Story starts for me when Cowboy doll Woody (Tom Hanks) anticipates annual alone time with owner Andy at Cowboy Camp, but is left home after his arm breaks. (Why not fix then?) While he rescues Mr Wheezy, damaged voice-box penguin (Joe Ranft) from a yard sale, Woody is stolen by Al (Wayne Knight), Toy Barn owner.
Film, however, begins confusingly inside a video game, then adds bits for every toy box resident and dog Buster. Action slows, sidetracked throughout, by homages to other movies, especially prequel, that go over my head and drop my rating.
The complete 1950s TV Roundup Gang with Jessie (Joan Cusack), Stinky Prospector Pete (Kelsey Grammer), and faithful mount Bullseye (silent but personable) will bring big bucks if personally flown to a Japanese Toy Museum. Pete offers Woody choice "You can go back or stay with us and live forever". Astronaut Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) leads the gang of Mr Potato Head (Don Rickles), (Tyrannosaurus) Rex (Wallace Shawn), Slinky Dog dachshund (Jim Varney), coin bank (called "slotted pig" by deluded Buzz), and Hamm (John Ratzenberger).
While Tour Barbie guides our team around the Barn, our Buzz gets trapped and replaced by another. New Buzz is like our old Buzz was at first; he believes his job is to save the Universe from Zurg, that his powers, such as laser beam, are real. Exciting chases run through streets, Al's store and high-rise home, airport luggage conveyor belts. Final jump from moving airplane imitates the TV last episode of unfinished Roundup Gang series. Too much imitation, homage throughout, flies over my head.
Al, Pete, and evil Zurg - like Darth Vader, he is father of hero Buzz - are the villains. Jessie has to trust Woody, jump off without seeing TV show conclusion, not knowing if they will survive. Of course everyone goes home intact to Andy's bedroom. Andy sews Woody's arm back, creating a one-sided muscle-like bulge. Why could Woody perform stunts in airport as if arms both worked?
Final credits run beside repeated imitation real-life gag reel of script and action adlibs, bloopers. Mrs Potato Head (Estelle Harris) packs extra inside her hubbie. Bug's Life 2 sneak-in.
1 Toy Story 3 new characters - Whoopi Goldberg, Timothy Dalton, Michael Keaton, more
2 Buzz Mission Logs Episode 2 - real International Space Station astronauts exercise
3 6 Pixar Artists - began varied ways, do different specific jobs, say "find what you love to do" like them
4 Sleep Deprivation Lab - 4 years work in 6 months stressful but successful
5 2 "studio stories" with black line drawings
5.1 Pinocchio - dolls thrown into ceiling "because we had no girlfriend", tall narrator Sweetland threw Pinocchio whose nose stuck and pants fell down
5.2 The Movie Vanishes - When 20 seconds accidentally deleted and regular backups were bad, narrator with newborn baby, work-at-home mom Susman, had backup at home
6 Pixar's Zoetrope - sculptures spin under strobe light in California and Hong Kong Disney Exhibits
7 Joe Ranf - died in 2005 car crash, interview, storyboard demo, others remember him, dedications in Cars and Corpse Bride films
8 ad for digital copy
Commentary by Dir John Lasseter, Co-Dir. Lee Unkrick and Ash Brannon, Co-Writer Andrew Stanton
Opening computer game to shock audience with Buzz adventure just threw me off. Flying rocks were mistake, but worked, so kept. Game done last so full of foreshadow, homage to Star Wars and other sci-fi wasted on me, not a trivia accumulator. Dog expected to be bad is friendly, mostly to show off animation innovation of fur, individual hairs. Again, didn't seem to be logical start to story yet.
New room looks just like old Toy Story 1, so wasted deliberate reproduction. Also threw me, hops so fast through cast, didn't know was review for audience. Arm rip is to remind us that they are fragile because he doesn't age. Ace of Spades is death card and references nightmare from earlier movie, again wasted, just confusing, because I did not remember.
Ranft is in present tense, before he died. Mr Wheezy brought back from lost in 1. Creepy. To them big deal that lights dim slightly outside when arm torn off is not noticeable without this commentary - more wasted effort.
Fear of yard sale meant to mimic #1 fear of birthday party new gifts. Yard sale items review house, enemy Sid's house, even other movies, ad from Toy Barn in 1. Again, I forgot 1, so all these references are wasted. For me, story starts here, Woody taken by 50s collector. Again, tribute to 50s wasted on me - costume, hair, collection, nothing twigged.
"Second act sag" had to take his arm off "just a popped seam" fixable not morbid human. Woody doesn't have to decide anything, he cannot leave without arm. Al has nose hairs, 4 o'clock shadow, I missed. Plant jungle Buz leads gang through are all from Bug's Life. Why would I notice or care? Music only when toys moving under traffic cones, rest of time is noisy crash sound effects. They're so happy to use restorer character in Geri's Game from Bug's Life videotape, cross-over. Scene cut like live action. Whoop-de-doo.
Brought back deluded Buzz, funny part of 1, with new, even more deluded Buzz. Also referenced Star Trek good Kirk meets bad Kirk episode. Despite watching re-runs every day, now second time through, still did not connect for me.
Barbie dance party uses Ann Margret Viva Las Vegas. Okaaaayyy. Rex chases like Jurassic Park, out same time as #1. Line 1965 order shortage of Buzz toys was true, 9M built since then.
Mis-direction Woody thinks Jessie turned on TV, doesn't believe her denial. Jessie mourning loss of owner Emily deliberately reminds parents of children growing up, made everyone cry, needed laughs. RockM SockM robots built at time Tyson bit Holyfield's ear, so blue guy misses part of ear.
Insane Buzz wears helmet and belt, but others accept, used to his previous attitude. Zurg has eye in back of head because real Steve Austin $6M man figure had vision hole. Calling Mr Potato Head "Vegetable Man" was left out of first movie, other nicknames from #1 when Buzz first met them. Matched with opening "so audience know". We do? Another shot does homage to Cape Fear. Cape - huh?
When Bullseye stands up and shyly holds hooves as if naked was animated early, had no place to slot for long time. Joss Whedon screenwriter had Potato Head eye as remote camera, never used idea in #1. Double Buzz, didn't need split screen or trickery like Freaky Friday. Reverses #1 many places, here Buzz gets to echo "You are a toy". Woody "I can't stop Andy from growing up but I wouldn't miss it for the world" is for parents too.
Floor goes to 11, homage to Spinal Tap. Elevator muzak is from Bug's Life. Like #1 Pizza Planet truck comes out of nowhere. Zurg throws baseball to son, deliberately "Field of Dreams". The little aliens were so big in Japan, they added into dangling air freshener.
Airport detail from work on Bug's Life. Got tour of San Franncisco airport baggage area. Background kids patticake turns into punch. "Butte" Montana sticker on Buzz' bottom I did notice. Comeuppence reworked many times.
Like 1 had match blow out, need moment here.
Ending gives everyone a moment. They say just right, I find long, anti-common-sense. Al is in Japan yet does live ad? Mr Wheezy suddenly Robert Goulet deep opera splash. Why neighbors across the street move in and drinking cofee? Barbie background singers in sequins - they don't try to make sense.
Toy Story 3 Andy goes to college. Buzz reset to .. Spanish, and deluded again.
Beauty and the Beast musical