The only thing better than seeing Woody, Buzz and Mr. Potato Head on the big screen again is having them sit in your lap. Fourteen years after “Toy Story’s” release, Mom, Grandma and I slapped on some sweet frames for our first 3D experience and spent a Friday afternoon reliving this classic from my childhood.
After sitting through a half hour of previews (all the regular ones and additional ones in 3D), me, Mom, Grandma and all the 4 to 8 year-olds in the theater had the same reaction: Just give me my toys already. It’s worth the admission, but be prepared to spend an entire day in Andy’s room.
The show began and the 3D glasses made it so real that I felt like an eight-year-old again. At intermission, I fully expected my mom to scold me for throwing popcorn at people in front of me.
Rex was roaring in my face as Buzz taught him to roar like a dinosaur. I ducked as the rubber ball rolled into the toy soldiers during their downstairs mission to get a peek at Andy’s new toys. Each time Mr. Potato Head got hit or fell down, his extremities came flying full speed at my face. I wanted to catch his nose and screw it back into his arm socket.
Sid’s house was most enhanced by the 3D aspect. The cruel assassination of Combat Carl by way of an M-80 attached to his back flooded the theater with horrified gasps from the underage crowd. The scene lingered in my mind as I went to bed. Combat Carl was a good toy. He deserved a more dignified death.
Throughout the show rambunctious children cheered during the escape from Sid’s house and pleaded with Slink to believe Woody that he didn’t kill Buzz.
A few of them had a little too much apple sauce and candy before the show, but Sid’s toy torturing quickly quieted the young, astonished spectators. They had no idea that Carl’s launch shed merely a speck of light on the long, disturbing history of Sid’s criminal dismemberment of toys. Heads of decapitated dolls drilled into bodies of other mutilated toys crawled out of the darkest and deepest depths of Sid’s room towards our faces and caused even the most annoying and obnoxious children in the theater to go mute.
At intermission the wide-eyed, terrified toddlers had enough, giving way to a more mature, too-cool-for-school, early teenaged crowd. The quieter bunch made for a more tense environment for part two.
At my advanced age there are some things I just can’t do anymore, and wearing 3D glasses for four hours is one of them. I had half a mind to ditch the glasses and the consequential headache before the second show, but mom and grandma had no problem with the lenses and inspired me to brave the headache and sore eyes and continue on. I stepped out for a minute to blink and was quickly ready for more action.
How can Andy’s mom try to sell Wheezy the Penguin? His squeaker is broken! Woody rescued Wheezy but was stolen himself, prompting what felt like a real life tour from Andy’s room, to Al McWiggin’s apartment, to a Pizza Planet delivery truck, to the airport to save Woody and the Round-up Gang from McWiggin and a home in a Chinese museum, and eventually back to Andy’s room.
A fixed Wheezy, a saved Woody, a complete Round-up Gang, and adopted spuds for Mr. and Mrs. Potato head made for a fully satisfying afternoon with the toys.
When Toy Story 3, exclusively in 3D, arrives in June of next year, you can bet Andy’s barrel of monkeys and Magic 8-Ball that we’ll be front and center to see how the gang deals with Andy going off to college.