Toy Story 3

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post with a review of a movie that will appear in theaters tomorrow: Toy Story 3. I know some people see advance screenings all the time, but I'm one of those normal people who have to win them via generous radio stations. (Yes, I won two things in one week for like the first time ever. I'm highly considering heading to the closest race track.) So...

I got to see Toy Story 3 before the general public. Just that fact made me very happy. There were moments where I laughed (many moments where I laughed) and realized that millions of people had yet to laugh at whatever Buzz just said. I felt special.

But good feelings aside, I feel I should do my advance-screening tickets justice and review.

(A little background: I don't think I've ever seen Toy Story in its entirety. For a long time, I wasn't allowed to watch it, and then I thought it was too old. And then it was really dark. As for Toy Story 2, it's one of my favorite movies of all time. Probably my favorite animated movie as long as we're not counting Avatar. I loved it, loved the jokes, loved the angst, loved it. So that was what I was expecting when I went to see this third one.)

Since you can probably find the summary elsewhere, I'm just going to say that Andy's grown up. He's going to college. He's DRIVING. And the toys are worried about their destiny in this new phase of his life. The movie revolves around them trying to find someone to love and play with them again and wrestling with how they feel about Andy's growing up.

But how was it?

It was funny. OH YES! I haven't laughed so hard and so frequently and so innocently in a movie for a very long time. I laughed so much that I missed dialogue. Barbie finds Ken, Buzz goes Spanish, and Buster's still around. Oh, man. So funny, and so not raunchy. It was so much fun to laugh. It was all there.

It was creepy. Remember Sid's house in Toy Story? I can't remember the characters there very well; I just remember it was dark. But in Toy Story 2, things were lighter for some reason. Well, creepy's back, bigger and better than ever. I think it would have scared me when I was little. Now it was just up my alley of creepiness, enough to scare me, enough to make me catch my breath, and enough to feel like I got my horror-flick fix without the gore. Anyway, I would hesitate about taking young kids, because it honestly has some seriously scary parts. Just know what your kids are ready to watch.

It was suspenseful. I lost count of how many times I caught myself thinking, "I don't know how they're going to get out of this one!" I was holding my breath, my eyes wide, biting my lip and wondering how they would escape this predicament. Really good.

I was a kid again. It wasn't so much being reunited with all the characters as it was just sitting down and watching a kids' movie that I related with, with characters I did know and love, toys I remembered, and laughs I could appreciate. I related with Andy. I almost cried at the ending (which is sad but satisfying for all of us who grew up with it). I loved Jessi again, so much.

I walked away feeling like it was created for those of us who grew up with Toy Story. I'm curious at how modern-day kids will feel about it. Hopefully there won't be too much hidden humor that they can't relate with. I think they'll be good.

I really liked it. I recommend it for all. You'll laugh. You'll hold your breath. You just might scream, and you'll probably cry. For anyone who thinks it's a kids' movie - *shakes head* there's no such thing anymore. You grew up with Mr. Potato Head and Barbie just like everybody else. Go see it.

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