“Whaaat? The Gypsy Kings version?” queries Chris Evans as the Spanish Octet’s ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ blares from his Radio 2 show. Well amigos, all becomes clear upon viewing Pixar’s latest offering, the atomic bomb of action that is Toy Story 3. Delightfully sprinkled with bizarre Pixarian humour, think Buzz Lightyear’s reset button bringing out the Spanish Matador in Tim Allen’s otherwise stoic All-American hero, this film’s a winner.
Having caught the trailer prior to release and joined the ‘Move aside kids I’ve been waiting 11 years for this…’ Facebook group, I was committed to making the movie theatre trek for this much anticipated slice of nineties-noughties-teenies animation bliss. The day arrived quicker than expected when wet weather hit my family’s annual camping expedition to West Wales (turns out Mum and Dad had read the “makes grown men cry” reviews so recapped the previous two films during my evening waitress shifts: preparation is key).
I’ve never known a trip to the cinema to be such a collaborative event. Looking right and left with nods of recognition as Andy’s pack for “Caw-Lidge” mirrored my refusal to part with so called junk before heading York-ways. Enchanted by the continuity: who could tell the significance of Pizza Planet’s “The Claw” would survive the original film and see our characters through to the trilogy’s finale? The fun of Ken and Barbie’s introduction, “Hey Barbie, you don’t know me from GI Joe but do you not feel like we were just… made for each other?” Barbie concurs. I love this grown up feeling of watching Toy Story and laughing at the right bits, not that my seven-year-old self knew any different when marvelling “Ooo toys that talk, do ours do that when we’re asleep?” and declaring Bo Peep my favourite character due to her excellent taste in pink attire. Pixar’s humour is genius, so rich. Dads were chuckling throughout, I tell you now. Our elderly Welsh porter himself had seen the film nine times and still found the enthusiasm to shake his thing to the Gypsy Kings credits, whilst urging us to stay for the “dead funny” outtake spoofs.
For anyone packing up their room – and it can seem like your life too – before trekking to York, I’d hope they’d pay Toy Story 3 a visit as first port of call. Leaving home for the first time, as Andy finds, can be a challenging time and it reminds us to lighten the load by remembering where we’ve come from and that, no matter what follows, our toys will be there waiting for us in the attic for our safe return. Amen Tom Hanks. Seeing Andy introduce his toys to the very cute Bonnie – honestly the human saving grace of the film, Andy’s brattish sister Molly and ever present, ever interfering Mom are well characterised as every brother’s nightmare – though a little saccharine and realistically mortifying for any pubescent-plus male, is also a beautiful moment; closure, coming of age, moving on. Perhaps I, as a viewer, am not very good at that, perhaps that’s why I enjoyed the film so much. My love of this trilogy seems synonymous with the fact that I prioritised tagging along to my family’s camping trip above any other summer plans. Que a pleasant cringe at how homely and needy this York undergraduate appears to be. Bring on the DVD.