Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Opening this Week: Toy Story 3 (in 3D!) and Jonah Hex

posted by Nell Minow

Can it really be only 15 years since Pixar first introduced us to Woody and Buzz Lightyear and the world of computer animation? The 1995 release of Toy Story didn’t seem revolutionary at the time. But its impact on not just animation but the movie industry as a whole continues to resonate. Pixar was a start-up and some people thought it was more of a stunt than a studio. But it became the most successful movie studio in history, with the average international gross over half a million dollars and 24 Oscars.
Pixar ultimately merged with Disney and now the Pixar folks are in charge of the premier animation facility. This week, they return to the characters that got them started with a third chapter, this time in 3D. One thing I’ll be watching for is the difference in what has become possible in computer animation. The reason the first movie was about toys was that they were simple, shiny, and plastic, without much movement. Since then, Pixar has developed an astonishingly vivid technology for presenting some of the biggest challenges for computer graphics like water, fur, and facial expressions. They now have 229 different facial movements they can tinker with to create what must be seen as animated performances. But they never lose sight of what matters most — the story and the characters. Wired has a great story this month about how “Toy Story 3″ came together.
The other movie opening up this week is a fantasy western, Jonah Hex, starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox, based on the graphic novel.

  • Dave

    I’m very excited about the release of TS3, though I haven’t decided yet if I want to see it at the theater since I already know it will be a part of my DVD collection in a few short months. I guess it all depends on what the response is regarding the 3D imagery. Just another Toy Story film, though. Wow. Pixar is clearly clueless how to make a bad movie, everything they’ve ever touched was pure gold, and the two TS films so far rank highly amongst their best. Now to see if they can join Lord of the Rings as one of the few film trilogies where every film was actually good … if anyone can pull this challenge of, Pixar can.

  • Amy P.

    I also cannot wait to see
    Toy Story 3 and see not only a plot that is sure to make me cry toward the end (rumors I’ve heard) but I’m also looking forward to seeing how much the technology has changed since the first Toy Story movie was released. In the previews I saw right away the lush landscape and he more realistic looking people. No more herky-jerky movements.
    I’m really excited about taking my five year old son too!

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Amy. Can’t wait to hear what you think about it. And yes, bring a hankie. FYI, I plan to recommend it for 7 and up, however. You’ll see more in my review, which will be up tomorrow night.

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