An idea I’ve flirted with doing recently is basically a re-review of some of the films on this blog that have admittedly shorter entries, mostly so because it was early in the blog’s existence, and I was still unable to cohesively explain what it was about the films I loved that I loved about them so much. There were two main reasons I didn’t: it would have conflicted with one of the major conditions that I had established when I decided to start this blog; that I wouldn’t need to feel pressured to meet some pre-determined or expected word limit or size post, and that I would just put down what came to my mind when I watched (or re-watched) the film, and let that stand for itself. The other reason was if I started re-reviewing some of the films, then at what point would doing so end; my blog posts may just end up getting bigger, and then I’d have to re-review some films that didn’t end up as short as others, and it would be a never-ending cycle, and my quest would never have a definitive conclusion. Well, a rare opportunity has come to pass with the new edition; one of the films I’d already reviewed has been expanded to include all three currently-released films in the series. Now, when I heard that the Toy Story trilogy was one of the new entries, I immediately found the decision questionable, as I’ll get to in the closer, but you know what; if they had added Toy Story 2 and 3 as individual entries, I probably wouldn’t have complained. This trilogy is probably the closest to perfection that any series of three films has ever gotten.
If you haven’t seen these, and/or otherwise don’t know what the plots are, sorry, but I’m not going to be the one to spoil them for you, even slightly. They deal with a cast of toys who walk and talk like any of us, albeit they keep this knowledge hidden from their child owners, and that’s about it for a general cover-all plot summary of the trilogy. Each film has a distinct plotline from the others, and in the best aspect of the trilogy, each film expands on the last and, dare I say it, improves on the previous film in damn near every way. Some particulars; the second introduces a new toy named Jessie, who soliloquies one of the most heart-breaking flashbacks in any film ever done, aided by a lovely melody called “When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan. Not to be outdone by themselves, Pixar upped the ante in the third, of which the last ten minutes or so are now widely known to bring a tear to even the most hardened man’s eye. Another big part of all three films was the music by Randy Newman, who arguably found his career revitalized by the original, and continuing with the next two, the last of which would finally win him an Academy Award for Original Song. The animation quality increases with each film, but unlike other films that deal majorly in computer graphics, it’s not about the animation; it’s about the story, and you’d be extremely hard-pressed to find a trilogy of films with a better story for each installment. The second Toy Story is now ubiquitous with the concept of a sequel being better than the original, and the third somehow even manages to be better than that, so to merely give the second and third 10s when I gave the original a 10 seems to be a bit of a under-appreciative misnomer, but I don’t have a rating higher than 10 (which is the point of a 1-10 rating scale). Needless to say, though, thanks to Pixar’s utter devotion to putting the quality of the story first (something that Dreamworks still has yet to fully understand), each film comes ever closer to achieving that rare status of the perfect film.
Now, with all that said, I still don’t agree with adding the additional films to the list; at least, as a single entry. These are not three parts to a single story, like Lord of the Rings; these are three separate and distinct films, and to have a single entry for all three just to keep that arbitrary number of 1,001 seems to just be a lie in my opinion, a fake-out so the editors can have their cake and eat it too. Especially so when you consider that the Star Wars trilogy still takes up individual slots, and if you really want to stretch it, you could also name the Apu trilogy also. But, it’s a little too late now to throw around loopholes and definitions. Like I said in the opener, I wouldn’t have minded at all if these three films had been added as individual entries; practically any Pixar film you could name is probably deserving of being on the list in some way. Add to that that the first and second Toy Storys have a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (with the third having a mere 99%, largely thanks to one cold-hearted bastard), with the second actually having the most positive reviews to its 100%, making it the number one film on the entire site, and it’s a little befuddling how they weren’t on the list to begin with. If, for whatever reason you may have, you have not seen these three films, you need to do so as soon as possible. A very large part of your childhood will thank you for it.
Arbitrary Rating: 10/10