24 December 2010
Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich , 2010)
Toy Story 3 is one of those movies about which I feel so at odds with the prevailing opinion about (even among my friends) that I start to psychoanalyze myself as a result. I thought this movie was at least as dull as the others. I found a couple of the toys cute and I liked the girl and thought the movie would have been more interesting if she had been closer to the center of it. I thought the ending was unforgivable schmaltz and I thought the plotting seemed almost color-by-numbers. I guess one thing that's always bothered me about this franchise is its aggressive lowbrow Americana. It's nostalgia and kitsch and the exultation of empty consumerism and smug bourgeois mediocrity. Whenever people talk about these movies I always think to myself, "Is this really how you want to program your children?" Fortunately, I've grown polite in my old age and I've learned to use my alienation as a springboard to the comforts of endless introspection.
As my best friend shockingly took to the defense of this film, I turned toward introspection. It occurred to me that I didn't care for any of these toys as a child. I got to thinking about how I didn't have many toys as a child, how we grew up in the middle of nowhere and how playtime meant going out and making believe in fields and forests or communing with horses, barn cats, and other animal life. This led me to my troubled childhood and something I've realized at least since high school, which is that I have always felt at odds with the physical realm. This is naturally a problem but although a film like Toy Story 3 calls a number of related issues to mind, I'm pretty sure I don't want any remedy nor any solution to which the appreciation of empty crap like this is part. D+
PS: Give me a hollow Care Bears redux over this quatsch any day. :-*