Jessie never gives up! Jessie finds a way!
Who knew that the climax of the show would be Jessie fighting an iguana? I am NOT making this up! Think I'm joking? Check this out!
Toy Story of Terror has put my faith back in Pixar. Since Small Fry, I was afraid that Toy Story had finally worn out its welcome. Whereas Small Fry was bogged down in multiple sub-plots that went nowhere, TSOT is a tightly written story stretched out over 22 minutes. A lot happens in those 22 minutes too! Here are some thoughts:
Jessie/Buzz/Woody – I've said before that the dynamic between these 3 characters is one of the most unique relationships I've ever seen on film. They have such strong, well-defined independent personalities yet they complement each other so well. Buzz is not threatened by the unique dynamic between Woody and Jessie. Woody is not threatened by the romantic bond between Jessie and Buzz. Finally, Jessie is not threatened by the strong friendship between Buzz and Woody.
I'm so glad that they finally advanced Buzz and Jessie's relationship in subtle yet effective ways. I was afraid that they would have Buzz still being a bumbling mass of nerves around her, but Buzz is more comfortable being around Jessie and he shows it.
As for Woody and Jessie, I've written at great length in one of my fanart pieces about their relationship. While I wouldn't argue with anyone who sees a brother/sister dynamic between them, I think it goes beyond that. In Star Trek the Next Generation, Whoopi Goldberg's character Guinan describes her relationship with Captain Picard as being "beyond friendship, beyond family." I think that suits Jessie and Woody perfectly. Just like Woody put everything on the line to save Jessie in Toy Story 2, Jessie does the same for Woody in this show. The stakes are much higher here since everyone will be separated if she fails.
Other things- Back to the iguana. Seeing Jessie fight off this thing was so satisfying. She's clearly at a physical disadvantage, yet she overcomes through resourcefulness and some quick thinking. I couldn't help but wonder where the heck Woody was during all this. Buzz tried to help her, but was trapped in the glass case. Woody was free, but where was he? Still, I enjoyed seeing Jessie figure out how to get everyone out of their predicament.
I love Combat Carl! Combat Carl helps Jessie face her fear. Combat Carl talks in third person. Combat Carl never uses pronouns.
Pros – In addition to everything I said, this is Jessie's show hands down! She takes center stage and does a fantastic job. Her fears were established since Toy Story 2, it is great to see some kind of resolution.
Cons – As much as I loved Jessie getting attention ,it seems they had to dumb down Buzz and Woody to do it. Between these two, why couldn't they figure out what Mr. Potatohead's arm was trying to tell them? Why couldn't Woody figure out how to get out of the box? Where was Woody while the iguana was attacking Jessie? This is actually a minor complaint, but I couldn't stop thinking about it.
Either way this a awesome 22 minutes and I loved every single one! Overall, the writing was tight and had the subtle touches that made me love Pixar films up until Cars 2. I love how Pixar gives the audience a moral lesson without beating us over the head with it. It can be summed up best with this quote ,"Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway." Dr. Robert Anthony (Self-help author)