just sharing the raves. Here's another searing condemnation from First Showing:

...it is a very wild ride. It’s actually a great story that has a few twists and turns and deviates from the norm quite a bit, but it’s still as great as any other movie from Pixar. I did really enjoy it and have a fun time watching it, but that’s really all there was, nothing more to make it extraordinary. It’s a bit hard to say, because I love Pixar so much, but it felt like this lacked the same magic of Pixar movies of past (at least up until the ending). But if you love the Toy Story movies, you’re going to love this one, too.

Huh?

"It's as great as any other movie from Pixar... but that's really all there was."

Does. Not. Compute.

Edited by Overstreet

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We must, of course, remember that Lee Unkrich apparently told the exhibitors to whom he showed this rough cut that they weren't allowed to "review" the film or give away any plot points, but they WERE encouraged to "hype" the movie. So, y'know, no doubt that may have some bearing here. :)

Well, there does exist such a thing as negative hype, so I would assume the exhibitors were free to "hype" one way or the other.

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Well, there does exist such a thing as negative hype, so I would assume the exhibitors were free to "hype" one way or the other.

Both kinds of reactions were plentiful after early showings of Avatar. As initial-response waves go, this one is genuinely exciting to me.

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Peter @ Slashfilm wrote:

: . . . some of which stand toe to tow . . .

What a strange, strange typo. I mean, the incorrect word is sitting RIGHT NEXT TO the correct word, there. How does one make a mistake like that?

: . . . the movie trailers released thus far don’t give much of it away.

That's fascinating, because Disney-Pixar veteran Floyd Norman responded to the most recent trailer by saying that it HAD given a lot of the movie away. Obviously, there are plenty of plot twists that are not in the trailer, but presumably what he means is that the footage comes from all over the movie or something like that.

Overstreet wrote:

: "It's as great as any other movie from Pixar... but that's really all there was."

: Does. Not. Compute.

I dunno, it kinda fits with what Katey @ CinemaBlend.com said: It'll be Pixar's 11th straight hit at the box office, but it's basically just another Toy Story movie; it's not WALL-E or Up or any of the more recent Pixar films that have strived to be something ... more.

And personally, I'm fine with that. Toy Story 3 needs to feel like it's of a piece with the other Toy Story films; it SHOULDN'T come across as if it had more in common with Pixar's other, more recent films. (For some reason I'm thinking now about The Godfather Part III and how it captured Al Pacino at a very, very different point in his career, or his acting persona, than the first two films did.)

Granted, "just another Toy Story movie" is kind of praising with faint damns. Then again, I'm not sure how well the original Toy Story would be remembered today if Toy Story 2 hadn't been as brilliant as it was.

Darryl A. Armstrong wrote:

: Well, there does exist such a thing as negative hype, so I would assume the exhibitors were free to "hype" one way or the other.

Perhaps. But would exhibitors have any reason to hype AGAINST one of the few surefire franchise hits of the year?

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KShaw   

What a strange, strange typo. I mean, the incorrect word is sitting RIGHT NEXT TO the correct word, there. How does one make a mistake like that?

When the incorrect key is sitting RIGHT NEXT TO the correct key. smile.gif

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The Associated Press lets slip one more detail that hasn't quite been spelled out before, at least not anywhere that I have seen:

The toys' new adventures take them to a seeming paradise, a day-care centre with a never-ending supply of kids. But there they find a rigid regime run by a cuddly but deceptive teddy bear who decrees what toys will end up with the gentler older children and what ones will be tormented as "toddler fodder."

KShaw wrote:

: When the incorrect key is sitting RIGHT NEXT TO the correct key. smile.gif

Heh. Good point. :)

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MattPage   

It's a good scene but aren't many of these toys (e.g. Mr Potato Head) too young for these children. Things to swallow etc.?

And seeing as Peter is too modest to link to his recent post on this film. I will as I found it kinda interesting.

Matt

Edited by MattPage

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The funny thing is, I was actually pondering that scene earlier today, and wondering if the movie would use the same music that the trailer does.

I believe I was pondering this because I was thinking about all the '80s references in movies these days (this year alone, we'll be seeing remakes of '80s films and TV shows like Clash of the Titans, The A-Team and The Karate Kid, to say nothing of sequels to Predator, Tron, Wall Street etc., and of course there are '80s nods galore in Hot Tub Time Machine etc.), and it occurred to me that the song in the trailer was also an '80s nod.

And as I thought about this, it seemed to me that the Pixar people weren't necessarily big '80s buffs, even though they had made a name for themselves with their short films during that decade. (I happened to finish a blog post today on the link between 1988's Tin Toy and Toy Story 3, so this, too, was a subject that was on my mind today.) Their movies are full of nostalgia, yes, but generally for the '50s (Woody's Roundup in Toy Story 2, the Paul Newman character in Cars, etc.) or '60s (the spy-movie motifs of The Incredibles, the Barbra Streisand movie-within-the-movie in WALL-E, etc.) or even the '70s (the Star Wars references in Up and Toy Story 2, etc.; and of course, Up goes back even FURTHER, to the '30s or '40s, with its zeppelins and whatnot).

And so it was interesting to come along and find this clip tonight, which uses a song from the '70s INSTEAD of the '80s song that the trailer used.

ADDENDUM: Ah, I see you've added a link to my blog post since I started writing my reply (which also links to that blog post). I really shouldn't noodle these things for so long. :)

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'60s (the spy-movie motifs of The Incredibles,

There is a retty obvious nostalgia for 60's Marvel comics in that one as well.

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Nezpop wrote:

: There is a retty obvious nostalgia for 60's Marvel comics in that one as well.

Yeah, I thought about that, but I didn't think I knew Marvel comics well enough to make that statement. Glad you did, though! :)

Interestingly, though, while I cannot think of any Pixar films that have expressed nostalgia for specific 1980s ARTIFACTS (songs, products, set designs, etc.), it does occur to me that, whenever Pixar has been accused of ripping off an existing movie, it has generally been a movie from the '80s (or early '90s, which is arguably sort of an extension of the '80s; it's all part of the Reagan-Bush era, at any rate). I'm thinking particularly of how A Bug's Life borrowed its storyline from Three Amigos (1986) and how Cars reportedly borrowed its storyline from Doc Hollywood (1991). And some people saw the influence of Short Circuit (1986-1988) on the design of the main character in WALL-E, though perhaps not in the actual story (why, the two main characters even both have a scene in which they squish an insect, or at least believe they have done so!).

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