Our list moves into the top 15, with picks that received at least one top-five vote from someone on the panel and support from others as well. Tomorrow: #11.
12) Toy Story 3 (3 votes, 142 points)
Shaun: Trilogies are so hard. Not only do you have to deliver a plot that is fresh and compelling on its own, but you have to manage character send-offs and tie up all the loose ends that have been sprawling since the first one. That’s what’s so impressive about Toy Story 3. It not only is the best, funniest, most heart-warming entry in this classic series, but it sends off our characters in a truly touching way. Toy Story 3 ended so perfectly that it makes me kind of sad Toy Story 4 is ruining the perfection of that moment.
Chris: Yeah, the looming specter of 4 is making me question my love for this movie just a little bit. On the one hand, John Lasseter and company said their idea was so interesting that even though they felt the story of Andy and Woody and friends was complete, it was worth revisiting. On the other hand, the first info we got about the film is that it involves Woody and Bo Peep, who wasn’t even in 3. So…um…I guess we’ll see.
The reason this matters is because 3 is such a great conclusion to an outstanding trilogy of films. It touches perfectly on childhood nostalgia and what happens when you grow up, while giving a satisfying conclusion to everyone’s favorite characters along the way. It’s emotional and bittersweet and sanguine all at the same time.
Thinking aloud for a moment, how would your opinion of Toy Story 3 change if the main toys weren’t rescued from the incinerator toward the end? It’s a darker and more harsh take, no doubt, but damn if it wouldn’t have had a lasting impact. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse, but it’s something I thought about as I left the theater that day.
Michaela: I bawl every time I watch this movie. Toy Story 3 is an appropriate finale to the Toy Story trilogy (can I just ignore the fact that a fourth one is happening?), and it’s easily the most emotional movie of the three. The toys have to accept that Andy has grown up, but the movie still maintains the humor that the series is so good about. The ending is also one of the most memorable in the series for how satisfying and bittersweet a conclusion it is.
Cary: So, okay, there was the whole thing in this movie about Woody and Buzz and Jessie and the crew nearly getting incinerated, and also that crazy Lotso. But, for me, this movie was all about unearthing what we always knew about Barbie and Ken: that Barbie wears the most fashionable pants in the relationship.
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