Toy Story 3

Rated 4.0

With the entertaining but unnecessary three-quel Toy Story 3, Pixar comes too perilously close to devaluing the brand. Pixar has steadily built a reputation for quality, all-ages, critic-proof, family entertainment, but mercenary sequels are the quickest route to reducing the specialness of the Pixar label (that task will be left to the upcoming Cars 2). Unlike 1999’s Toy Story 2, which found new wrinkles to explore in the main characters Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Toy Story 3 feels like an animated version of those cynical, money-driven, let’s-get-the-band-back-together franchise fillers. With their owner Andy all grown up and ready to move to college, his neglected toys (lead by Tom Hanks’ Woody and Tim Allen’s Buzz) evade their yard-sale fate and wind up at a daycare center ruled by psychologically scarred toys. A reasonable amount of fun ensues.