Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Movie Challenge -- Day 22

Day 22 – A Movie That Made You Cry

Being a man – a manly man – with testosterone out the yin, I don’t cry. Period. That said, when I put this Challenge together, I thought this might make a good addition, partially inspired by a series from my good friend Jordyn. So, you know, I thought it would be a good category. But it's not because I cry. Because I don't. Ever.

Toy Story 3 (2010)

WARNING: This post contains heavy spoilers for the ending of Toy Story 3, so read on at your own discretion. That said, Toy Story 3 was the highest-grossing film of 2010, generating over $1 billion in ticket sales, so there’s a good chance this warning will mean nothing to you, as you’ve likely already seen it.

Now, this is TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL, but if I were to cry during a film, it would have to be during a moment that strongly resonated with me emotionally. It takes more than just a sad moment to get to me; I have to be sufficiently invested in the characters, and need some sort of catalyst to set me off. And the winner is: the closing chapter to Pixar’s epic tale about toys, and what they do when you’re not around.

For those lacking the good fortune to have seen this picture (shame on you, by the way), Toy Story 3 picks up many years after the conclusion of Toy Story 2, with Andy getting ready to leave for college, and packing away all of his old junk. Of course, the toys are scared out of their wits by Andy’s departure—Woody (Tom Hanks) will likely be taken to college with Andy, while Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) are all afraid they’ll be hucked in the trash. The toys have another option, though: they can steal away to Sunnyside Daycare, where they can be played with forever.

Sunnyside Daycare is run by the genial Lotso Huggins (Ned Beatty), but not all is what it seems.

Much has been made of the film’s insidiously clever turn as a prison-break movie (for that’s just what it turns into), and the infamous ending that had me quite convinced that our cast of heroes were going to the great toy box in the sky. Since they’ve both been covered, though, let’s talk about the part of the film that (hypothetically!) elicited a reaction from me.

During the movie, Woody encounters a young girl named Bonnie (Emily Hahn), a grade-schooler whose active imagination ensures that her toys are well-played with. Her character seems like a mere distraction from the main storyline, until the very ending, when Andy gives all of his old toys to her instead of keeping them in the attic for himself. The sequence that follows is something of a curtain call for the whole series, as Andy trots out each character, describing what they mean to him, and even providing voices for some of them (“Eeeevil Doctor Porkchop!”). Lastly, he takes Woody, thinking heavily about his decision, and presents him to Bonnie.

It’s not just Andy saying goodbye to the likes of Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Slinky, and the rest of the gang—it’s the viewers who first saw Toy Story in theaters in 1995. Emotional doesn’t even begin to describe it, and seeing some of my favorite characters given such a great send-off, well, it gets me right here.

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