Thanks for the nightmares, Toy Story 3

Scariest movie ever, says my kidIf it hasn’t yet occurred to an adult sitting in a darkened theater, watching Toy Story 3 with a wide-eyed tyke, the clear giveaway that the long-awaited sequel’s “G” rating is a total cock-up comes about three-quarters of the way through.  That’s when the movie’s beloved protagonists barely escape a shredding by a battery of spinning blades, only to face doom in a fiery inferno.

By this time, of course, your kid has already encountered deceit, torture and the suggestion that lost or discarded toys may become so embittered as to despise their rosy-cheeked former owners and embark on a career of iron-fisted brutality. I’m not quite clear why I sat through all that with my four-year-old, who still mourns for his pink bunny, misplaced during a vacation a year ago, just so he could prompt us to depart by shaking in terror during the previously mentioned death-by-a-thousand-cuts-plus-flames bit.

Sometime I think I just suck as a dad.

My kid isn’t even especially sensitive — he loved Up, and like every male member of my family, thinks that pain is hilarious. Oddly, though, he’s drawn up short by a vicious mind-fuck followed by a vision of Hell.

None of this should be taken to suggest that Toy Story 3 is a bad movie; to the contrary, it’s excellent. The story is complex and well-written, the humor comes off without a misfire and the characters continue to appeal. The movie is extremely well-crafted — especially for college-age late-teens, growing nostalgic for their childhoods as they trade oft-handled dolls and games for laptops and beer mugs. I can easily visualize brigades of newly minted college freshmen marching out of showings of Toy Story 3 and immediately speed-dialing mom to forbid her to touch the cherished contents of the toy box.

But it ain’t for the wee ones.

By the way, does anybody know how the damned movie ends? I’m kind of invested in the outcome.


  • fluence says:

    Ahm… you really left the theater before the end of Toy Story 3??
    That’s the silliest thing I’ve heard this decade, which started in 2001 and not in 2000 as most people believe!! LOL
    I think it wasn’t meant for little kids, but for us teenagers and grown-ups who had watched the first two movies during their childhood. I’m 19, and when I went to see it, there was not a single kid in the theater. Everyone was like my age 😀

    Anyhow… ahm… The toys are saved by the green aliens who had left a while ago. Then, they return by a garbage truck to Andy’s house. Inside, they do as they were meant to do: Woody gets in Andy’s University box and the rest of them to the other box. Andy parts, but stops at the little girl’s house, whose adress Woody had written in a post-it note. He gives all his toys to her. However, Woody was at the bottom of the box. At the beginning he didn’t want to leave him, but at the end he thinks is the best. All the toys wave goodbye to Andy as he drives away.

    It’s one of the best and saddest film endings I’ve ever seen. A fourth movie would completely ruin it.

  • J.D. Tuccille says:

    Thank you!

    As I mentioned above, you’re probably part of the ideal audience for Toy Story 3. I thought it was a great movie, but not for the kiddies.

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