Posted by: Justine | June 26, 2010

Tears, I Have Them: Toy Story 3

15 years ago, I watched the first Toy Story as a kid. Woody was my favorite character and of course I had toys of the cast courtesy of MacDonald’s and their Happy Meals. It was a simple time when playing is the most important thing to a child and responsibilities are in a far off future far far away.
This week, 15 years later, I watched the final chapter in the Toy Story Trilogy, Toy Story 3, with some friends who also watched the other movies as children. Read on as I muse about the film in a spoiler-lite blog.

First thing’s first. “But Justine, what does it have to do with New Social Media?” you may ask. It has everything to do with the film (well, not really)! First off, in the movie, there was a scene wherein a triceratops was using an IM application to chat with another dinosaur in another house. New social media! Andy, the kid in the first two movies who has now grown up, used a cellphone, which is another new social medium! And in real life, social networking sites were used to market the film. Who’s off topic now? (*smirks*)

The film quickly cuts to the chase after establishing the premise that Andy was leaving for college and the toys decided to… well I just can’t go into detail with the story. I want everyone to watch it for themselves. I will just talk about the pervading themes in the movie.

"I'm mouth agape at this movie."

Nostalgia plays heavily in this film. From the opening montage of Andy playing with the toys, I was quickly reminded of the first two movies and how I loved them as a kid. Seeing old friends after a very long time in much better graphics made me long for the days when life was simple and I have no

problems. Those were the times that we cannot take back and experience again.

Seeing childhood friends after a very long time.

Friendship. The whole film generally revolves around how the ragtag group of toys journey through hardships together, putting their friendship above all. It is their friendship that powers them in overcoming obstacles and preserving their group, just like how me and my friends try to always be there for each other through thick and thin. The scene in the movie that started my river of tears was when the toys where about to be melted in a big ball of flame. Everybody was still struggling to escape when suddenly Buzz held Jesse’s hand, assuring her they will be together no matter what without saying a word. Everybody just held hands, even Woody, who was the most adamant that they go back to Andy. This show of resignation to a fate that they don’t ever want to encounter made me cry because I’m going through the same thing right now and I’m just steeling myself for the eventual fallout of what is to come. The film just reached into me unlike most films that I watched recently. Everything just felt genuine even though the characters are made of plastic.

Cowboy and astronaut, best friends forever. (Until the Brokeback Incident)

Moving on. As we grow up, we have to and must learn to outgrow the things that we have when we were younger. Most of us have given up toys and role-playing by ourselves. It’s just a natural part of ourselves. Letting go of something that we loved dearly for long is very difficult as portrayed in the film. Some of the scenes that made me cry was those of Andy letting go of his toys and moving on to college. I was reminded of when I was about to leave for college, when my Mommy cried while saying that “I’m a big boy now.” It’s just too painful to realize that you can’t bring some parts of you that you loved when you go to the “next level”. The end of the movie perfectly demonstrated the heartbreaks of choosing to let go something for someone to move on completely and for another to attain happiness.

"Goodbye, old friends. I need to move on without you."

If anyone has a shadow of a doubt whether to watch this film or not, all I could say to them is that it’s a must-see film, one the best I’ve seen in years. And yes, it featured new social media (albeit briefly). I urge everyone who ever loved a toy when they were young or have held something very dear to them before outgrowing that something to watch Toy Story 3; it is the graceful coda to a symphony of beautiful lights and sounds that always brings the child out of all of us.

Onwards... to infinity and beyond!



  1. Aww, this post is touched me. You know what? I still cannot let go of my toys. They are still stuck upstairs in my “treasure chest” and whenever my mom asks me to give them away, I can’t. Maybe after I watch the movie I’ll be able to let go of them, finally. 🙂
    Anyway, it’s nice that social media is seen in the movie. Even the toys use it. With regard to social media as a marketing tool, it’s inevitable and it’s appropriate to use because the Internet is the hub of all target markets. Toy Story 3 is a movie for the family and what better way to promote this than with the use of cyberspace. 🙂

  2. You are not off topic! In fact, Toy Story 3 was actively promoted on Twitter (the last time I saw it on the trending topic list, it was the last one, with a ‘promoted’ sign on its side). I’m not sure with other social networking sites, but it’s interesting that a big movie outlet as Disney Pixar is tapping SNS to promote a movie that has been anticipated since after Toy Story 2. But why not? It’s free, your audience is just there, and the benefits are amazing, really.

    The loser that I am, I haven’t watched Toy Story 3 still. But I’m so looking forward to see it, plus I think I can relate very well with the characters using SNS in the movie. 🙂

  3. Justine! 🙂 I was laughing, laughing, laughing when I started reading this entry (especially when I came across the “But Justine, what does it have to do with New Social Media?” line, perfectly concluded with “Who’s off topic now?”, and don’t forget the “(*smirks*)” part). It’s all you, Mr. Vendil. High five!

    And how you insisted and convinced us of how new social media is illustrated in the film—with the triceratops’ chat and Andy’s cellphone—Fine. I don’t wish to argue further. Actually, I don’t want to comment on the NSM issue. I want to talk about the realizations you laid here about being a child, and growing up, and outgrowing things.

    It’s all real. That “As we grow up, we have to and must learn to outgrow the things that we have when we were younger.” That “It’s just too painful to realize that you can’t bring some parts of you that you loved when you go to the “next level”.”

    Growing up is simply one of the toughest, most terrifying bridges we have to cross in life. A painful walk past childhood and a brave break into adulthood. It’s the time when one asks the unanswerable whys in life—Why do I have to study and go to college? Why do I need to work after? Why do I need to earn money? Why can’t I just play and enjoy life? Why do I have to think about other people? Why do I have to live in a bigger world? Why do I need to experience all these changes? Why can’t I just do the things I used to do, believe the things I used to believe and live the simple, carefree life I used to live as a child?

    As a child. Indeed, it’s the priceless experience we all wish to go back to. It’s the most naïve and pure point in a person’s life. It’s when we first felt happiness, friendship, and love. When we first tasted candies and chocolates. When we first soiled our small shirts and shorts. When we first laughed with the coolest playmates and friends. When we first spent a whole day playing and running and laughing. When we first slept with our parents’ lullaby by night. Oh goodness, why do we have to leave these days?

    As I now realize, we need to leave childhood because it is just one of the many seasons God has crafted for us. Because childhood is only the first. And after it comes the best.
    We all have to take the step to the “next level” because we are designed to live a full life. We have to let go of our plastic toys because we are destined to take hold of genuine responsibilities and relationships. We have to outgrow things because we are growing up to the best of who we are created to be.

    Don’t worry, Justine. We are all together in crossing this bridge. We may not know how many things we need to outgrow or how long will it take to finally set foot on the other side. Nevertheless, we can fully trust that the Creator of this bridge has made it strong and perfect enough to hold us. 🙂

  4. First off, I will destroy the mood by saying that though I have watched the first movie, I haven’t laid my eyes on the second. Of course, the same goes for the third movie. Yes, I live under a rock.

    Still, I get your point about nostalgia and outgrowing things we have grown fond of. The good thing about growing up and moving on is that we also leave behind the bad things. I surely do not want to revisit my choice childhood moment involving stereo component cabinets.

    On things less sentimental, though I guess the presence of the IM in the movie just proves how ubiquitous social media is. Look, even toys are using it!

  5. Real men cry. Not because scorching Cristine Reyes is around. But real men cry, because of real things.

    Reexamines our perspective of friendship,home & love.Reconciles our notions of holding on & moving on.Defines our meaning of true faith & commitment against all odds to stand the test of distance & time.At par with a Nicholas Sparks masterpiece,lightyears away from MMK.Delves deeply on how the past inevitably affects the present & how what we do today shape things to come.TOY STORY 3. In one word? TIMELY. ♥

    Transcends special effects and cinematography. Packs a lot of punch in substance, emotion and heart. If the Philippine movie industry can produce, even just a script, of something as moving as this, we can prove that we can truly be, world class.

    It was an honor watching it with my closest friends.

  6. one of the best films i’ve watched this year. and yes, the themes you highlighted are close to heart thus many people were able to relate with the movie plot. didn’t make me cry, but was touching enough to be remembered for a looong time, and yes, this movie is far better than any social networking site could offer. now that’s the social media connection, ain’t it? ;P

  7. I was crying while reading this post. Haha.

    I watched Toy Story 1 with my dad. It’s the only movie I remember watching with him. Too bad he didn’t live long enough to watch the final chapter with me. No matter how badly I ask for another moment to be with him, it won’t bring him back to life, won’t make him watch our favorite movie with me one last time.

    That’s why this film is special – it’s seeing the old characters saying goodbye, while I say goodbye to the denial of dad’s death and my wish that he’s still my dad right now, and not just another stranger who practically cannot accept who I am. Okay too much info.

    Nonetheless, I just hoped that the tweets crossed earth and made their way to heaven, that dad misses me too as I watch this movie without him. :’) 😛

  8. Yes, everybody has tears. This movie just amplifies the fact that we all are human beings who need to care and be cared for. We all were children once. And I believe what’s unique to our generation is this movie series that we actually wanted to finish till the end. The most meaningful movie from my childhood that I shall cherish; that is Toy Story.

    Fine. There’s NSM involved in this one, I’ll concede that. Wonderful post, by the way. 🙂 Very compelling. Like the movie.

  9. I too have waited a full fifteen years to finally finish this trilogy. And I can say that the wait was well worth it.

    I can closely relate to the story of Andy(as most of you can), who has outgrown most of his playthings, moving on to “toys for the big boys”. After watching I immediately went to my old toy bin and started reminiscing with my old plastic playmates.

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