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The Toy Story Generation

toy soldierThe family and I just got back from viewing Toy Story 3 at the Cinema Grill – and it was incredible. By far it was the best of the three films, but mostly because of the first two. Which got me to thinking:

Art Imitates Life - Buzz Lightyear looked more like the toy version sold at Walmart than in the original movie. Maybe it was his movements or just the proportions but Buzz seemed more “marketable”. That’s ok. Even Mickey has aged gracefully.

Characters Drive StoriesPixar has an amazing knack for cranking out quality movies. But what allowed Toy Story to last and brings us back? It’s the quality of the characters. We don’t really care what trouble they get into, we want to see THEM work through it. Great point for any aspiring writers. Plot is important but characters really drive the story.

The Toy Story Generation – I know many kids/students (including my own) who grew up with Buzz and Woody. We’ve even seen Riders in the Sky perform You’ve Got A Friend In Me live. Together, the trilogy also presents a fascinating scope of computer animation evolution. But the Digital Natives are merely recipients. Toy Story is OUR story, the Gen X kids who actually played with all those toys. We created the movies and paid for the tickets to see it.

Which explains why it was so hard to say goodbye at the end of the film. Memories are powerful and as the gang watched Andy drive off, it was like watching an old home movie. Toy Story reflects an idealistic time: MY childhood. So while throngs of teenyboppers tweet and comment about another good movie, I’ll just sit over here and smile, knowing that like Peter Pan, I don’t have to grow up.

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