My friends and I arrived at the AMC Loews Theaters at 11:45 p.m. on June 17, anxiously awaiting the 12:01 premiere of Disney Pixar’s “Toy Story 3”. As we looked around the theater, we noticed hardly one person in the room was under the age of seventeen, and that the majority of the viewers were in either high school or were home for the summer from college. Not many G-rated movies can draw a crowd that age to a 12:01 showing, so what makes “Toy Story 3” so special?
I think it has something to do with the fact that the particular age group that packed the theater that night grew up with Andy, the owner of America’s most beloved gang of toys. My high school graduation is in less than a week and leaving for college is looming on the horizon, much like Andy, who prepares to leave for school in “Toy Story 3”.
Andy loved Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys growing up and so did we. What can we say? The hours we spent as kids sitting in front of the television watching and re-watching “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” created a bond between our generation and Andy’s toys. We watched the movies, played with the toys, went on the rides in Disneyworld; not only do we have a bond with Andy’s toys, we have a bond with Andy.
For those in our generation who have already known what it’s like to go off to college, we can relate to Andy; for those in our generation who, like me, prepare to leave for school like Andy, we are right there with him (just as we were as kids); and for those in our generation who are still in high school, feeling like Andy does is not so far-fetched.
While kids of all ages will file in to see “Toy Story 3,” I feel the movie will have a different meaning for those of us who grew up with Andy, Woody and Buzz. The “Toy Story” films have always been phenomenal but this time, as Andy is once again our age, “Toy Story 3” will be all the more tangible for its teenage and young adult viewers.
Story photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Home page images courtesy Loren Javier, via Flickr.[polldaddy poll=3372240]