‘Toy Story 3’ delivers hilarity and nostalgia

She’s easily distracted by dream houses with walk-in closets, but don’t let that fool you; Barbie is a plasticized female Chuck Norris.

Brandi Bunch, Managing Editor

The latest in Pixar’s flagship film series recently hit DVD, bringing back another round of warm, fuzzy feelings all over the country. “Toy Story 3” currently holds the record for highest-grossing animated film of all time and for good reason.

I will admit that I was somewhat hesitant to go see a movie with such an enormous gap between the second and third installment, for fear that it might have been a phone-in mess that some random studio grabbed in order to play on a franchise name.

However, it was indeed Pixar. You have to trust Pixar. So, even though I was curious as to why they waited so very long to put out the third movie, I dutifully went to the theater.

I very quickly figured out that Pixar is composed of a massive group of evil geniuses.

All of the original actors reprised their roles, with the exception of Jim Varney, who passed away in 2000. His friend Blake Clark stepped in to fill the role of Slinky Dog.

Those first few minutes of home video and the cheesy lines that kids love so much gave my inner child a tremendous sugar rush, which turned into a pleasantly thought-provoking surprise when I saw that Andy had grown up along with his audience.

All of a sudden, our beloved protagonists were snatching his cell phone to get some attention while every college-aged person in the audience began thinking about his or her old toys. Like I said, evil geniuses.

Lacking a few casualties of time, the remaining toys valiantly band together to make for an orderly transition to the attic, where they will live out the rest of their days while Andy navigates college life. Unfortunately, shenanigans ensue, throwing them into a daycare’s donations box.

All is well at first; Barbie meets Ken, happy little toy-lovers are everywhere and the grand tour, given by a lovably fluffy pink bear named Lotso, makes everything look like paradise. Woody wants everyone to leave, but leaving the promise of love and play doesn’t sound so great to everyone else. After all, it’s perfect there, so why give it up for a dusty attic?

And then, suddenly, small children everywhere! Unfortunately, these are the sorts of small children that terrify full-grown adults, let alone toys (seriously, these little animated monsters will make you afraid to reproduce). Naturally, Buzz tries to organize an evacuation, but Lotso suddenly isn’t so friendly any more…

It just gets better from there, suddenly turning into a fast-paced tale of espionage and danger, complete with the confused bad guy who wants the good girl, the protagonist leader getting hacked and turning into a Spanish-speaking karate-chopper of doom and an incinerator. Yes, that’s right, an incinerator.

The characters are as amazing as ever, with the exception to this being Barbie. No longer is she a mere bubble-headed blonde with improbable proportions; she’s a dominatrix in hot pink heels, and she gets the job done. The later scenes between her and Ken were so hilarious that I have no shame in saying that Barbie was my favorite part of the movie.

Each of the new characters managed to be funny and memorable as well, no small feat with such a large cast. Instant-messaging addict Trixie the triceratops was particularly amusing.

The graphics have changed with the technology, but the appeal of the film remained the same as it was with the first two. There was hardly a person in the theater who wasn’t sniffling when it ended, and I would be willing to bet that a lot of them were wondering where their old toys had ended up.

Even if you think you’re safely out of the phase in which animated films appeal to you (loser), “Toy Story 3” is amazing and 100 percent guaranteed to be a regretless rental.

Those sneaky, evil Pixar geniuses dragged me right back into my childhood. And I loved it.

Photo from allmoviephoto.com