What do you guys think of Tom and Cami’s totally 70s kitchen wallpaper? Pimpin’, right?

If you’ve been following me at all on Facebook the last couple of days, you’ll know that I’ve been wrestling with a creative decision regarding the production of comics related to Toy Story 3. It seems no matter what I do, I keep thinking up jokes for this movie. Good jokes, too (or so I tell myself.) Jokes that I don’t want to let go to waste. It’s times like these that I lament making the decision to go to one comic a week.

Certainly nothing is iron-clad, though. I’m not purposefully restricting myself to one comic a week. If I have the time and the inclination, I have no problems throwing in a bonus comic or two.

The problem is that I don’t have the time at the moment. I’m wrapping up one of my summer night classes and I’m going two times a week. I’m reading case studies, writing essays and putting the finishing touches on a group project. I pretty much have time for work, school and sleep right now. It sucks, but after next Tuesday, I will have completed this latest gauntlet.

A few people have stepped up and volunteered themselves to illustrate my scripts – which is very generous. But I’ve never collaborated like that before and I’m very protective of my ideas. It’s hard to turn people down without sounding like a selfish jerk.

Some readers have told me to spread the comics out over the next three weeks. By their estimation. Toy Story 3 will still be the most popular movie in the country, so the jokes will still be timely. Looking ahead at the release schedule, maybe they’re right. Knight and Day? Grown Ups? The Twilight Saga: Eclipse? The Last Airbender? None of these movies inspire me like Toy Story 3 does.

So let’s talk about Toy Story 3 for a little bit, shall we?

Cami and I took Henry to the movie on Saturday and all of us had a blast. All three of us have been talking about it all weekend. Henry’s investment in the film has been exacerbated by a toy purchase reflecting on of the characters in the film. But, by in large, all of us have remained captivated by the film.

It’s been 11 years since Toy Story 2 and 15 years since the groundbreaking, original Toy Story. Despite a span of nearly two decades, the legacy and strength of Andy’s band of misfit toys remains in tact.

Pixar shows great care and concern for their flagship characters by maintaining the time line of the original films. Andy is now 17 years-old and heading off to college and he doesn’t have time for childish things. In a demonstration of both profound love and profound futility, his toys make a last-ditch effort to reconnect with their distant owner by hiding his cellphone in a dog pile beneath them in his toy chest. His disinterest signals the coming of their obsolescence.

The anxiety of these characters has always been something Pixar scribes have captured well on screen. The essence of the Toy Story movies have always been about the fear of abandonment and irrelevancy. In many ways, these toys reflect more about the human condition than any movie “aimed” at children has a right to. But it is because of these profound themes that audiences relate so well to Buzz, Woody and the rest of the gang. It’s the same reason we are so sad to see them go. Many of us have grown up with these characters. Like Andy, we’re being forced to say goodbye. But at the same time, we know we have to.

I won’t bore you with the plot details of the movie. How, in a series of misunderstandings, the toys end up donated at a daycare center whose toy population is run with a benevolent-on-the-surface strawberry-scented teddy bear. I won’t complicate my review by rehashing the Rube Goldberg-like escape plan hatched by Woody and his friends in the second act. I certainly won’t reveal where Andy’s toys finally end up. You need to experience all these things on your own because their staging and execution is absolutely brilliant. Especially the ending.

The ending of Toy Story 3 is note-perfect. It never talks down to us or makes us feel foolish for investing so much in these characters. It is a sublime love letter to fans of the Toy Story films that will leave you beaming while it breaks your heart.

Bring Kleenex.

↓ Transcript
What are you doing?

Chopping onions and watching Old Yeller.

If we're going to see Toy Story 3 later today, I'm not going to let Pixar emotionally sandbag me like they did with Up last year!

I'm crying every last tear I have before I take one step in that theater!

Whatever, Tom!

I don't know who you take these things to such illogical extremes!

Now help me find the ShamWow before we're late for the movie!