Toy Story 3 (USA, 2010)

mpw-49351Directed by: Lee Unkrich. So normally, I turn my nose up pretty hard at little kid movies, and I have a whole soapbox about the infantilization of culture, and whenever somebody asks me if I saw the latest cartoon talking animals CGI Pixar kids movie for children, I reply condescendingly “no, because I’m not a fucking child.” So it’s pretty full of shit of me to have watched this. What can I say? I remember a few years ago when it came out, it was included on a bunch of “best of the year” lists, and I’d heard there was some kind of holocaust allegory, and it came highly recommended by some friends. I thought maybe it would be an exceptionally deep kid’s movie, or at least partly along the way, like Wall E. It definitely gets braver than I thought it would, subverting the whole premise of the movie by reminding everyone that this little kid is going to outgrow his lame fucking toys. And I was worried that the film would drown in that well-worn sentimental young-at-heart thing that’s supposed to pass for a victory in every film but really ends up at the impasse of showing the protagonist forever dwelling in the mind of a child without ever showing the conflict between that outlook and the adult world at large that the child will inevitably have to function within. In this movie, they have the boy leave his toys behind for a child to play with, sacrificing his own selfish nostalgia in favour of sharing the joy he once felt with some new kid who’s actually—ya know—a child. What a huge monumental step for the culture. Toys are for children to play with! Whoaaaa. But again, in this goddamn infantilized, etc, etc, grumble grumble etc culture, that’s pretty good. At least it didn’t show the boy keeping his Woody doll with him in his fucking college dorm, so Woody can see him drunkenly having awful sex for the first time. Nobody wants to see that particular Pixar movie. But anyway, call me cynical, but I thought this was a good kid’s movie, but still not any more than that. And yes, it deals with death more than your average kid’s movie, but it’s still a deus-ex-machina, everything works out great, happy ending kid’s movie. And there’s nothing wrong with that but I’ll never understand the need to exalt something that’s pretty silly and frivolous onto the pedestal of great art. Like the superhero movies, you can watch your Disney Pixar little kid stuff, it’s not against the law. Go for it, have fun. But if you feel so insecure about it that you have to pretend like you just watched some Tarkovsky movie instead of a fucking cartoon sequel, then that’s on you.

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