If by some chance you have been following my blog from the start you will know of my love affair with Pixar. I have seen every film they have ever made on the cinema and many of their films would be in a list of my all time favourites.  To me they are just geniuses plain and simple, and i’m not just talking about visually which is unbelieveble but with the story.  They take you on an emotional journey, i admit it Up had me in tears!  So it’s a big deal for me to see them going back to where it all began with the adventures of Woody and Buzz.

  The film returns to Andy’s room but now it’s a grown up Andy, about to set off for college, and the toys don’t know whether they are set for the attic or the bin.  After a mix up they find themselves in the Sunnyside nursery with dozens of new kids to play with them, but Woody’s heart is still with Andy and he wants to go home.  Despite his pleads Buzz and the others are drawn in by Lotso bear the Strawberry smelling leader of the nursery toys with stories of how much they will be played and that they will never be unloved and decide to stay. All isn’t what  it seems and Woody discovers the nurseries dark secret and plots a jailbreak to rescue his friends and get them back to their proper home.

   On a their recent  Radio 5 show, film critic Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo, were discussing whether the Toy Story films were the definitive trilogy of all time, well after watching this latest and hopefully final installment, they may have a point.  It’s amazing to think it’s been over ten years since Toy Story 2 but it feels like they’ve never been away. The exciting opening sequence gives way to vidoe montage of Andy growing up and already you know this is gonna be some thing special. As ever the characters are brilliantly real, with more humanity than most live action films. All the favourites are back, with the only change being Slinky who’s original voice, Jim Varney, sadly died in 2000 but his replacement Blake Clarke does a good impersonation.  A lot of the publicity for the film has been about the new characters from the Sunnyside Nursery, and there are a few but the main two are Lotso voiced by Ned Beatty and Ken voiced by Michael Keaton. Lotso is the main protagonist in the story and plays the role well, whose intentions arn’t very clear. The stand out for me was Ken, his first meeting with Barbie was hilarious and the fashion sequence later in the film had me in stitches, and I was surprised to see that he was voiced my Michael Keaton, a man sadly missing from our screens these days.

  The one element that the Toy Story films have always done well is the action sequences and there are a few corkers in this one including an escape that the Mission Impossible team would be proud off, and a grand finale that really had me on the edge of my seat.

    It has everything that you would expect from a Pixar film, with the fun and laughs to keep the kids engrossed, but with this one, you have a darker side that will make the adults think and reflect on their own lives. How you get to point where the ability to have fun and use your imagination fades away, as more adult things take over.  We see this as Andy decides what to do with his toys as he packs up for college, does he throw them away, put them in the loft or take them with him.  As mentioned earlier, last years UP had me in tears and Toy Story 3 did the same, there are a few scenes in the last half hour where I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, those ‘surely not’ moments which really dig into you, scenes of real power. This could be Pixars finest moment so far, but I really need to see it a few more times as Up has had multiple viewings.

 I suppose I should make mention of the 3D!  It was good because you didn’t really notice it. It gave the image depth, something I found amazing in Monsters Vs. Aliens on the IMAX, but didn’t rely on gimicks, nothing came flying out the screen at you, it just draws you in, but to be honest I don’t think you need to see it in 3D. The story and characters is all you need to get totally engrossed in it. Though at least with the glasses on people can’t see you cry.

  I don’t feel I really need to sell you on seeing this, as you know what to expect if you’ve seen the first two. This is an amazing film, which will take you through emotional ride, take some tissues. Pixar I bow down to you as you’ve done it again.

Rating  9/10

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