I went with trepidation and was relieved to find it was a worthy end to the trilogy.
Don't listen to the naysayers (yes, Scott, I'm talkin' to you). It is funny, clever, and tells a worthwhile story. Even if there were nothing new, a good sequel that could stand on its own is worth the money.
I was especially intrigued by our glimpses of Andy as he is college-bound and facing transition to an adult. What do we regret? What do we hope for? There are hints of that in Andy's behavior.
I found that others had covered a lot of what I would have said about the movie on a deeper level, so I will excerpt them below. I will put subheads that won't spoil anything because the copy WILL contain spoilers (I saved these reviews to read until after I had seen the movie):
The Wonder of Storytelling
And wonder, actually, is what brings me to the second thing. Because at bottom, "Toy Story 3" is really about wonder -- specifically, the wonder of storytelling.Attachment to People, Attachment to Things
Near the end of the film, Andy finds a shy little girl who inherits his beloved toys -and the scene where he introduces her to them is enough to make strong men weep. (Pardon me, while I blow my nose. Sniff.) In that moment, Andy has discovered a kindred spirit: another kid without a dad, but one, like him, with a crazy and extravagant imagination -- the kind of imagination that will find new adventures for the toys, with new stories to tell. The movie that begins with an elaborate sequence inside Andy's imagination ends on a note of sweet expectation. You can't escape the hopeful feeling that there are many more Toy Stories waiting to be told, as long as there are children to love the toys, and keep them going. (An aside: There's also a hint that the greatest story, and greatest adventure of all, is life itself. I loved that the last shot of "TS3 "is the first shot of the original film: a blue sky dotted by clouds. But in the first film, it's a sky painted on Andy's bedroom wall. Here, it's the real sky of the real world - or, at least, Pixar's real world -- suggesting limitless adventures out there that are awaiting the little boy who grew up, and moved on.) — The Deacon's Bench
As I was watching the scene in which Andy is giving away his toys, I was getting all choked up, getting a little teary eyed (I pretty sure I wasn't the only one who got all teary eyed as you can see here.) What the heck was I freaking out about. These are toys! This is an animated movie! I rationalized with myself that even though these were both true statements we, as movie goers, had assigned human personalities to them. After all, through three movies now, we had seen their adventures. We have seen them talk and walk and show fear, happiness and sorrow. In our minds, they weren't toys, or a cartoon---they were just as human as a human actor in a live-action movie.Right Relationship
Or was that all there was to it? Maybe we could associate with Andy and how he felt in giving away his toys. After all, we have all had to get rid of personal belongings before. We've all had belongings that have sentimental value to us. The question is--how much sentimental value to we put on these things. — Roman Catholic Cop
there is enough here to explore the movie’s interesting logic of toy happiness. Such happiness depends upon a relationship between the owner and his toys. But the owner is not an owner in the same way that a slave-owner is an owner, and the toys are not “owned” as slaves are “owned.” The toys always remain free, but they cannot act freely for their happiness without an owner who plays with them and loves them. Their owner is something of a cross between a father (or mother) and a friend, and he loves and is loved in return. The relationship is necessary for the fulfillment of the toys. — Catholic Key Blog