By Nicole Sperling
June 10, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

STARRING Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Ned Beatty
WRITTEN BY Michael Arndt

Eleven years have passed since Toy Story 2 hit theaters. So when Pixar’s John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, and several others learned in 2006 that they had a green light to do a third installment, they spent four hours huddled around a laptop in a Northern California cabin watching the first two films back-to-back. ”We were immediately depressed. We thought, ‘These are so good, how can we make another one?”’ says Unkrich. ”Then we remembered we were the people who made them. If anyone is going to do it, maybe we can pull it off.”

Judging by reactions to early screenings, they seem to have succeeded. In the new film, written by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine), Buzz and Woody’s owner, Andy, packs up for college. His toys are shipped to a day-care center where Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (voiced by Ned Beatty) rules the roost — and they, along with the new toys, continue the franchise’s theme about change and growing up. ”I was 26 when we made the first Toy Story,” says Unkrich. ”Now I have three children. It’s impossible not to have those big life experiences infused into the film.”

Tom Hanks, who’s seen his four children grow up since he first voiced the cowboy Woody, has spent his fair share of time with toys. ”That magic you have as a child in your bedroom with your sacred playthings, you really do create an entire world. Pixar makes it come to life every time.”

  • Movie
  • G
  • 102 minutes
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