When I saw Toy Story 3 a few weeks ago, I immediately recognized that the last shot of the film mimics the opening shot of Toy Story, bookending the three films with a kind of visual closure. (I have to be vague here for the sake of those who’ve yet to see Chapter 3 in the saga of Woody & Buzz.) It was a fitting ending. Perfect, really. I strongly suspected that even the clouds were in identical formation as on Andy’s wall in Toy Story.
A couple of weeks later, I took Harry to see it, Harry being my 3-and-a-half-year-old son and fellow Pixar junkie. Even though by the end of the film I was an emotional wreck (you could have picked me up with a blotter), I had enough composure to pull out my phone and snap a picture of the closing shot so I could do a handy-dandy comparison in Photoshop. Turns out I was right about the cloud formations:
As cool as it is, however, I didn’t think this qualified as “blog post” material. This was so obvious an allusion that it would be silly to devote too many words to it. My prior Pixar posts dig deeper than just comparing shots between their own films. 1
So I put the comparison up on Facebook, which is a great place for things light, airy and fleeting. Moments later, my wife was the first to comment:
Since she was in her corporeal form only 20 feet from me, I continued our conversation in person (call me old fashioned): “It’s so obvious it isn’t even blog-worthy.”
“Oh, come on,” she said. “You could write something about that. Trust me: most people didn’t notice that clouds/wallpaper reference.”
“Really?…I betcha Harry noticed it,” I said.
“Right. Yeah. I’m sure that’s the case.”
I smelled a dare.
Let me explain a little about my son. He’s good at shit like this. He’s got a steel trap of a memory. For example, when he was 2 years old, if WALL•E were playing in another room, he could tell us what scene it was just by listening to the sound effects and music cues. OK, OK, I know I’m just a proud Dad and everyone thinks their kids are geniuses or Mozart-esque, blah blah blah, but trust me: when it comes to this kind of thing, he’s got the goods.
So, I put the Toy Story 3 still on my computer screen and called Harry into my office…
So either my kid is way too much like me or I’m onto something. But, hey, at least I got a post out of it!
By the way…when you saw Toy Story 3, did you notice the allusion?
BACK TO POST 1 Shoot, I’ve blogged about Pixar films in relation to John Ford, Nichols & May, Schwarzenegger violence and obscure sound effects from Raiders of the Lost Ark.