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Toy Story 3


Stars: Voices: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Jodi Benson, Michael Keaton, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Estelle Harris, Timothy Dalton, Bonnie Hunt, John Morris, John Ratzenberger, Whoopi Goldberg, R Lee Ermey, Laurie Metcalf, Richard Kind

Director: Lee Unkrich

How do they do it? While the Shrek series has withered, Buzz, Woody and the toys are still making it to infinity and beyond. What's especially amazing is that this totally involving and finally tear-jerking yarn is actually the best of the trilogy - an unheard-of achievement.

Toy-owner Andy (Morris) is now 17 and it's a nightmare on Elm Street for the toys when they realise he's off to college. Cowboy Woody (Hanks) is to go with him; the rest will be stored in the attic. After a mix-up, however, they have to be rescued from a dustcart, only to find themselves shipped off to Sunnyside, a day nursery where unruly two-year-olds treat Buzz and Co without due care and attention.

When they request a transfer to a kinder class, they fall foul of Lotso, a magenta-coloured, strawberry-smelling bear (perfectly voiced by Beatty), whose affable smile hides the baleful Bruin beneath. His tyrannical rule sees our tiny heroes - cowgirl Jessie (Cusack), piggybank Hamm (Ratzenberger), dinosaur Rex (Shawn), Mr and Mrs Potato Head and the rest - locked away in cages, guarded by a re-programmed Buzz Lightyear. 'They've turned him into an astronut!' the toys wail.

The prisoners are soon joined by Barbie (Benson), who has become disillusioned with the nursery's self-admiring Ken (Keaton). Woody rides to the rescue, but escape proves tricky, especially with Lotso, a malevolent baby doll, an octopus and a manic monkey guarding all exits. Buzz is re-programmed again, but, in an amusing sub-story, turns into a Spanish-spouting Romeo.

It's a tribute to the makers of the movie that we believe in the toys as characters, even as their adventures tumble helter-skelter one upon the other. And it's topped off by an ending that had an audience of hardened journalists furtively dabbing away tears. It's the winning formula refreshed in style, with not a trick missed.

The runtime includes an amusing Pixar short, Night & Day.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 14 Jul 2010