Posts Tagged ‘Toy Story 3’

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: ony Hale about his role as ‘Forky’ in “Toy Story 4.”

Richard and “Toy Story 4” actor Tony Hale discuss his character’s existential crisis and what message “Forky” sends to kids.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


This week on The Richard Crouse Show, Richard has an in-depth look at “Toy Story 4.” To talk about the creation of Pixar’s first ever Canadian character, the patriotic daredevil Duke Caboom, Richard chats with Greg Mason, Vice-President of Marketing for Walt Disney Canada and Ben Su, one of the Canadian animators who helped create the character. Keanu Reeves also chimes in on why he wanted to play Caboom. Then Tony Hale, who plays the new character Forky in the film, swings by to talk about his character’s existential crisis.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

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Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.

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Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” the devilish doll Chuck in “Child’s Play,” the tuneful coming-of-age story “Wild Rose” and the high-fashion assassin of “Anna.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!



Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including two very different movies starring toys–“Toy Story 4” and “Child’s Play”–the coming-of-age story “Wild Rose” and the runway assassin film “Anna” with CFRA Morning Rush guest host Matt Harris.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” the devilish doll Chuck in “Child’s Play” and the coming-of-age story “Wild Rose.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

TOY STORY 4: 4 STARS. “a level of emotional maturity that is Pixar’s trademark.”

“Toy Story 3” seemed like the end of the line for Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Company. Andy, the young boy who loved and cared for them (just as much as they loved and cared for him) put away childish things and headed off for college, leaving his toys on the curb. As it turns out the end of their time with Andy was the beginning of a new life with spunky five-year-old Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw).

These days Woody (Tom Hanks), the gangly pull-string cowboy doll who was Andy’s favourite, sits, unloved and unused in Bonnie’s closet. He may be gathering dust bunnies but he takes his job very seriously. Woody passionately believes that he and the other toys play a crucial part in the upbringing of their child, so when it comes time for Bonnie to go to orientation day at kindergarten he tags along. When a boy bullies her, taking away her arts-and-craft supplies, Woody leaps into action, rescuing some crayons and odds and ends from the garbage for her. Brushing aside her tears she makes a toy out of a spork, a pipe cleaner, some googly eyes and a wooden ice cream spoon. She names it Forky (Tony Hale) and soon they are inseparable. Trouble is, Forky is in the midst of an existential crisis. ”I am not a toy,” he says, “I belong in the trash.” When Forky gets loose during a family road trip, Woody sees it as his duty to track him down and return him to Bonnie. With the help of pals Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack), goofy T-Rex (Wallace Shawn) and others including a doll with a broken voice box (Christina Hendricks), Woody goes on an adventure and learns what it really means to be a toy.

Like the other entries in the “Toy Story” franchise, “4” doubles down on themes that other recent kid’s films have taken pains to avoid. Loss, moving on, unrequited love (yup, toys can fall in love) and good vs evil sit alongside the more traditional leitmotifs of friendship and loyalty. The movie can’t really be described as dark, although the ventriloquist dummies are the stuff of nightmares, but it has a level of emotional maturity that is part of Pixar’s trademark.

Part of that is likely due to the investment we have in these characters. Adult members of the audience have been watching these films for twenty-five years, literally growing up with Woody and Buzz and the kindly voicework that comes along with them, particularly from Hanks whose voice has the same effect as a cuddly warm blanket. As animated characters they are free to explore deeper emotional troughs, I think, because they look like toys. If this wasn’t animated, if the characters weren’t made of rubber and plastic, their travails may not be lessened but they might be less palatable for kids.

The main story focusses on Woody and his self-realization but he’s supported by a raft of new characters. Keanu Reeves plays Duke Caboom, a small plastic motorcycle daredevil from Canada (Who’s the Canuck with all the luck? Who’s the greatest of the Great White North?). He’s heroic in his own way, a wannabe champion with a funny and (here’s that word again) poignant backstory.

Forky’s journey is McGuffin that drives the plot forward. The story isn’t really about him but his search for purpose is a good fit for the “Toy Story” universe. Hale’s voicework brings a fun sense of confusion—Forky is a Frankenstein character, a child discovering the world—that keeps his character interesting and amusing.

Best of all is Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, the vintage doll who was “defective out of the box.” She has the widest arc of any of the characters, (MILD SPOILER) from villainous to sympathetic, and the tone of Hendricks’ voice is both menacing and doll-like.

“Toy Story 4” doesn’t feel like a classic in the same way the original did (and still does) but the laughs and the heart-tugging moments feel earned because Pixar place story and character ahead of the frenetic action so often showcased in other films for children. It is essentially an action/adventure movie, less complex than “1,” “2” and “3,” but there is an undeniable poignancy and yes, adult fans may even shed a tear or two as the long running story comes to a conclusion.


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including two very different movies starring toys–“Toy Story 4” and “Child’s Play”–and the coming-of-age story “Wild Rose.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


toy-story-3Ten years have passed since Woody, Buzz Lightyear and friends went to “infinity and beyond.” That’s the cute catchphrase that serves as Buzz’s rallying cry, but it could also describe the box office performance of “Toy Story” one and two. These movies are big business, so it was inevitable that “Toy Story 3” would get pulled out of the Pixar toy box eventually. The question is, can it possibly break the curse of the triquel—can you name a good movie with the number 3 in the title?—and live up to the high standard established by the first two films?

The film’s story is rather simple. Andy (voice of John Morris) is ten years older since we last saw him. Preparing for college and a new life without his toys, he’s making the hardest decision he’s ever had to make—what to do with the toys he has shared his life with for so long? Do they go to the garbage, the attic or to a daycare where other kids can play with them? When a misunderstanding threatens to separate the toys, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jesse (Joan Cusack) and the gang take matters into their own tiny hands but when they meet the huggable but evil Lotso (Ned Beatty) the garbage dump or the attic begin to look good.

As bright and shiny as the packaging may be, “Toy Story 3” isn’t a run-of-the-mill kid’s film. Pixar—and the Pixarians who work there—are too clever by half to make a family film like “Furry Vengeance” or “Marmaduke.” What they do is much more subversive. They create stories about real issues with real emotions and tart them up with kid friendly characters. The result is ageless family entertainment that doesn’t talk down to any member of the household.

It’s darker than the previous films—the lumbering Big Baby doll may be the scariest villain yet this year!—but, like Grimm’s Fairy Tales and classic Disney before it, “Toy Story 3” understands that kids can handle something a bit more challenging than a talking dog on a surfboard (see “Marmaduke… actually don’t see “Marmaduke, it’s terrible). There’s nothing here that will traumatize the little ones, but mixed in with the action, the jokes and the familiar characters are moments of sadness—when the toys realize that Andy is moving in without them—of threatening behavior—why is Lotso so mean?—and loss of innocence. It’s sophisticated storytelling in a genre that too often doesn’t treat its audience with enough respect.

The voice work is uniformly strong, with all the regulars returning—Hanks, Allen, Cusack along with John Ratzenburger and Don Rickles—and some welcome new additions. Timothy Dalton’s rich baritone gives the theatrically ambitious plush hedgehog Mr. Pricklepants some of the film’s best moments and Michael Keaton’s Ken is very funny. One of the great pleasures of Pixar’s films is their unconventional voice casting. Who would have expected “Deliverance’s” Ned Beatty to turn up in a kid’s flick? Not me, but here he does some beautiful work, seemingly channeling a Tennessee Williams character as the nasty Lotso, the teddy bear who smells like strawberries.

Technically “Toy Story 3” is top notch. The 3D enhances the story, adding some depth to the action scenes, but doesn’t get in the way of the storytelling. Pixar has also been careful to update the look of the film to state of the art technology, while retaining the look of the first two films. But more impressive than the technology, however, is how Pixar is able to weave a story out of pixels and terabytes about toys and other inanimate objects and make us care about them for the ninety minutes we’re in the theatre. That’s the real magic of “Toy Story 3.”

Playtime with the stars of Toy Story 3 RICHARD CROUSE METRO CANADA June 16, 2010

arts-toy-story-3-584Toy Story 3 is about toys. All kinds of toys. Some familiar, like the hilariously vain Ken doll voiced by Michael Keaton, others less so, like Mr. Pricklepants, a small stuffed toy with a deep baritone supplied by Timothy Dalton.

The stars have come out to play toys in the film, but what toys did they play with as children?

Jeff Garlin
The burly Curb Your Enthusiasm actor who voices Buttercup the Unicorn says his most memorable toy wasn’t actually a toy, but the box it came in. “I used that box for a year as a fort, as a robot,” he says. “I loved the box. And now my kids, as they open up gifts, love boxes.”

Joan Cusack
“I had a Barbie head,” says Cusack, who returns to the Toy Story franchise for the second time as the voice of Jessie, the Yodeling Cowgirl. “Just the head. It was sold like that. It was her head and her neck was like a tray and we did make-up and hair on the head. That’s all I can really remember. The rest of it was all make-believe and forts and playing house and stuff. It wasn’t so much toys back then.”

Michael Keaton
The Batman actor didn’t play with Ken dolls as a kid — he just plays one in the movie — but he does fondly remember a baseball glove he had as a youngster. “I wish I still had it,” he says. “It was perfectly worked in.”

Kristen ‘Trixie the Triceratops’ Schaal
The baby-voiced actress best known as Mel on Flight of the Concords, says her favorite childhood toy also came in a box, but unlike her co-star, she actually played with the contents. “My great aunt gave me a box of costume jewelry that I used forever until I lost every piece,” she says. “I would pretend to be a madam! No! Just kidding! A princess!”

Timothy Dalton
The former Mr. Bond — now the voice of a stuffed hedgehog with theatrical ambitions — agrees with Cusack. “We made things up,” he says. “We played with tin cans, stones and bits of wood or paper. Or we played games or went on adventures like tramping across the fields thinking we were adventuring heroes. It was before the space age but we did what these guys in the movie were doing except we did it in our heads.”