When have sequels ever been better than the originals, I've heard rumours about The Godfather Part Two but haven't seen it myself so I can't comment on that. The answer is rarely, until Toy Story that is. As much as I enjoyed Toy Story 2 it didn't surpass its predecessor but then there was 3, and everything 2 couldn't do, 3 did, and better!
Toy Story 3 continues to follow Andy's toys but now the game has changed, Andy is going to college and decides to only keep Woody (I'd guess for sentimental value). The rest of the toys mistakenly get shipped to the local day-care centre instead of heading to the attic, leaving Woody to convince them they are not unwanted and encourage them to find their way home.
As always with Toy Story and Pixar in general, the animation is spot on with an incredible attention to detail in both the main focus of the scene and the background. Everytime I watch a Disney/Pixar film I spot something new that I didn't see last time (and I'm always looking out for the Pizza Planet truck that is in every Disney/Pixar movie). This is where Toy Story 3 beat out 2 though, the story, they brought in a whole range of new characters in the residents of the care home but ensure there is still plenty of screen time for the beloved favourites. They all have to work together if they want to escape the hell hole that is Sunnyside Day Care.
I was apprehensive at first before I watched Toy Story 3. Introducing just a few new characters in Toy Story 2 worked well but I didn't know how to feel about such a wealth of even newer characters. However, Pixar nailed it, and I am a proud owner of a Lotso bear (although he doesn't smell like strawberries any more after 4 years!).
The main story is not only brilliantly written but the side stories also stand out, Barbie and Ken's not so match made in heaven (particularly his wardrobe montage!!) and Buzz Lightyear's reset repair causing him to speak Spanish and Mr Potato Head becoming a Tortilla for the good of the team. There is no moment in this film when you are not grinning from ear to ear - except maybe the truly terrifying and heartbreaking incinerator scene.
Spanish Buzz Lightyear is my absolute favourite part of Toy Story 3 and I was so happy when I saw the new toys in my local toy store. If only I had an excuse to buy one for myself. Note - Lotso doesn't count, he was a gift and a soft toy!
One thing that I noticed moreso in this one to the other Pixar movies was that it appeared to touch on much more adult themes but in a way that children can understand. Themes of friendship, loss, mortality, change and relationships are all touched upon in enough detail to prove they are not dumbing down films to kids levels, rather they are briefly introducing them to feelings they will inevitably have to deal with in life. I love that. Yeah, I agree. It was almost like Toy Story 3 was made for the kids who grew up with the original, who are now all adults (sigh).
I cannot find a fault with this film, it's clever, funny, sad and visually stunning. I will admit I did cry at the end as well!
I really enjoyed Toy Story 3 and loved how it ended, which yes, did make me cry a little, but Toy Story 2 is still my favourite of the series.