Tag Archives: Estelle Harris

Toy Story 3 (2010) Review

Time: 103 Minutes
Age Rating:
Cast:
Tom Hanks as Woody
Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear
Joan Cusack as Jessie
Ned Beatty as Lotso
John Morris as Andy
Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head
Blake Clark as Slinky Dog
Wallace Shawn as Rex
John Ratzenberger as Hamm
Estelle Harris as Mrs. Potato Head
Michael Keaton as Ken
Jodi Benson as Barbie
Director: Lee Unkrich

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.

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It’s been 11 years since the last Toy Story movie, I remembered seeing it in cinemas but I hadn’t watched it again since. So watching Toy Story 3 recently was the second time I’ve seen it. On top of the animation looking absolutely fantastic, it takes some interesting story turns and directions. For a while it was the conclusion to the series, and it ended things off perfectly, which is probably why most people are so reluctant to the idea of a Toy Story 4, it’s hard to imagine a better ending to these characters and this story.

Considering that it had been 11 years since the last movie, it was very fitting that Toy Story 3’s story would be about Andy being grown up and moving on from the toys. I will say that so far it’s the least memorable of the series, but that’s probably because I’ve only seen it twice. It’s not really as funny as the other 2, but not necessarily because the jokes miss, just seem to be less of them, and I don’t really remember the movie for its humour (the Spanish Buzz Lightyear doesn’t always completely work though). Toy Story 3 is also significantly darker, even before it gets to the third act, and I really liked the places they took the story. The story with Lotso the bear running things at Sunnyside Day Care (where the toys end up) just gets darker and darker as it progresses. It eventually culminating in seemingly a sort of prison escape movie, and I really liked what happened in the movie overall. At an hour and 40 minutes long, it’s longer than the past movies but just as riveting. It also contains probably the most traumatic scene in the Pixar movie, I won’t say what it is for those who haven’t seen it, but it (and many other scenes in the movie) hit on a much deeper layer than the seemingly surface level scare and danger factor. And as for the end, I couldn’t think of a better possible ending for the movie and series.

The returning voice cast and characters return and are as usual good. Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) and the usual cast, all work in their roles. It was also funny hearing Michael Keaton (who voices a Ken doll by the way) and Timothy Dalton (as a toy porcupine named Mr. Pricklepants) having some voice roles here. Lotso (voiced by Ned Beatty) is by far and away the best and most memorable of the Toy Story villains thus far. While it does the typical twist reveal of the villain that a lot of animated movies do nowadays, on the whole he was handled well in this movie. He is present throughout most of the movie, and has some form of backstory given to him as well.

Toy Story 2 in 1999 today still looks pretty good, not as good as most animated movies released today, but still on its own it looks great. However, you can really tell that Toy Story 3 was released 11 years later. From the very beginning the movie looks incredible, as it shows the scenario of toys being played with, however this time it’s different. We saw toys being played with in the two movies but you always saw what happened in real life, with Andy voicing the toys and all that. Here it’s like we are right in Andy’s imagination as we watch everything that’s going on. Even after that, from beginning to end, Toy Story 3 looks like it came out this year and not 9 years later, I can only imagine how phenomenal Toy Story 4 will look.

Toy Story 3 is a perfect conclusion to the series. It’s incredibly animated, emotionally satisfying and was overall everything it needed to be and more. Although I’m not certain about my ranking of the movies just yet, at the moment I’d say that it’s tied with Toy Story 2 as the best in the series. The Toy Story movies is one of the most consistently good movie series’, we’ll just have to see if Toy Story 4 lives up to its predecessors.

Toy Story 2 (1999) Review

Time: 92 Minutes
Age Rating:
Cast:
Tom Hanks as Woody
Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear
Joan Cusack as Jessie
Kelsey Grammer as Prospector
Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head
Jim Varney as Slinky Dog
Wallace Shawn as Rex
John Ratzenberger as Hamm
Annie Potts as Bo Peep
Estelle Harris as Mrs. Potato Head
Wayne Knight as Al McWhiggin
John Morris as Andy
Laurie Metcalf as Andy’s Mom
Director: John Lasseter

When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends set out on a rescue mission to save Woody before becomes a museum toy property with his roundup gang Jessie, Prospector, and Bullseye.

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Toy Story was such a surprise hit when it released, no one knew that it was going to be as successful as it was. With Toy Story 2 being a follow up to an animated classic, it seemed like it would never even reach the level of the original. Yet against all odds, it managed to top it successfully on pretty much every front, it’s bigger and better.

It would be hard to match what the original movie did, but Toy Story 2 manages to still be a Toy Story movie, while doing some different things and keeping things fresh. Once again, they’ve managed to make an animated movie that adult audiences can like and appreciate (both in terms of story and humour), while still making it very much accessible and entertaining for children. This time it’s about Woody coming to terms with his mortality. Pretty much everything from the story, to the characters, humour and more are back here, and even improved on. And yes, it is more funny and entertaining than the first movie, I haven’t seen the 4th movie but I feel comfortable in saying it’s the most memorable entry of the series. It feels larger scale, with a few exceptions, almost every scene in Toy Story took place between Andy’s house and Sid’s house. This time there are more locations that the characters visit, and they get very creative with the scenarios and set pieces. The rest of Andy’s toys didn’t get a lot of screentime in the first movie outside of the first and third acts, but they are present here throughout. The story on the whole is still straightforward and easy to follow, but it feels like the scope has been expanded just a little bit, it feels like much more is going on. Toy Story 2 is a little longer than the first movie at about an hour and 30 minutes long but the pacing is just as good.

The familiar voice cast return and as usual really deliver. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen once again do solid jobs as the characters of Woody and Buzz. The familiar characters of Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Slinky (Jim Varney), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger) and more return. As I said previously, with the exception of Bo Peep (Annie Potts) and Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris), most of Andy’s main toys get a good amount of screentime throughout. We also have the additions of Jessie (Joan Cusack), Bullseye and Prospector (Kelsey Grammar), who add quite a lot to this movie (and the first 2 would of course return to the other Toy Story sequels).

The animation has very clearly improved within 4 years, and you can tell that the moment you first see a dog in the movie. It doesn’t look great but it’s much better looking than the dog in the first Toy Story. All the toys look good, with none of them looking off at any point. Same goes for the human characters, when they are close up to the screen they actually don’t look freakishly lifeless unlike the first movie.

Toy Story 2 is an improvement over the first movie, and it’s especially impressive considering that it actually encountered production problems (and was originally envisioned to be a direct to video sequel). Needless to say, if you liked the first movie even a little bit, you’ll definitely like the sequel. It’s truly a Toy Story movie while improving and expanding on everything in just about every way.