I'm going to go on the record as saying that the friendship between Woody and Buzz is one of the greatest on screen friendships of all time. They overcame their initial differences and now have a friendship that has lasted the test of time, here we are over ten years later and they are still life long pals, just as we left them. Some friendships dissolve over time for whatever natural reason, but there are a handful of friendships which we keep for a lifetime. Woody and Buzz is one such friendship.
The film brings back all our old favourite characters and adds a few new ones to the mix, to keep it interesting. As always the film is uproariously funny but this time it also seems to find new depth. One scene in particular is essentially asking us to question our own mortality and how would we react if we were in the same position as the toys in that scene? I doubt many of us would be as composed and mature as the toys in that scene, so I think there's a life lesson in there for all of us. That's pretty deep for a 'kid's movie!' In the case with Andy we are also faced with the concept of growing up. I would say a large chunk of this movie's demographic saw the first two films when they were kids and are now Andy's age or older. It would be great to stay a kid forever, but eventually you have to face up to some responsibility and that can be hard to accept. (Spoiler alert) Andy putting Woody in the college box was his way of still retaining part of his childhood and having to let him go at the end was showing that he was ready to enter adulthood. You can always be a kid at heart though of course as we see when Andy continues to play with the little girl and retreat back into his childhood imagination.
I love the genuinely sweet moments between Andy and the toys. They don't feel manipulative as can be the case with other films. Yes the music swells underneath, but these characters have such a rich back story that it feels like they really have earned those moments. I have to admit tearing up once or twice in this movie and being totally invested in those sincere, heartfelt moments.
If I had to pick a flaw in this movie (and its only tiny) is that Lotso is essentially the same character as the Old Prospector from the first movie, just re-imagined slightly. But even with that I can say that I think they went even further with the character of Lotso in exploring his dark under belly.
Toy Story 3, you got a friend in me...