Toy Story 4

Disney / Pixar

Pixar has only been around for 24 years, and yet it feels like they’ve been around forever. Ingrained in the hearts, minds of souls of all movie lovers, Pixar movies serve as touchstones in many of our lives. They have moved us, made us cry, made us laugh and made us feel. And, for Pixar itself, the original and still seminal touchstone for the studio has been Toy Story. The first movie ever produced under the Pixar label, Toy Story came out in 1995, and was hailed as an animated achievement that few had seen before. Its success not only launched a company, but reinvigorated a genre. 3 years after Toy Story, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences added a category for Best Animated Feature, which Pixar has won 9 times. Pixar’s domination of the genre and massive success forced other studios to enhance their own animated divisions—to push for smarter, more meaningful and better-produced movies— and the boom of quality animated feature offerings in the past 24 years has been a joy to behold. Franchises like Despicable Me/Minions, How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and blockbusters like Frozen and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse all have Pixar to thank for their very existence, and more specifically, Toy Story. If Toy Story had failed, who knows what the state of animated film would be now, and who knows if Pixar would even still exist.

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The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3, Episodes 1-3 recaps

Hulu
While this is a site I normally dedicate just to movies, I have been branching out a bit lately and doing some television reviews as well. For those of you interested in The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, I will be recapping Season 3 over at AwardsWatch.com, but, to whet your appetite, here are my recaps for the first three episodes of Season 3, which dropped today (6/5). Beware, though, spoilers abound! (For a spoiler-free review of the first six episodes of Season 3, check out my review on AwardsWatch: Season 3 review)

Season 3: Episode 1: “Night”

[Warning: spoilers ahead]

Picking up right where we left off at the end of season 2, June (Elisabeth Moss) stands in the middle of the wet road, having just sent baby Nicole off with Emily (Alexis Bledel) to freedom. As distant screams of millions of viewers yelling at their televisions last July when June doesn’t get in the van still reverberate in the mist, June defiantly stands tall when a car pulls up, bracing for the consequences of her actions. After rooting for June to get out for two years, not only do we not see her escape when she has the chance, but now we are faced with watching her be punished for trying to. But, instead, the show throws us a curveball in the form of Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), who is the one driving the car and who is the one trying to help her to freedom. Not only doesn’t he punish her or turn her in, he’s still trying to get her out. But June has already made up her mind to not leave without Hannah, so she asks him to take her to the McKenzie’s, so she can get her.

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