Good movies followed by mediocre second efforts are all too common in Hollywood. New films in a series rarely capture the magic of the original. But the Pixar studio has raised the bar for sequels to a new level with the extraordinary triumph of "Toy Story 3."
Of course we have Woody, Buzz, Jesse, the Potato Heads and the rest of the familiar toy box gang. They are joined by the legendary Barbie and Ken and a host of new playmates. As expected, there's tons of rollicking special effects and boisterous fun. But touching emotions and deeply felt themes from real life elevate this story to a higher plane.
Young Andy, the owner of the toys, is now grown up and heading to college. What to do with his old collection of pals starts the plot rolling. Deciding which toys to save or give away creates the tension that leads to unexpected adventures. Viewers of all ages will laugh and cry, smile and sigh in equal measure.