In one sentence?
Perhaps the best prison break movie since Shawshank Redemption. Or possibly Chicken Run.
Okay, that’s two sentences.
Also, the action sequences in this G-rated animated movie were far more exciting and engrossing than the action sequences in the vast majority of action movies I’ve seen. It’s interesting to me that I rarely come out of an animated film feeling like I’d just wasted time and money, but I rarely come out of a live-action film feeling like it was entirely worth my time and money.
I would love to hear the Pixar people talk about their approach to writing and storytelling. They really know how to tell a story. Simple stories, told well. They excel at this.
One of the things I found most interesting, and enjoyable, about Toy Story 3 is the fact that they use a very familiar plot and yet they tell it in a deeply entertaining way. They pulled so many familiar tropes from a variety of sources, but did it in such clever and entertaining ways, that it never felt cliched or lazy to me. Normally when I’m sitting in the theater and realizing I’ve seen a particular scene before in a different movie, I get bored and disappointed. To a certain extent, it’s a truism that there are no original stories. But there are always new and original ways to tell old stories. Just as West Side Story is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Or by the way changing the Congo into Vietnam turns Heart of Darkness into Apocalypse Now.
Or the way Toy Story 3 changes the twisted prison warden into Lots O’ Huggin’ Bear.