Sooner or later, for me it’s always sooner, we get to the place where we see movies less as independent entities waiting to be judged but pieces of “art” that we would (or perhaps not) have a connection. Even if it’s not acknowledged, we have to feel some connection – regardless of how tenuous – to a film we recommend. It was something that occurred to be less than half an hour in Toy Story 3. I don’t know if I was an “unusual” child but I’ve never been enamoured with toys. I can’t remember – even vaguely – any, though I’m sure I must have; I was always literary minded. Toy Story 3 is the type of farewell that many sequels are unable to get. Andt is literally attempting to create an end (and a beginning) for these characters and his tale is excellent…in spots.
Andy is leaving for college and is faced with the dilemma of what to do with his toys. Through chance occurrence after chance occurrence they end up in a school which leads to new adventures for the toys. In the same way that I was never attached to toys I’ve never been attached to previous incarnations of Toy Story, but as much as the writers are using continuity they don't depend upon it and it’s as much a send-off as it as a film complete in itself. Toy Story 3, though, is for children – or at best, the children in us. Whereas Coraline (incidentally another film touching on children and playthings, notwithstanding to a lesser degree) is a film for older children with things to attract the young, Toy Story 3 is the opposite. At its heart it’s the story of a boy and his toys, and (silly me) I didn’t realise that until the end of the film. I don’t know how sinister it makes me sound, but I found myself almost hoping that the film would close with a certain movement of the toys, hands joined, towards a certain burning light; but moments later I realised that any poignancy to be found in such a send-off would be much to morbid (and anti-antimation).
It’s not that Woody’s constant refrain of “We’re Andy’s toys!” is lost on me, but Unrich and Arndt are doing such a good job of making everything else seem fun – notably a particular young girl and her toys – that I forget that Andy is the missing link. Thus, his final moments with his toys doesn’t move me as much as it makes me smile, somewhat ironically; I didn’t really understand it - can't a child survive without toys? And, yet, I did understand. And, then it occurs to me that it (the movie) is not about an end but a new beginning. It’s not heaven, but it’s somewhere close – for the toys, and perhaps for the audience (some of them) too.
(Is there any chance of me getting a “Book Story”? That would really appeal to me.)