Toy Story 3 arrives in theaters today, just in time to save summer movies from mediocrity and box-office failure. The film, in the words of our David Edelstein, is “another paradoxical Pixar beauty…[a] lovely, wistful movie [that] weaves together our joyful fantasies of the past, the ones that helped form us, and our darker fears of being forgotten.” He’s not alone in his praise: the movie is currently beloved by 100 percent of the critics operating in North America (take this with a grain of salt, as the Armond White review is still forthcoming), and has been universally greeted as another engaging, touching, exhilarating, melancholy masterpiece from a group of filmmakers who churn out masterpieces like ice-cream trucks do soft serve. But if the reviews are unanimous in their praise, they are fractured on another matter: the activity of your tear ducts. There is no question you will love this film — but how much will it make you cry?
Forget star: We rank the reviews on a scale of teardrops, from zero to four.
In their raves, both the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly make no mention of tears. While it is possible that A.O. Scott and Owen Gleiberman did not cry, it is also possible, given how much they enjoyed the film, that theirs were tears of omission. In any event, their reviews, along with our David Edelstein’s, suggest the possibility that weeping will not be a part of your Toy Story 3 experience.
According to the Daily News, you may feel some condensation form, but you will be able to fight it:
“Viewers under 10 won’t get the existential underpinnings until many years, and viewings, later. And then they’ll likely choke up, too.
The Associated Press advises that you bring a Kleenex:
The Posts, both New York and Washington, respectively, advise you to bring a box of them:
“Toy Story 3” (which is pointlessly being shown in 3-D at most locations) may not be a masterpiece, but it still had me in tears at the end.”
“Ultimately, every “Toy Story” movie is about story, not just the film’s plot or narrative, but the stories the characters want to be in when Andy plays with them. It’s just this deep sense of longing — inevitably giving way to loss and acceptance — that will bring adult viewers to that Disney-approved point of smiling even as they weep openly.”
Slate suggests you will be sobbing about Toy Story 3 long after you leave the theater, and actually, whenever you think about it again. The Awl suggests you will need a serious re-hydration session immediately following the film.
“Toy Story 3 is a near-perfect piece of popular entertainment, a children’s classic that will be watched and loved when my daughter’s (and one day, her daughter’s) now-beloved toys are gathering dust in a basement. Shit — now I’m crying again.”
“And it’s also to say that nothing in those first eighty minutes prepared me for the final fifteen minutes, which I spent bawling, as did every moviegoer around me. The tears streamed down my face as they had not since… well, since I saw Up.”