Toy Story 3 is already being fellated by critics and nostalgic moviegoers, with nearly 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and since I was a huge fan of the first two when I was a kid, I went to see it. The thing is, it sucked. I didn’t feel like it was “deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion,” like Pixar movies are all supposed to, because guess what? I’ve seen a Pixar movie before, and Toy Story 3 was a huge disappointment. Want reasons? Here’s five:
5. Pixar can make memorable movies in their sleep
No argument necessary. The original Toy Story is the best example of that. When a company goes from making Wall-E one year to making Up the next, casually bitch-slapping Dreamworks along the way, people tend to expect a certain level of quality. It’s gotten to the point where people just kind of equate “Pixar” with “Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.” Toy Story 3 just didn’t feel like it had that kind of effort, and the story shows it. At no point do we really feel like Andy doesn’t want to keep his toys. He even tries to store them in the attic like the hoarders we all became after watching the first two movies, but his meddling mother carts the toys off to the day care. Sure Andy is going off to college, but unlike Toy Story 2 which uses this same “moving away” plotline, Andy’s house is still going to be there whenever those toys get around to enacting their Mission Impossible style getaway.
4. The 3D felt kind of tacked on
This is an old argument, and everyone has pretty much come to terms with the fact that Hollywood executives are writing biblical epics about 3D since it provides so much extra revenue and an increased theatrical attendance from just a quick little rotoscoping, but Pixar is supposed to be on the cutting edge, and not merely following the trend. I don’t think I saw a single frame that benefited from having 3D, and to be honest, the glasses kind of distract from the immense attention to detail in the plain-old, boring 2D space. We can really see the dirt stains on those toys, as long as we don’t shift to a weird position, or turn our heads the wrong way, because then we just see a queasy mass of garbled lines. I mean, come on! The first Toy Story was the first entirely computer animated movie ever. The first ever. Technologically speaking, Toy Story 3 is just another 3D movie. Pixar, you started out by blasting us with innovation, and now you’re just phoning it in! What are you, Apple?
3. Pixar usually doesn’t make sequels
At least until people start offering them lots of money to do it anyway. Sequels aren’t the kinds of things that people nominate for Oscars, and Oscars are food for Pixar. That’s why they make shiny, single-serving movies like The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Up, Monsters Inc and basically any other enjoyable Children’s movie since 1995. Not only did they sequelize Toy Story twice now, but they’re also going to make a sequel to Cars next year, so clearly, for the right price, they’re not ideologically opposed to rehashing old stories. The problem with that is, no one really LIKES sequels. They’ll pay to see them, sure, but when have you ever heard anyone say that they liked The Godfather 3 more than 1 or 2? If you ever find someone who says that, you are legally obligated to sever the head of their best horse and leave it in their bed at night.
2. Irresponsible Portrayal of Latinos, Gays, and Daycare
You know, sometimes it can be tough to get a laugh without making fun of a heavily discriminated minority, but it might not be the best idea to do it in a children’s movie. Something about every character in the movie making fun of an obviously gay Ken doll for liking clothes and having flowery handwriting seems like it might not be the best thing to show the schoolmates of the flamboyant kid at school who just wants to be a dancer when he grows up. Also, just because Shrek gets the majority of its laughs from a hypersexualized Spanish animated character…
…doesn’t mean Pixar has to jump in on their territory. Since we have to have sexually active toys in a movie, we should at least tell the kids that people who speak Spanish can do things aside from tangoing to salsa music. Pixar isn’t stupid though, they know why they have to slip in all the adult themes, it’s because…
1. Toy Story 3 Wasn’t Really Made for the Kids
Let’s face it, who is actually excited for the (hopefully) final chapter in the Toy Story saga which they’ve been waiting for since 1995? Well, I think we can rule out the ones who weren’t even born yet. It’s the adults who are really chomping at the bit to see this movie, and therefore Pixar had to take into account the fact that the majority of people watching would be over the age of 18, and would demand some more mature themes. Hence the gay jokes. As a kids’ movie, it’s fine, sure, whatever. Who cares, they don’t remember anything anyway. As a kids’ movie that adults want to see, it’s really kind of lame. We notice all the cliches and don’t think it’s acceptable to just write out Woody’s love-interest with a throw away line (so what the love of my life was unceremoniously tossed into a dumpster, stop living in the past, guys!), we remember that both of the previous two movies have also written in sequences with an “evil Buzz Lightyear,” and we don’t flip our shit every time we hear the line “there’s a snake in mah boot,” because we’ve heard it ten-thousand times before, because we’re adults.
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