Posted on February 9, 2011
Toy Story 3
Reviewed by Mister Critic
According to The Cure, “Boys don’t cry.” However, The Cure didn’t see Toy Story 3.
Buzz and Woody and all the toys we love are back again. This time with themes surrounding the end of childhood and moving on to a new purpose in life. The child we have known since the first Toy Story, Andy, has grown up, and is off to college. Now a decision has to be made: Do the toys go into the attic not to see the light of day, or do they move on to a new life with new children?
Our family rarely sees Academy Award nominated movies, but we were not going to miss this one. New characters, combine with the old, for some hilarious scenes. We finally get to see Ken and Barbie together at last. And this kid’s movie is able to portray a one of greatest examples of the dangers of an oppressive totalitarian state I’ve seen on film. Highly recommended for kids of any age.
However, there is something about the opening sequence that reaches right into a man’s heart and twists it until he’s reduced to tears. Tears that he hopes no one can see through the darkness of the theater. His wife keeps turning to him, asking if he’s alright. He says he’s fine, just choking on popcorn, but deep down inside he knows the truth. His childhood is over.
We watch as Andy is the young boy who can imagine and play for hours on end, being able to envision an entire world that these toys (nay, real live beings) are able to play out entire lifetimes of storylines. And then something happens. He grows up into the young adult who no longer has time for those kind of toys anymore, and can’t make the magic of imagination work anymore.
I think back to my days of being able to imagine and I wonder what happened. When I think back, I can picture the battles GI Joe and He-Man had, bustin’ really did feel good when I was a Ghostbuster, and don’t even get me started on playing store. Now I see my kids, and they are so great at improvisation with very creative situations. I try to join them but after five minutes, 1.) my back and knees are killing me from being on the floor, and 2.) I don’t fit in forts anymore and 3.) I just can’t see what they see. Instead I spend most of my time trying to explain that Batman has to wait for the Joker to actually do something bad before Batman can bust into the villain’s secret lair, without a warrant mind you, and beat a confession out of him.
But the message that I take from Toy Story 3 is that all is not lost, I can get my groove back.
That man in the theater looks over at his two great kids having a blast during the prime of their childhood and he knows with time spent with them his childhood is not over. They can teach him to imagine again. His wife is looking at him again…. he “tries to laugh about it, with tears in my eyes . . . ’cause boys don’t cry.”