As usual, Team Testosterone had a blast at the Field of Scenes. Popcorn! Playground! Mini golf in pajamas! (Mr. D's a huge fan of admission: $18 for all five of us to watch a double feature.) The drive-in has a tradition of playing the national anthem before starting the previews, and Mr. T really loves the anthem. It kind of wells a gal up with patriotism to see families, teenagers, old people and little kids standing in front of their minivans, monster trucks and Impalas while the anthem plays on The Big Screen. I resisted the urge to yell, "Play ball!" after it ended.
Lots of previews--everything is in 3D. I remember when 3D was all the rage the first time around. Now anything else is the exception if it's a kids' movie.
By the time our old pals Woody and Buzz showed up on the screen, Team Testosterone were lying in the back of the Momvan chewing popcorn and sipping slushies. They had blankets and pillows to keep warm and OFF to keep the mosquitoes from sucking them dry. Mr. D and I kicked back in our lawn chairs on the grassy knoll in front of them. Andy's growing up, the toys miss him, the first scene involves a clever ploy to get Andy's attention. A later scene was equally witty with a group of toys explaining their owner's temperament--"We do a lot of improv here." Were you that imaginative kid? One minute in a space ship blasting towards galaxies unknown, the next fending off witches in a haunted house?
Midway through Toy Story 3 we hear a long, loud wail from the bowels of the Momvan. What the what? Mr. G is bawling. I'm ready to yell at his brothers--who hit him? But no--he was scared. Mr. G who has seen a fair share of PG-13 movies about super hereos was freaked out by a PG-rated Pixar flick about a toy cowboy and space ranger. I crawled up in the back of the Momvan to ascertain why.
Aha. Toy Story 3 is a little dark, a nod towards film noir, some sinister characters ruling the underworld at the day care. I held Mr. G in my lap and talked him down while we watched the rest of the movie. (I laughed so hard at the exchanges between Barbie and Ken--when he's showing her his closet--what a hoot!)
And then the ending. Sheesh. My fleece is still damp from tears. Honest to Pete, Pixar, cut a girl a break. Did you have to drag out the emotional ending for a full 10 minutes? While I sniffled and wept and soaked the edge of my sleeve, I felt grateful that I wouldn't have to exit through a brightly lit lobby. When you watch Toy Story 3 at the drive-in, you can leave in the dark privacy of your Momvan and no one can see your blooming red nose or the mascara streaked beneath your eyes.
Naturally I got all sentimenal and began thinking of my childhood toys. The most beloved are still with me, believe it or not. The dolls are in a box, despite my best efforts at gender neutrality, Team Testosterone didn't want My Friend Mandy, Baby Beth or Strawberry Shortcake. But the stuffed animals--a kangaroo, a snake, several dogs and a giraffe--are beloved by my sons and get slept with and hugged--even played with occasionally. I donated my Cabbage Patch doll to the neighbor girl who plays with her, dresses her in outfits and takes her on adventures. That neighbor girl just got a baby sister, so I see a bright future for that doll.
As I've come to expect, Pixar nailed it with Toy Story 3. But if you can't see it at a drive-in, make sure you have a handkerchief. Spill it, reader. Where are your old toys? Are they played with by your kids or did they get donated to parts unknown?