BEVERLY HILLS, California — You’d be hard-pressed to find an upcoming film more shrouded in secrecy than “Toy Story 3,” the summer 2010 sequel that will have Pixar revisiting its beloved characters while showing off how far computer animation and 3-D have come since Woody and Buzz first began their adventures in 1995.
This weekend, the first two “Toy Story” films return in dazzling three-dimensional glory, reminding us old-timers why it might be the greatest family-friendly series of all-time and indoctrinating a new generation who’ve never seen the movies on the big screen. And according to the series’ returning stars, we’ll all be glad the toys are back in town.
“They’ve remastered [the first two films] in 3-D, and they look spectacular,” marveled Tim Allen, the voice behind endearingly egotistical space adventurer Buzz Lightyear. “We just want to remind you where we stand, so that ’3′ will make a lot of sense in June.”
Here’s what we know so far: “TS3″ opens with our old pal Andy heading off to college, deciding which of his beloved toys he’s going to keep and which he’ll donate to a local day-care center. After his mother mistakenly tosses the storage bag in the trash, the only one not destined for the city dump — Woody — sets out to free the others from the trash truck. Somehow, a brand-new toy glimpsed in “Up” features into the plot, as does Barbie’s boyfriend Ken, who will be voiced by Michael Keaton.
“Storage,” shuddered Estelle Harris, the 77-year-old voice of Mrs. Potato Head. “That’s a dirty word. They’re in the dark. They’re crushed together. And it’s a terrible fate.”
“Toys want to live,” agreed Wallace Shawn, the voice of Rex the dinosaur, explaining one of the themes of the film, which will also deal with what it means to grow up and put your toys away. “It’s definitely not going to be just a repetition. It’ll be something that goes in a new direction.”
“This is even prettier; it’s great. The story is better,” Tim Allen agreed. “I don’t like taking away from ‘T1′ — I just love ‘Toy Story.’ The original ‘Toy Story’ is delicate and natural and fresh and authentic, because we had nothing to compare it to. ‘Toy Story 2,’ because Pixar and [John] Lasseter are so wonderful and honorable, it’s just the next episode. I wish they didn’t have a ’2′ on there; it’s just ‘Toy Story Again.’
“And ’3′ really expands the emotion,” Allen insisted. “You’ll be startled with what they’ve come up with; really startling imagery, emotion and humor in ’3.’ It’s just a wonderful experience.”
But, alas, many of the “Toy Story 3″ plot lines still remain top-secret. “I’m not saying whether the dinosaur is interested in Mrs. Potato Head or not,” Shawn grinned. “She may not even know.”
“We like each other,” Harris teased. “But she loves her husband.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Toy Story 3.”
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