Toy Story 3 - What Did You Think?

It's hard for me to believe that the first Toy Story film was released way back in 1995, but it's really been 15 years since we were first introduced to the adventures of Andy and his toys, led by sheriff Woody and spaceman Buzz Lightyear. Today, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3 is out in theaters and in IMAX 3D. And just as Andy is heading off to college and trying to figure out how to leave his childhood behind, many of us Toy Story fans are in completely different stages of life going into the theater this weekend. Does the film provide a fitting conclusion to this unforgettable series?

As always, spoilers follow after the break and in the comments.

Say what you will about how fun Toy Story 2 was, but to me, it brought up some pretty dark and heavy themes. In that movie, it's explicitly stated that toys, since they're frequently made of plastic, essentially last forever. Woody was forced to confront two vastly different outcomes for the end of his existence: eternity behind a glass case in a museum, or rotting in a landfill somewhere.

In Toy Story 3, we learn that there's another way: donation!

Most of the toys we know and love end up at Sunnyside Day Care, and while it initially seems like toy heaven, we quickly learn that life there is not what it seems. Unkrich stages the majority of the film as a tense prison break film, but it's the relationship between the toy characters, and Woody's realization of his superseding loyalty to them, that give the film its emotional heft. As good as I could have expected and hoped, Toy Story 3 serves as a testament to the importance of friendship and the shared moments that tie us together. That, and recycling your old toys.

What did you think of Toy Story 3?