Editions
Softcover (Vintage) — Amazon
Audiobook (Tantor) — Amazon
Japan (Hayakawa) — Publisher
People’s Republic of China (China Renmin University Press) — Publisher
Taiwan (CTW Culture) — Books.com.tw | Amazon
 
Korea (Heureum) — Publisher
« Teddy Newton | Main | Video book review »
Wednesday
Jun092010

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter on Toy Story 3

The trades reviewed Toy Story 3 yesterday — Peter Debruge in Variety and Michael Rechtshaffen in The Hollywood Reporter.

The reviews do contain spoilers going a little bit beyond what viewers have already seen in the trailers. I don’t think they would ruin the film for anyone, but for those who prefer to stay behind the veil of ignorance, here are some spoiler-free highlights:

Variety

Pixar has essentially set an impossible standard for itself, having previously delivered the rare sequel that improves on the original, then followed that up with a run of exceptional work. This latest script, written by “Little Miss Sunshine’s” Michael Arndt from a story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Unkrich, feels more gag-driven than the studio’s previous efforts — essentially borrowing a page from DreamWorks Animation, chasing snappy humor over heart-on-their-sleeve sentimentality, within a few months of DreamWorks going the Pixar route with the sincere storytelling of “How to Train Your Dragon.” (It’s worth remembering that former Disney CEO Michael Eisner once intended to make “Toy Story 3,” sans Pixar involvement, when relations between the two studios broke down in 2004.)

The visuals look gorgeous as ever, making classy use of 3D to enhance the drama, while staying true to the original aesthetic… . But the pic wants laughs, and it’s willing to dilute the respect Lasseter showed this borderline-absurd world to get them, goosing auds with punchline-driven cutting, pop-song montages and throwaway silliness. Surely kids could have done without the bathroom humor, though much of the comedy takes the high road, such as an inspired bit in which Buzz is accidentally switched to Spanish-language mode.

But “Toy Story 3” is best when it’s being serious, and the final 15-minute stretch … pays off feelings auds invested 15 years ago.  

The Hollywood Reporter

Bottom Line: Woody, Buzz and playmates make a thoroughly engaging, emotionally satisfying return.

After a decade-plus absence, the toys are back in town, and boy are they a sight for sore, 3D-beaten eyes.

“Toy Story 3” might not carry that eye-popping dazzle of 1995’s milestone original that put Pixar on the map, but, in the absence of groundbreaking innovation, there’s a greater depth that isn’t solely attributable to those now-ubiquitous goofy glasses.

Playing with more darkly complex emotions than the previous two installments, incoming director Lee Unkrich (co-director of “Toy Story 2” and “Monsters, Inc.”) and screenwriter Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine”) manage to add nice substance without noticeably weighing down the beloved characters