“Toy Story 3” Is Lotso Good
by Nicholas Robinson
Andy (John Morris) is now 17 and ready to head off to college, leaving Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and the rest of the toy-box gang to ponder their uncertain futures. When the toys are accidentally donated to the Sunnyside Daycare center they’re initially overjoyed to once again be played with, but their enthusiasm quickly gives way to horror as they discover the true nature of the establishment under the rule of the deceptively welcoming “Lotso” Bear (Ned Beatty). Now, all of the toys must band together in one final, crazy scheme to escape their confines and return home to Andy. – IMDB.com
I have been a Pixar fan ever since I saw the first movie in this trilogy when I was very young (like 5) and two years ago I thought that they could not do any better than Wall-E, where they portrayed a beautiful love story using no more than 5 different lines of dialogue for the first hour of the movie. That is still true but now…there is a tie. This movie is a wonderful sequel to the film that made me fall in love with Pixar so many years ago. I say this because (unless the trilogy is planned from the get go, e.g. Star Wars episodes IV, V and VI) a sequel should be able to stand on its own meaning that if someone had never seen the previous movie(s) they should be able to not only understand what is going on, get the jokes and enjoy the movie and this movie does that perfectly.
At the start of the movie is around a 3-5 minute scene of playtime with Andy after the second movie (I assume as Jesse was involved) and shows you how much fun he had involving all of his toys in a fantasy that only a child could imagine. This scene then fades out to the present where we see the lengths that the toys have to go through just to get Andy to open his toy chest which shows the contrast that sets the tone of the entire movie and also makes us wonder how our old toys must have felt when we threw them out/neglected them/put them in the attic.
The entire tone of the movie is one of sadness, desperation and doubt which is portrayed so well not only by the script and the cinematography but by the acting. Even though this is voice acting, it is just as difficult or even harder to show emotion as in a live-action film and the entire cast does wonderfully in this regard. Tim Allen shows the transformation from his original Buzz Lightyear that was full of energy and (yes I will say it) happiness to the one that gets neglected and then donated which was sad, disappointed but still trying to show his tough exterior. Joan Cusack also did something similar with Jesse and also did well with it. I have to say however that the best vocal performance was given by Ned Beatty as Lotso. He reminded me of all of those gangsters you see in film that act like they’re doing you a favour but really are doing themselves one. Also, throughout the entire movie you could hear the bitterness in his voice (it’s explained in the movie which I slightly chuckled at because it was similar to the 1st Toy Story) even though it is hard to notice when he’s trying to be nice it’s still there which is what I really liked about Ned Beatty’s performance
The final thing I would like to talk about this movie is the score. Unlike the first two movies that had a happy and hopeful score and songs (like You’ve Got A Friend In Me), this one goes in a completely different direction. It is very subtle except for certain scenes but when it isn’t it is generally sad and ominous. My favourite part of the score is in a scene towards the end involving a fast moving machine and the score sounds very mechanic (kind of like the Terminator score) and also depressing. Near the end (which I thought was very beautiful) the score gets happier and more beautiful which was very nice and I really liked it.
Overall, this was a beautifully wonderful sequel to a wonderful movie that everyone should watch whether your 8 or 80.
IMDB says 8.7/10
RT says 99%
I say 10/10