It's playtime again with a true classic

Mark Evans

Toy story 3 Kids/adults. Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack

> Mark Evans

Don't laugh, but the original Toy Story was every bit as important in cinematic history as The Godfather.

It was, as the Americans say, a game-changer.

Back in 1995, when the original was released, animation wasn't quite in the doldrums, but the heyday of Disney was long past and only The Simpsons were offering anything fresh or new.

Cue Toy Story, which inspired Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Shrek and more.

But, unlike the Godfather trilogy, the three Toy Story movies all manage to deliver.

Andy, the child at the heart of the series, is back -- but now he's 17 and heading off to college. His once-cherished toys -- Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the gang are abandoned.

Woody, Andy's original toy, remains loyal, but the others aren't so sure. They get themselves to the Sunnyside Day Care centre, where they hope to finally be played with by new kids. Woody, having planned a rescue mission, leaves them there, because at least they're wanted, and he in turn is picked up by a new owner called Bonnie.

But all's not what it seems. The day care centre is ruled by the creepy Lotso Huggin' Bear (Ned Beatty) and his enforcer, Big Baby. Lotso also resets Buzz and uses him as a bodyguard.

The plot sets up questions: ones about growing up, the loss of innocence, losing your place in the world and abandonment.

There's a very adult theme at the heart of what's ostensibly a children's movie. Much of it will pass over their heads, but I defy any adult to watch the final moments, the end of an era, without their eyes misting up. Recommended

DVD EXTRAS: We're being pushed more and more towards Blu-Ray, and the four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo is excellent value, with tons of making-of extras and interviews, Buzz Lightyear/Nasa space special, the Night & Day theatrical short, plus a digital copy of the film.