MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
I love how it ends. It's the best possible ending to the Toy Story, uh... story. In fact, I remember reading speculation on a forum somewhere, months ago, by people wondering what was going to happen in Toy Story 3. Would Andy give his toys away to Goodwill, or would he take them to college with him? As far as I can remember, nobody came up with the outcome that actually got used, of Andy personally passing his toys on to another kid (Bonnie) who loves toys as much as he did when he was a kid... even though it seems so obvious and perfect in hindsight. After all the toys have been through in these movies, it's the perfect capper to the trilogy. Some people think the introduction of Bonnie opens the door for more sequels, but I doubt it; Pixar has established itself as a studio that only makes sequels if they've got a good story to tell... and this feels like the end of a good story.
But I do love the series of epilogic scenes that play during the end credits, because with those scenes, Pixar avoids doing something that's always bugged me in movies. Y'know, the thing where life is hard for the good guys throughout the film, until they beat the bad guy and triumph at the end, and they all live happily ever yadda yadda the end, show's over, go home, never mind what life is like afterwards. In this movie, we're treated to scenes of life in Bonnie's room and at the daycare. It even starts right before the end, with Woody saying, "Oh hey, you guys haven't met Bonnie's toys yet!"
And those scenes are especially welcome after the dark turn the movie takes when Lotso leaves the toys to burn in the incinerator. Would any other studio write such a scene? Would Pixar themselves have written it ten years ago? I don't know, but I love the fact that they're not afraid to take risks, to the point where, as the toys await their fiery death, I was thinking, "It can't end like *this*...
Fortunately it didn't, and having the aliens save them with THE CLAAAAAAW was a stroke of genius.
The callbacks to the previous movies are also awesome, such as the One-Eyed Bart scene at the beginning that turns out to be one of Andy's games, but THIS TIME filmed in WIDESCREEN IMAGINATIO-VISION! My jaw dropped at the mushroom cloud o' monkeys!
The Pizza Planet truck is there too, but don't blink or you'll miss it (Lotso, Big Baby and Chuckles the Clown ride on its bumper on a rainy night in a flashback), and even Sid from the first movie has a cameo (watch for the head- and truck-bangin' garbage dude with the skull T-shirt).
Another callback is the incredibly elaborate escape-from-Sunnyside plan that Woody & Co. come up with, both stunning in its ingenuity and hilarious in its over-the-top complexity. It could even be seen as a parody of Woody's elaborate plans from the previous movies. "Get the tortilla!" I wondered what the tortilla was for... until Mr. Potato Head's parts started sticking themselves into it. The Mr. Tortilla Head scenes are some of the funniest stuff Pixar's ever come up with (and I'm glad they didn't spoil it in the trailers, though they did hint at it by showing him as Mr. Cucumber Head).
In fact, I think Mr. Tortilla Head is tied for funniest scene with Ken's groovy wardrobe modeling montage, which is made all the funnier by how Barbie ends it. "Not the Nehru jacket!!" "This is from, what, 1967? Oh well." I love how Barbie can be as vapid as you'd expect (like with Ken's "I" "love" "you" game), but when the chips are down she can be as cunning as Woody and friends. (Remember those CGI Barbie videos Mattel put out in the '90s? I haven't seen any of them (nor do I want to), but I bet this blows them out of the water.)
Now here's a list of things I didn't like about Toy Story 3:
End of list. Really, I can't think of anything I didn't like.
The short before the movie, "Day & Night", is awesome too, and an incredibly creative combination of 2D and 3D; I love how the characters appear as flat windows that the landscape can be seen through (and yet they can appear at different depths, one standing in front of the other). One odd thing I realized, though, after the second time I watched it: if we're seeing the same landscape through both of them, just at different times, then how can the sun rise and set at the same point?
Trailers I saw:
"Tangled", Disney's updated take on Rapunzel. Looks fun. The horse and chameleon look especially cool.
New trailer for "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole". Could be good, could suck; hard to tell.
"Megamind". Looks to be in the vein of "Monsters vs. Aliens"; i.e., one of those movies I like but everybody else seems to hate for some reason I can't figure out.
"Despicable Me". Same, as long as they don't go too far with the toilet humor.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Hang on, did I catch a brief glimpse of brooms and buckets of water? Did they turn Mickey Mouse into Jay Baruchel?
Also, I had a couple of hours to kill before the 3D showing started, so I snuck into another screen room and saw most of "The Last Airbender". I didn't think it was bad; I'm not sure what people hate so much about it. Of course, I didn't see the beginning, and I've never seen the series it's based on.
Also: heehee, Woody looks funny when he runs. Like a Muppet or something!
Also: I wonder how they're handling the scenes of Buzz in Spanish mode, in the Spanish dub of the movie. They could just have him speak English, I guess, but how to explain all the muy suave dancing & romancing? French, maybe.