It was a Saturday afternoon in June 2010 at a movie theater in Hendersonville, Tennessee, just three days after my twelfth birthday. Four of my closest friends and I were seeing “Toy Story 3.” We all applauded as our favorite childhood characters were lifted out of the ashes (literally) and saved from apparent doom. Buzz (Tim Allen), Woody (Tom Hanks), and company had just proven once more that friendship can survive anything you put it through. We were all sleep-deprived from staying up way too late the night before, watching the first two Toy Story films, but there was no way any of us came close to falling asleep during this one.
“Toy Story 3,” much like the first two films, had an overarching theme of Andy growing up and forgetting his toys. It takes place about 10 years after “Toy Story 2,” and Andy is getting ready to move to college. When the toys think that Andy has abandoned them, they escape to a local day care in need of toys.
Well, all except Woody. As has been his habit in this trilogy, Woody went off on his own and ended up in someone else’s home trying to find his way back to Andy.
The climax of the movie is perhaps the one moment from this film everyone in my generation will remember. The whole gang has been tossed out and are in the dump, about to be burned to a crisp. As the beloved toys face the massive flames, they all lock hands, remembering that friendship is what got them there is the first place. You can practically hear the Toy Story theme music “You Got a Friend in Me” playing in the background.