Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Available now on DVD and Blu-ray
In saying goodbye to one the most successful film franchises, in terms of both art and commerce, those of us who have been with Woody, Buzz and the rest of Andy's toy collection from the beginning (was it really 1995?), are letting go of much more than a trilogy of enjoyable films.
Much like the toys themselves, we are coming to terms with the impermanence of things; that even being made of non-biodegradable plastic doesn't prevent you from having a shelf life, a use-by-date, an end. The Toy Story films have always flirted with these ideas of time, of what happens when childhood ends and those who showered us with so much love for so many years finally grow up, move on, leave us.
Of course, we'll always have these films to return to, to delight in and remind us of the children we once were and the friends we once had. And Toy Story 3 is a wonderful last hurrah, reuniting the gang in one last adventure precipitated by the impending big adventure for Andy (voiced by John Morris, the same child actor now grown as in the first two films): he's off to college.
Whether Woody (voiced, as always, by Tom Hanks), Andy's long time favourite, will make that journey with him becomes one of the urgent questions in the film, penned by Little Miss Sunshine's Michael Arndt who brings an edge to the always brilliant if untroubling Pixar material.
That question is answered, beautifully and heartwrenchingly, in the film's final scene and if you aren't already sobbing by this time, prepare for the waterworks. Those who don't cry, prepare for burial; you're already dead.