Wednesday, June 30, 2010

To be there for Andy

I just got back from grad class -- yep, that's still going on. I am one week away from finishing class #5, being halfway done with this program, and being on break for the rest of the summer. While this particular class, which deals with the way the brain learns, is one of the most interesting of the grad classes I've taken in this program, I am very much ready to be done for a little while. I'll start back up at the end of August, but the next eight weeks will be nice.

I saw Toy Story 3 the other day, and I must say that I absolutely loved it. I loved every second of this beautiful film. While I was already an adult when the first Toy Story came out, I loved that groundbreaking film. Both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are funny, entertaining movies, so I was prepared for more of the same.

I was not prepared for how emotionally moving and poignant the new movie would be. Yes, it is very, very funny--especially Michael Keaton's role as Ken. In fact I laughed very hard through most of the movie. In addition, the film had some of the best action sequences of the summer. At times the film is even a bit scary, as some of the new characters are fairly evil. But all of this I was ready for.

Then about 20 minutes before the end, the movie changed and became first a nerve-wracking tale of survival, and then a heart-wringing tale of growing up. Starting about 15 minutes from the end, I began to well up with tears, and then the tears started to fall. Yes, it's true--these weren't just the moisture-in-my-eyes type of tears. Indeed, they were falling from my face and landing on my shoulders. I had warned my friends that I am a big crier, but I had to try to control myself. At a couple of points I had to take deep breaths to keep from audibly sobbing.

The end of Toy Story 3 was definitely written for those of us who saw the original in the theater--those of us old enough now to appreciate the commentary on childhood. Of course today's little kids will enjoy Toy Story 3 (and they have no doubt grown up with the DVDs of the first two films), but the end was not written for them. As I started to see how the film was going to end, I began to think about some of my own childhood toys, think about what Andy was doing in the film and how he felt about Woody and the other toy characters we have come to love, and my heart was moved in a way that few films have moved me before.


At 4:38 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Well said. I can still remember exiting the theater with my parents after the original Toy Story and getting a Buzz Lightyear toy for Christmas. These movies are terrific.


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