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What do toys do when their owner grows up? Jeri Jacquin | Mon, Jun 21 2010 03:11 PM

The return of friends that old and young have come to love is now playing as Disney and Pixar present "Toy Story 3."

This film tells the story of Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), toys who have a life of their own. Their boy, Andy (John Morris), has graduated high school and is leaving for college.

Andy makes the decision to take Woody to college with him. The rest of the gang, which includes Jesse (Joan Cusack), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Slinky Dog (Blake Clark), Barbie (Jodi Benson) and the three little aliens, are accidentally sent to the curb on trash day.

Woody attempts to rescue them and while trying to make the situation better, another accident sends the gang to the Sunshine Day Care. The gang is in awe of the splendor of children laughing and playing with every toy, something they all have missed. Woody decides to get back to Andy and the others decide to stay at the nirvana of the daycare.

It doesn't take long before the gang realizes they've made a terrible mistake. The daycare is run like a prison by a fluffy bear name Lotso (Ned Beatty) at the helm, with his groovy sidekick Ken (Michael Keaton), who has eyes for Barbie.

When Woody discovers the evil at the daycare he returns to his friends to get them back to Andy where they belong.

Final word: It is no secret I'm not a big fan of sequels, mainly because they just don't do the original idea justice, but galldarnit I'm absolutely in love with this film. From start to finish there is nothing but fun, laughs and even an "awwwwww" or two. It's the kind of film where you remember as a kid wondering what your toys did while you slept - and now we know.

Hanks returns as the voice of Woody the loveable cowboy. There is something between human and animated character that goes hand in hand, as if forever linked as one. If Hanks never does another role he has given us a character everyone can enjoy and always think of with childhood fondness and a smile.

Allen as Buzz Lightyear continues to surprise us. In this film, it is his heartfelt emotion and great dance moves that kept me giggling. There is nothing Buzz can't do, and he does it with flare and dedication.

Cusack returns as the cowgirl Jesse and is lovely. Rickles and Harris are the loveable Potato couple and Shawn is the endearing and harmless Rex the dinosaur. Ratzenberger and Clark are still two of my favorite characters. The new toy on the block here is Benson as the ditzy, but always happy, Barbie. Keaton as Ken is hysterically goofy and some of the best laughs come from the fashion challenged couple.

When asked about being the voice of Woody, Hanks said during a recent interview, "'Toy Story 3' is time well spent and I believe audiences are going to love what we've done."
Allen said about playing Lightyear that what he admires most about him is "his innocence and loyalty to friends."

In 1995 director John Lassiter created a fully computer animated family film about a cowboy named Woody and the new toy on the block Buzz Lightyear. It became an instant hit, which led to the second installment in 1999. The Toy Story franchise has already grossed $850 million dollars worldwide and I have no doubt the newest installment will give Disney/Pixar everything to cheer about.

Other cast include: Emily Hahn as Bonnie, Teddy Newton as Chatter Telephone, Bonnie Hunt as Dolly, Whoopi Goldberg as Stretch, R. Lee Ermy as Sarge, John Cygan as Twitch, Jeff Garland as Buttercup, Kristen Schaal as Trixie and Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants.

Tubs of popcorn: I give "Toy Story 3" four-and-a-half tubs of popcorn out of five. This was an amazing time at the movies that families can truly enjoy together. It would be equally as awesome to watch "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" before heading out to see the third installment.

Although the film begins with Andy's journey with his best friends, it ends in such a way that there might need to be Kleenex handy.

Disney and Pixar went to wonderful lengths to make sure kids of every age were made happy by this film. It was like meeting up with old friends again and remembering why we love them so.

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