Toy Story 3, the Trailer: The Greatest Movie Trilogy of All-Time?

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Could this video clip – our earliest glimpse of the final chapter – be the moment when we all first began to recognize the best movie trilogy of all-time?

The new Toy Story 3 trailer is now live – it launched online in savvy, synchronized fashion this morning to maximize exposure. I’m not afraid to admit that I smiled like a dumby through the whole thing. And I’m betting there’s a wide cross-section of Toy Story fans, anywhere from 18 years old through 60, that will be smiling plenty too.

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Believe it or not, it was actually Avatar that got me thinking about the Toy Story universe again back around the holidays. If you follow the arc of the industry, isn’t Avatar the natural culmination of what Toy Story began back in 1995? Compare the two titles: You have two digitally created universes that went from stylized 2D to hyperrealistic 3D. From comedies to drama. From family affairs to worldwide blockbuster events.

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So I’m sort of excited now to return to the Toy Story realm, after all these developments, to size up how the franchise that started it all stacks up against the revolutionary game-changing sci-fi epic it sparked. And it’s also worth mentioning that no one can do sequels like Pixar. Toy Story 2 might just be the best sequel of all time, and for the third installment, they’ve created a premise that could go just about anywhere. If Toy Story 3 is every bit as good, would this not be the best movie trilogy of all-time? (Note the flaws with Return of the Jedi and Godfather Part III, and the multiple endings of Lord of the Rings Return of the King)

The premise, as far as we can tell: The boy’s shipping off to college, the toys have been shipped out of that familiar bedroom Just as we saw with Woody in Toy Story 2, now all the toys will have the feeling of being outdated and unloved. Cast aside by the technological tides of change.

The twist here, as you see above, is that the toys are not discarded or thrown away; rather, they are donated, joining the ranks of the other donated toys that we all remember from our childhoods. And I bet that some of these scenes, involving the likes of Ken and Barbie and their Dream House, are going to tug on the heartstrings of all of us who remember what it was like to sit down not with a video game, or a web site, but with a few plastic green army men. Or a Connect Four. Or a plastic spaceman. Or my Voltron heroes.

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Navigating this band of forgotten toy treasures should be fun, and then their grand breakout plot, to return home to their college-aged owner, should provide all the needed drama. And just like every other thing Pixar’s ever done, all the silliness will be tied up and topped of with a bow that seems a little more poetic, profound and magical than just about anything being created by Hollywood nowadays.

Oh, and just like Pandora, you’ll be able to see the thing on IMAX 3D too.

More on Techland: Check out the Techland Screening Room, and the in-depth look at the brilliant time travel epic Primer

Toy Story 3 Photos: Click a photo below to launch the gallery

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