Making a sequel that is better than the original is a very hard thing to do, but making another sequel that is also better than the sequel is something that is even harder. Most of the time, it doesn't work though. Films like "The Godfather Part III" and "Return of the Jedi" have their moments, but most fans agree that they really don't have the strength and capacity to really top the beauty of their predecessors. "Toy Story 3" on the other hand, is a sequel that does. After an eleven year wait, the toys are back for another movie and what we get is an emotional rollercoaster filled with highs and lows which results in a beautiful movie and a film that can be considered the best out of the three films released so far. It's really quite a ride.
It's been many years since we last saw the toys in Andy's room, but Andy (John Morris) has since grown up. With the seventeen-year-old headed off to college, the remaining toys including Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Bullseye, Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Slinky (Blake Clark), Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles & Estelle Harris), and the aliens (Jeff Pidgeon) prepare to wonder what's going to happen though. One thing leads to another and the toys end themselves up at a daycare called Sunnyside. There they meet a bear named Lotso (Ned Beatty) and believe everything is just perfect until a dark, twisted secret about the daycare is revealed. Now, it's up to the toys to get back to Andy's house before he leaves for college.
Many attempts have been made at a third "Toy Story" from both Pixar and a studio Disney set up to make one without them, but none came into fruition until now. Once Pixar was bought in 2006, Toy Story 3 was then put into production under the helm of director Lee Unkrich and he and his crew were able to deliver a sequel that continues to bring the same charm that its predecessors had while also upping the emotions. That's the big reason to why the story works so well here. The emotional moments are really turned up to eleven here and give us a punch in the gut during certain scenes which I dare not spoil here. Every moment written by Michael Ardnt really does feel earned and not a single scene feels wasted. He really did capture the feeling of nostalgia here and I have got to give him a lot of credit for that. As for the animation, it's really amazing. You can really see the amount of progress Pixar has learned over the years from making the second Toy Story to here. After overcoming certain CGI challenges including fur, hair, water, and fabric, they have put those skills to great use here and it results in the best looking movie of the series. It's really crazy to see how much they had accomplished in the 2000s alone just from the certain number of original animated movies they made. As far as the characters go, once again they are all fantastic and are what make the movie brilliant in the end. Woody really is one of the best-animated protagonists of any animated movie ever and seeing how much character growth he has had in each of the three installments is simply fantastic. The other toys also have their same charm and likability to them and even the new toys have some fantastic moments. There's some funny stuff involving Ken (Michael Keaton) flirting with Barbie (Jodi Benson) at Sunnyside and even Lotso does make for an interesting character as well. I won't say what he is or what his story is about though. You'll have to find out on your own.
Overall, "Toy Story 3" really is a fantastic third movie. The story is emotionally riveting and extremely satisfying, the animation is stunning and really shows the progress of improvement over the years, and the characters are all charming once again and are just as fun as when they were first introduced. This film very well might be my favorite of the series due to how satisfying it was. It gave me everything I wanted to see in an animated movie. It really shows that "Toy Story" has raised the bar for animated movies over the years. This series really is a standard blueprint on how to make great animated movies and I feel they will continue to influence future animators for years to come.