Everybody loves Toy Story and Pixar scores a hat-trick with this dazzling third film reuniting Tom Hanks’ Woody and Tim Allen’s Buzz.
Tackling the themes of change, coming-of-age, leaving the nest and outgrowing favourite toys in a surprisingly thoughtful and utterly captivating way, the story begins with Andy (voiced by John Morris) leaving for college and having to sort out his toys – his mum insists they’re either going with him, up in the attic, to charity or in the rubbish.
Andy can’t bear to part with Woody, but Buzz, Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the rest of the gang are destined for the loft. Then, horror of horrors, there’s a mix-up and the toys are accidentally donated to the Sunnyside daycare centre, which proves to have a very dark side…
There are some great moments of comedy, but the film-makers also infuse the story with a delicious mix of wistfulness, melancholy, excitement, danger, charm and, at the end, a surge of emotion and even a tear.
None of it would be right without Hanks and Allen, of course, but Ned Beatty’s mean, strawberry-scented Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear is a huge success, Michael Keaton and Jodi Benson as Ken and Barbie kick up endless amounts of fun, while Don Rickles and Estelle Harris as Mr and Mrs Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as dinosaur Rex and John Ratzenberger as piggy-bank Hamm also enjoy their share of stand-out moments.