The hyper young boy Andy is grown up and off to college, which means he has to make a decision to rid himself of the toys he once loved so much. So he donates all-but-one of them to a local children's day centre, (he chooses to hang on to Woody for sentimental reasons but he escapes). Excited with the prospect of being played with once more, the toys look forward to their new life, until Lotso (one of the new friends they meet) turns out to be a bitter and twisted control freak who is intent on keeping them prisoner.
Third and final installment in the trilogy comes some eleven years after the last one and brings a fresh look to the table. Some wonderful movie references (including a parody on Cool Hand Luke) and the usual witty humour make this a loveable entry in the series which kids will love. Criticisms would include a dull mid-film subplot involving a night-time interrogation scene and the slightly overlong running time, but on the plus side it does have a beautiful ending, which would bring a grown man to admit he has a lump in his throat? Recommended for all ages.
It is a very well-made film, but it's also pretty dark and depressing by any standards, let alone a kid's film. Kind of a sign that animation needs to be more accepted on the same level as "real" films (not likely given the intellectual dormancy of most of America), or at least that Pixar needs to lighten up a bit!
See also by Toy Story (1995), and Toy Story 2 (1999).