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Toy Story 3 Review

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Plot Synopsis

Long time no see cowboy! It’s been many countless years and toy owner Andy has grown up from the young boy he was years ago. In the midst of his preparations for college, the beloved gang of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and friends are left in confusion as to what will happen to them. Andy makes the decision to donate them to a daycare where the toys will be played with to their hearts’ content. With addition of new toys such as Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear, Barbie, and Ken, the visit is bound to be adventurous. The thought of being admired by countless children seemed like a dream come true, however, not all is well in this daycare and the gang must quickly escape before they’re stuck in the there forever.

Characters

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Woody
The renowned rootin, tootin, cowboy and sheriff of the entire toy gang. Sparked with kindness and smart maneuvers, Woody gives it his in all when it comes to making sure all toys are treated fairly and bringing smiles to children everywhere especially Andy. Never one to back down, Woody is always there for his owner and commits to it wholeheartedly. Join this rowdy cowboy in another epic adventure that will surely make you “Reach for the Sky!”

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Andy
No longer the young boy from the first Toy Story that we all once knew, Andy has significantly grown up from his stages of childhood to young adulthood. Already nearing college, Andy must now make the ultimate decision that we all wondered at some point: what will happen to the toys?

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Buzz Lightyear
The Space Ranger Hero who’s continuing his duties to save the earth from evil starting with protecting his toy friends in Andy’s room. Naturally manufactured as a leader, Buzz has a voice of reason that guides the mood and atmosphere of the group. Ready to take off against those who threaten his friends, Buzz will be sure to rocket us into an adventure that is “To Infinity…and Beyond!”

Review

Spectacular. Marvelous. Stunning. This movie encompasses all of them and MORE. Pixar stood over the top with this film as if they just picked up characters from over ten years ago and stacked them into a movie like nothing happened! I must say Toy Story 3 has been a long time coming, but hey it’s finally here and truly is a wonderful flick.

Let’s hit it off with the storyline. Each movie so far has dealt with a central theme that is pivotal in every person’s childhood: Toy Story – favoritism of toys, Toy Story 2 – stolen toys, and lastly, Toy Story 3 – growing up with toys. We’ve all wondered at some point, “What’s Andy going to do with them once he grows?” This is a very sensitive topic to bring up especially for the younger audience and many of us would think that Pixar will never allow that to be in sequel because of its sensitivity and potential impact on children. Yet, Pixar came up with an approach that is a magnificent breakthrough to attack this topic in a way that I am very pleased with and have no complaints about.

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Ken
As the male counterpart of the popular doll Barbie, Ken dazzles the movie with his sparkling wardrobe and wondrous clothing style. Immediately infatuated with Barbie, it is no surprise that these two were literally made for each other. In time, Ken will have to learn that there is a greater value in friendship than what his endless supply of clothes can ever provide.

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Lotso
A soft teddy bear plush with a plum nose and delicious strawberry scent. Lotso runs the business that goes about at Sunnyside Daycare. He elicits a kindhearted and wise caretaker when first approached by Woody and friends, but deep down this strawberry scented bear is a hardened, ruthless grudge against children and their negligence of toys.

In regards to the cinematic techniques, Pixar incorporates nearly flawless movements and actions of toys as if they actually imitating real human behaviors in the form of toys. In addition, the colorful scheme that is embedded in a typical Toy Story movie is sharply contrasted by the dark atmosphere that is projected when Woody, Buzz and company encounter tough situations such as nighttime at the daycare or the trash melting scene. To accurately describe such beautiful design, visualize other recent Pixar works such as Up or Wall-E and amp it up from there.

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Barbie
A new addition to the gang from Andy’s sister Molly’s toy collection. Flawless in style, Barbie initially portrays a hopeless romantic who thinks that love was never made for her, but little does she know the manufacturers say otherwise when she meets Ken. Genuine in character, Barbie demonstrates the value of standing up for your friends no matter who they are or what they’re made of.

Onto character development, we can see that none of the main cast has lost touch with their respective roles such as Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz. And much to be expected, Pixar has splendidly retained the proper nature of these characters as Woody’s devotion to Andy, and Buzz’s deep value for friendship. However, I was overly shocked to witness classic Toy Story characters that were dropped from this production such as Lil Bo Peep from the first film or even the newly cured Wheezy from the second. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect Pixar to be willing to leave out such vital characters, but I suppose it is understandable since the theme of Toy Story 3 deals with growing up and of course, toys are trashed eventually.

With redefined animations, witty comedy, and a pillar of truth in theme, the revival of Toy Story has brought jovial responses from the audience and has brought an end to this trilogy in the most comforting and understanding way as possible. I absolutely urge you all to watch the trilogy and be touched by the transition of childhood to adulthood with toy pals who are always there for you and as Woody would say, “You got friend in me.”

Rating: 9.5/10

Produced by: Pixar Animation Studios

Director: Lee Unkrich

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Brave Review

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Plot Synopsis

As a toddler living in the earls of Scotland, Merida always sought adventure and pursued it willingly with no fear. Yet, her mishaps lured the danger of a colossal scarred bear named Mor’du towards her father and mother: King Fergus and Queen Elinor. After losing one of his foot in the brutal battle, King Fergus was able to secure the safety of his family while the beast vanished into the forest. Years later, Merida has grown into an impetuous and beautiful young lady fit enough to be betrothed. However, during the competitive ceremony of deciding her bachelor, Merida causes an upsetting dilemma to delay the event causing great havoc among the clans fighting for her hand in marriage. An angered argument between Merida and her mother creates a divide between their relationship leading Merida to seek a magic wish to let her live her life. Little does Merida know that her one wish for happiness could potentially ruin the kingdom. Will she be able to atone for her mistakes and secure peace for the land with only a moment of time left?

Characters

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Merida
A passionate and headstrong teenager born into royal stature, Merida seeks independence and freedom from the domestic and boring expectations as a princess of the King and Queen. Her wild spirit and untamed hair impeccably match her persona in every way. Skilled in archery and sword fighting, Merida adopts her vibrancy from her father and also, her kindheartedness from her mother. When Merida breaks family tradition, she is forced to face her consequences, but will she be able to correct them before an all out war is started among the clans?

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King Fergus
A heroic and renowned warrior especially for his skirmish with the beast Mor’du, Fergus bears a peg leg in memory of his great battle. His vendetta towards Mor’du manifests Fergus as a determined bear hunter. Fergus holds boundless love and security over his family and kingdom. With an unmatched pride in his daughter Merida, Fergus gifts her with a passion for the sword and bow.

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Queen Elinor
A respectable majesty who truly embodies grace, wisdom, and strength in her reign. Completely opposite to her husband, Elinor maintains the peace across the kingdom and her family with her incredible diplomatic actions. Elinor hopes to instill her daughter Merida with the same poise she has been raised to be. Yet, when Elinor’s ideals conflict with the rebellious nature of Merida, a family trouble escalates to threaten the land.

Review

Finally, Pixar presents to us a female protagonist! And boy oh boy, she is fiery and compassionate like her hair. Brave truly promotes the beautiful theme that family will be there in your times of need. And in addition, portrays that even in royal standings, the core of the family does not change nor does wealth change its essence. The film centers itself on the controversy of controlling destiny. And that is a splendid topic to introduce to the younger audience since it sets into the motion the idea that no boundaries or obstacles are too outstanding to hinder your life goals.

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Harris, Hubert, and Hamish
Also known as the Triplets of mayhem, these three are quite adorable, but don’t be fooled! Their sly smiles and mischievous pranks always stir up trouble in the kingdom especially when it comes to getting sweets. This trio of mischief share an unfathomable bond with their beloved sister Merida. These three princes truly cannot get enough of hassling their father King Fergus with their giggling and fun pranks.

I found the animation to be very fluid in its texture and execution. The Scottish accent dialogue made the movie truly enjoyable especially since it provided an intriguing intake. Although it was a bit over the top at times, for the most part, it did corresponded with the script overall. To be honest, the story line was fairly predictable, but that is commonly expected of Pixar films. It would be too traumatic for cartoon characters especially of Pixar and Disney descent to not have a happy ending.

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Mor’du
A bestial legend of 15 foot covered in battle scars and tilted arrows. Mor’du has been terrorizing the Scotland domain for ages and no one can fathom why. His ferociousness and fearsome tank of a body matches his instincts as Mor’du has taken the very foot of King Fergus during a tragic dilemma. However, there is a greater tale to be understood behind the battle marks of this beast.

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Aside from the cons, I adored the position the film takes on controlling destiny because it really does inspire the audience to go out and take charge of their lifestyles whether it is passionately chasing after something or finding a less paid job, but enjoyable at the same time.

Overall, Brave follows the guidelines as set out by previous Pixar directors and doesn’t offer much variance in story line, but it does provide that same old nostalgic inspiration.

Rating: 7/10

Produced by: Walt DisneyPictures

Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

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Wreck-It Ralph Review

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Plot Synopsis

In the 8-bit game Fix-it Felix, the main Bad Guy Wreck-it Ralph simply wants to be appreciated like his Good Guy counterpart Felix Jr. But there’s just one problem: No one ever loves the Bad Guys. Game after game and with each defeat, Felix Jr. is awarded medal after medal for his noble acts of valor against each of Ralph’s rampage on Niceland’s buildings and its tenants. Shunned by his community and unappreciated, Ralph comes to the conclusion that in order to be truly welcomed he needs to obtain a medal – a symbol of honor and accomplishment. He sets out into the arcade gaming sphere and sneakily makes it into the first person shooter game Hero’s Duty featuring Sergeant Calhoun where a medal is offered daily to winning players. However, Ralph wrecks everything in his attempt for the medal and accidentally unleashes a threatening enemy that can potentially corrupt every arcade game. Ralph’s wild adventure leads him to the candy-coated realm of racers titled Sugar Rush where he meets “The Glitch” Vanellope von Schweetz, a sharp-tongued program who too is dismissed by her people. Ruler of the sugar domain, the flamboyant King Candy seeks to rid of “The Glitch” at all costs. With Felix Jr. and Sergeant trailing Ralph’s wreckage to fix his actions, will Ralph realize what it means to be a Good Guy before the growing enemy shuts down the gaming universe?

Characters

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Ralph
For 30 years, Ralph has been keeping up his job as the villain of the arcade game Fix-it Felix. Yet, everyday grows harder to love his job as no one seems to like him for doing it. Simply wanting to be accepted by the community and recognized for his contribution to the game, Ralph sets out on a journey into the arcade network to prove that just because he’s a bad guy doesn’t mean he’s a “bad guy.”

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Vanellope von Schweetz
Termed as “The Glitch,” Vanellope is a pixelated program who’s been shunned by the sugar-coated inhabitants of the candy-filled racing arcade game Sugar Rush. With a racer’s spirit encoded inside her, Vanellope yearns to contest against the other racers at the starting lineup. Even though she possesses crude humor, underneath that hard exterior is a sweet and lovable center.

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Fix-it Felix, Jr.
The star good guy of the arcade game Fix-it Felix, Felix embodies the niceness and willingness to help as programmed to be of a “good guy.” With his magical golden hammer that holds the power to fix any and everything, Felix is constantly praised by Niceland’s tenants as he is awarded medal after medal. However, can Felix and his hammer fix the wreckage left behind by Ralph’s wild adventure?

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Sergeant Calhoun
Don’t be deceived by this lady’s pretty visage. Inside her is a rooting-tooting heart of steel as she commands and leads the forces of the game Hero’s Duty towards humanity’s freedom. Sergeant Calhoun will stop at nothing to protect the player against the infested epidemic, Cy-Bug.

King Candy
All hail the sugary reign of King Candy, ruler of the race track and game Sugar Rush. Renowned as the best racer on the lineup, King Candy rules with a bubbly and eccentric persona, but he is heatedly strict when mention of “The Glitch” Vanellope rings the bells in his ears.

Review

As a solid Disney fan, I was immediately sold by the digital animation with the trailer release. Wreck-it Ralph takes on a new spin compared to a typical Disney story line where now there is a role reversal on spotlight shining on the Bad Guy’s perspective. The film’s basis focusing on video games allows it to approach the concept in a myriad of ways. Merging old school classics with new school graphics, the movie targets not only children, but also adults who’ve had gaming nostalgia.

The dialogue of Wreck-it Ralph incorporates a variant of gaming puns and humor that any gamer new and old would instantly comprehend. I must personally say that the language was not a touch from genius. The creation of a central station for the gaming characters to all interact establishes a wonderful home place for the audience to watch as all their favorite avatars casually converse with each other. Alongside its comical side, Disney of course, introduces the “dark side” of the game sphere such as a gaming character that purposely sabotages another game is termed as going “turbo.”

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Ralph himself is such a lovable lug who is just misjudged by his title. Honestly, the way the tenants treat him was a hit to reality that people in real life behave significantly similar this. It may be harsh for the younger audience, but it is what it is. I found the friendship that evolved between Ralph and Vanellope to be an unpredictable one. I did not expect Vanellope to be as forgiving as she was throughout the film because of the tough shell she outlays. The story line itself was superbly innovative with its plot twists at unexpected moments and deep insight on the character development.

Overall, I would highly recommend this movie to watch as it will capture your childhood youth as it did with mine and what’s better than seeing your favorite Street Fighter character costarring with Sonic the Hedgehog?

Rating: 9/10

Produced by: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Director: Rich Moore

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