We took the children to see Toy Story 3 this afternoon. It’s probably worth mentioning up-front that the first two movies have been watched to death in our house - both by the children and the grown ups. While W and I might remark from time to time that one of the children is behaving like Woody, or Jessie, or Buzz, the children often are Woody, Jessie, or Buzz in the various fantasy worlds they invent.
While running along “bumpy alley” on the way to school, we hear shouts of “Run like the wind Bullseye!”, and when Little Miss 6 discovers a stone in her shoe, a chorus of “There’s a snake in my boot” often rings out.
The characters from these movies are a part of our daily lives - something we know and love. Something familiar, comforting, good, and happy.
If you’ve seen the third movie, you know where I’m going with this, don’t you. You’re already shaking your head, knowing about the warnings other parents gave us - about needing to take a box of tissues.
Everybody is going to have their own story for the movie - the moments that “got them”.
For me, it was when the toys resigned themselves to doom at the incinerator, gave up trying, and held hands. Quite how Pixar could make you care so much about two imaginary toys who hadn’t admitted to each that there was definitely something going on is a mystery to me. In their final moments, as an adult, you knew exactly what was going on when Buzz and Jessie’s hands found each other.
There were countless other moments too - like Jessie’s remark to Woody that life in the attic was going to be much more fun, knowing how to switch Buzz into Spanish mode. The adults in the audience smiled broadly - the ladies perhaps a little guiltily.
It’s hard to put into words quite how spectactular Pixar’s achievement is. I’m not going to wax lyrical; journalists have already done so. What I am going to say is that our children left the cinema happy - in the knowledge that a little girl was going to love Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Slinky, and the rest of the gang with all her heart, and that they would be played with.
I imagine the Christmas lists this year are going to look like a casting call for this movie, and I’m not going to complain at all. Brilliance. Absolute brilliance.