Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of watching the new movie Toy Story 3 in 3D. I have to say that it was one of the most solidly entertaining movies I've ever seen. It's really something to be almost frozen in a state of joy for such a long time, with each new scene bringing with it new laughs, smiles, and love for the characters I've grown to know more with each sequel. I'm not sure what more I can say without spoiling the movie other than it needs to be seen, and seeing it in 3D made it even more enjoyable.
I have a bit of personal history with the Toy Story trilogy. Not in any direct way like working on it in some capacity, but more from the vantage point of a person directly inspired by it. Specifically, Toy Story 2 was the movie that caused me to drop out of college to enroll in animation school. There was no denying its charm and ingenuity as I watched a night showing in my college town's local mall theater, and I vividly remember walking back to the bus stop with a new determination to become a part of the undeniable magic that was 3D animation. My college was a lot of fun and I loved the school tremendously, but it was clear where I wanted to go now, and the better way to get there was through an animation-focused school. Less than three years later, I finally found myself animating for a living.
All this is what made make this piece on the LA Times' website a funny read. It compares Toy Story 3 with my recently-released video game Red Dead Redemption, with its author Ben Fritz wondering which could be seen as the "signature success" of 2010. Until I read that article, I hadn't realized how closely-timed the release of my game was to the finale of Pixar's flagship trilogy. Both have enjoyed tremendous success so far, and it goes without saying how amazing it feels to be a part of something that is received so well. While I can't answer Fritz's question, it is interesting to think that after such a long period of time (has it been eleven years??) the sequel to the animated movie that influenced me the most in my life ended up appearing like an echo within a month of my latest and best project. It has all made for a memorable summer.