Moving on, I saw Toy Story 3. I am now a broken weeping shell of a man for the remainder of my days. Thanks, Pixar!
In all seriousness, Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece in storytelling, art, and emotional manipulation. The evil men and women at Pixar know that we, the general populace, has had Woody, Buzz, and the whole toy gang in our lives for the better part of fifteen years.
Armed with this knowledge, the filmmakers run our beloved characters through such a gut-wrenching turn-of-events that even two weeks after seeing the movie, it is still hard for me to visualize certain scenes and not get a little choked up about it.
This time around, it's 11 years since we last saw Rex, Mr. Potato Head, and the rest of Andy's toys. They've spent the last few years being stored away in a trunk in Andy's room. They long to be played with but, overall, they are not too bad off.
However, Andy is now a grown young man and he's getting ready to leave for college. The best case scenario for the toys is that they get packed up nicely and stored in the attic. They don't even want to dare think that they might get tossed to the curb as common trash. Of course, Andy is not the type of person to toss beloved childhood heirlooms, but, in a crazy, mad cap twist of events, the toys find themselves packed up and donated to the local day care center.
They are welcomed with open arms by the day care center's toys, including their leader, a pink stuffed bear named Lotso. The day care center seems on the surface to be toy nirvana and Andy's toys go against Woody's better judgement and decide it's the best place for them.
Woody, however, feels Andy needs him and he makes a break for it. Little do the other toys realize that escaping the day care center would have been in their very best interest as not all is at it seems in Lotso's kingdom.
That is the general set-up, but I'm mainly going to focus on the end of the film. It's still too soon to get into specifics but those that have seen the movie know that the last half-hour of the film is one of most powerfully written pieces of cinema that has ever been crafted.
As an ending to a beloved trilogy of films, it works beautifully in signaling the end of one journey for Andy's loved toys while at the same time opening the door to new possibilities.
What really makes the ending so emotional though is that you can't but help relate it to your own personal experiences. It can be as simple as a memory being jogged of when you had to let go of a loved toy or profound as a personal realization of when you lost your childhood innocence.
You'll remember the day you first moved out of your childhood home and you'll vividly recall seeing your parents well up with tears. Although, now, you'll understand your parents tears a little better.
For parents, the movie will remind you that your little girl or boy has grown up and moved out, or, even if they are still babies, that your precious little ones will, sooner than you think, not be your little babies anymore but grown, strong men and women.
The movie has the action set pieces, the laugh-out-loud moments of humor, and the inventive new characters but, really, these things fall to the back of your memory after you experience the last third of the movie.
Toy Story 3 automatically vaults into my personal top ten movies of all times. It's a work-of-art. It's really a movie that you owe it yourself to see and I think I can honestly say it will be one of most poignant and important two hours you will ever spend in your life.