Totally Forgot My Toy Story 3 Review
First, most basically, it works as a "mature" kid's movie. The terror and threat are real. It doesn't matter that you "know" they can't "Really" go into the furnace: when they're going into the furnace, it's as real as it is in any adult movie. It's what I've always craved in kid's movies - real emotional involvement and therefore real learning. (Since yes, I take it kid's movies are more overtly didactic than adult movies.)
Now, all that being said, the movie's been analyzed (as in Nick's) for a lot of more complex levels of meaning. I'd underline the personal/psychological. I think it's about the crisis of identity, either in the modern world, or in late middle age (which is what the toys must be, in toy years): Buzz can be Good Buzz or Bad Buzz or Spanish Buzz, all at the flick of a switch - BUT he's still Buzz! Same for Potato - he can also be Tortilla Head. In what does his consciousness or self reside? His eyeballs (envy, gaze)? Lips (speech, reason)? Ears (sense, relatedness to others)? What if you stuck each of those on three different food items? would there be THREE potato heads? And in what sense would they be "potato"? No one knows! Ken can dress in a million outfits, and his orientation is highly questionable, and he can be on the good or Bad team both in the course of 90 minutes! Woody (rigid, law) tries to maintain a constant "self" in this whirl, but it's impossible.
I'd say, with IRON MAN 2, it's the best I've seen this year, but that's scant praise. It's a great movie for any year.