Oscar Talk: Toy Story 3

“F-A-O My Schwartz.”

"Toy Story 3"

Well it’s time to talk about the best-reviewed movie of 2010. The third installment of the Toy Story series grossed more than the first two films combined. It’s the third animated film ever to be nominated for an Oscar and the highest-grossing movie of the year. Critically and financially, this movie was a mind blowing success.

It’s really hard to judge a movie like Toy Story 3 against other Academy Award nominees. With the category expanded to include ten nominees, it is a no brainer that this movie would be nominated for Best Picture. But did it ever really have a chance at winning? It seems like people consider the nomination more of a nod than a sign that Toy Story 3 could ever possibly win.

I have friends who were completely obsessed with this movie. Grown people, who counted down the days until we could go see it. That was part of the beauty of Toy Story 3–it had multiple audiences. One audience was made up of young children who were just discovering the series, and then there were those who fell in love with the original in 1995.

My mother insists after seeing it I freaked out about all my poor toys at home. A lot of my childhood bedtime stories were ones she made up about what my toys did once I was in bed. The opening scene of Toy Story 3 called to that notion with its home video footage of Andy playing with his toys. It was a stroke of cinematic genius to have Andy grow up with the original audience. The videos of Andy were videos of us.

There is so much nostalgia in this movie, and the elements they use to tug on your heartstrings are genuine, not cheap tricks. This movie is well-crafted. In fact, it is just as well-crafted a film as the other nominees. It’s hard to take it seriously because it is an animated film, but it has true cinematic strength, which is something the Academy should consider. Maybe we should be hearing about this movie as a front-runner instead of The King’s Speech.

I was not completely obsessed with this movie. It was heartwarming to me both times I saw it–like all Pixar movies–but it didn’t win me over like The Social Network or Winter’s Bone in terms of just being stunned as the credits rolled. It is an amazing movie because every single person can connect to it. It is the ultimate relatable film. But its genius is in that area, not the elements that make for an Academy Award winner.

One thing I have to say that I loved was Andy giving Bonnie his toys at the end–a twist I just didn’t see coming but a completely perfect end for the series.

“Are you classically trained?”

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