Friday, May 12, 2017

Toy Story 3

The "No, You're Crying" Blogathon is an event devoted to movies that make us cry (for whatever reason), hosted by Moon in Gemini. For a complete list of participating bloggers, visit the host site.

Toy Story 3

Top five favorite toys from my childhood:

5. Hess trucks. Whenever I went out with my parents and we passed a Hess gas station, I had to have a toy Hess truck. If you put batteries in them, the headlights and tail lights would light up. The doors to the cab would open. I had one with a retractable hose. To this day, I could not tell you why I was so into them. I just was.

4. Lincoln Logs. I was a fiend for building toys. With this, I liked the way the logs fit into the notches at the ends so neatly. I wasn't very creative in building my log cabins, but that was okay. I just liked putting the logs together, little by little.


3. Tinkertoys. These, on the other hand, were the kind of building toys with which you could go nuts. I think I favored abstract sculpture-type designs. I didn't care what they looked like. The weirder the better.

2. Lite Brite. Loved this one! It was a bunch of colored lights that you stuck in specific patterns into holes on a kind of light box. You'd get images like a clown face, or a sailboat or a house, stuff like that. When it was finished, you turned off the lights in your room and turned this on and voila! 

1. Domino Rally. Oh. My. God. I could not get enough of this. You would line up these small colored tiles shaped like dominos and knock them down. They came with all these cool accessories that you could add to your rally, like bridges, contraptions with rolling marbles and moving parts, etc. I would set it up on the kitchen floor, which always pissed my mother off because she wouldn't be able to walk through the front door until I knocked the dominos down.


I don't recall imagining my toys having lives of their own. I didn't have many dolls or action figures or stuffed animals, though, so it likely didn't occur to me much. Given how big action figures have become, I kinda regret not having any. I saw the same commercials for GI Joe and Transformers and He-Man and the Superfriends as everyone else, but I never bugged my parents for them. They probably would've gotten them for me. My interests were in other kinds of toys.

The Toy Story films, as far as I'm concerned, stack up with any live-action movie, past or present, foreign or domestic, you care to name. They show how cool it is to be a toy. Buzz has delusions of being an actual person (sort of) in the first movie, but Woody sets him straight. Why? Because nothing is more important to a toy than the bond between it and its human owner. It's what they live for. That's the theme that runs throughout the entire trilogy. They're not miniature people. They're toys - and they're meant to be played with.


Okay. The crying. I'm gonna proceed on the assumption you've seen Toy Story 3 (if you haven't, what are you doing reading this? Go watch it; it's great) and jump straight to the climax of the movie: the part where they're trapped on the garbage conveyor belt, about to be melted into slag by the incinerator.

I saw TS3 theatrically. As this scene took place, a part of me knew they weren't really gonna die... but I wasn't sure! It was one of those no-way-out situations in which the hero(es) somehow finds a way out, but I didn't see a way out. I was on the edge of my seat, dog!

Then the Pizza Planet aliens snatched them up at the last second ("THE CLAAAAAW!"). I swear to you, I cannot remember the last time a movie left me feeling so euphoric. My tears at that moment were mixed with laughter. It was one of those rare moments where it felt good to be alive! That animated characters could make me feel this way was a tribute to the remarkable work Pixar put into making them real over the course of these movies... and the story wasn't even over yet.


The ending. Omigod, the ending. Even now, I can't think of it without choking up. Why? Perhaps seeing grown-up Andy hand off his toys to little Bonnie triggered some latent paternal instinct in me - which is odd, because the last thing I want is to be a parent. Perhaps it was coming to the end of the road, the parting of ways between Andy and Woody, that made me so emotional. Perhaps it was a little of both. Either way, I was a puddle of goo afterward - and I don't think I was the only one in the audience in such a state.

Toy Story 4 is happening. I would say, "How can they possibly top the last one?" but I said that after 2, about 3. So I guess I'll reserve my spot in line now... with extra handkerchiefs.

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Related:
TS3 and Oscar's anti-animation bias

Other movies that have made me cry (that I'll admit to):
Field of Dreams
Breaking the Waves
The Children's Hour

18 comments:

  1. Cool learning about your childhood favourites. Are books considered toys? I had some dolls and plush teddy bears, but when I look back it is my books and Classics Illustrated comics that stand out.

    I saw Toy Story 3 in the theatre as well. It was with Janet (her second viewing) and I felt exactly the same emotions during the incinerator scene. I was squeezing her hand the whole time and I think I even stopped breathing at one point. The Toy Story trilogy lives.

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  2. Funny, when I actually thought about it, I realized there were things I wasn't sure could qualify as toys or perhaps just games. But why split hairs? (I suppose one of those interactive books could count as a toy.)

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  3. I absolutely BAWLED in the theatre watching this. I was with my best friend, and I remember her shaking her head at me as I had huge streams of tears emerging from the 3D glasses. There were big tough guys sitting close to us as well who did not hold back the tears.

    I also loved my Lite Brite as well as a kid! I also loved my Talking Computer and Fisher Price phone haha. I do have two teddy bears who mean a great deal to me, and I would never part with them.

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    1. It hadn't occurred to me to see it in 3D, but it probably would've been worth the extra cash.

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  4. Nice review. My son and I saw this movie just as my daughter was going off to college. As much as my son and I felt for the toys in this movie, it was the closing scene that got us all sniffling.

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  5. If you had a kid going to college, just like Andy, then you really must have been able to relate.

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  6. This is a good film choice for this theme. I nearly cried at this ending myself. I remember I was a very young teenager when I first saw the first film, and when I saw the third, I experienced such a strong emotion - I grew up with these characters too.

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  7. I think this would've still worked if it were a stand-alone movie and not part of a franchise, but having seen these characters in two prior movies makes seeing their ultimate fate even more heartrending, I think.

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  8. I cried during this movie watching it in the theater, which is always embarrassing. I was trying so hard not to, and then my son (who was only 6 at the time and sitting my lap) said, "Mommy, what are you going to do when I go to college?" and I just lost it.

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    1. OMG!! What a moment that must've been for you.

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  9. You know what's really sick? A middle-aged man going to see children's movies by himself. I was in my 30's when the first one came out and i was pushing 50 by Toy Story 3. But some kids movies are geared towards the adults too (like Shrek), so there...:-) Enjoyed the review.

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  10. Hey, if they're really good children's movies, there's no shame in that. Just be sure to pick a time when there are fewer screaming kids in the audience.

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  11. You had the exact same reaction as me: I knew somehow that they could not die,. but I didn't see an easy way out. I was afraid, then relieved, then ecstatic. Well done article, my friend!
    Cheers!
    Le

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  12. Hey! We just saw this again last week. And I got choked up all over again during that last scene with Andy and Bonnie. That is such a powerful scene, how the toys are promised a great new life with that little girl, and how they have one more "play session" with Andy. It's making me a little emotional just thinking about it!

    Thanks for sharing the memories of your fave toys when you were a kid. The Domino Rally sounds exhilarating!

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  13. In preparing for this post, I watched some domino rallies on YouTube. I had forgotten how cool I thought they were!

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  14. Someone once told me they didn't cry during this movie and I thought, "ARE YOU MADE OF STONE?"

    I don't have kids, I went to a local college, but the ending still totally wiped me out. Just the thought that these toys--these characters we had come to love--would be loved and cherished again made me lose it.

    Thanks so much for contributing to the blogathon!

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  15. I never wrote about it when it first came out, so I saw this as an opportunity to correct that error. Glad you like.

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