New playdate, same ol' Woody, Buzz in "Toy Story 3"

Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:36am EDT
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By Courtney Hoffman

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hollywood's favorite toys have been shelved for more than a decade, but Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, the stars of "Toy Story 3", say it feels like no time has passed since Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear last went on an adventure.

But ahead of the movie's U.S. debut on Friday, it is easy to see that Tinseltown and animation have changed a lot since "Toy Story 2" hit screens in 1999 and, certainly, since 1995's original "Toy Story" started a revolution in animated movies.

Computer animation became an industry norm, media giant Walt Disney Co bought the films' maker, Pixar Animation Studios, for more than $7 billion, and the hottest thing going in Hollywood is 3D, of which "Toy Story 3" takes advantage.

Still, when Hanks and Allen sat down with Reuters to talk about the movie at Pixar's studios in Emeryville, Calif., east of San Francisco, they said it felt like home.

"It's honestly like we've never left the place," said Hanks, the voice of the gangly Woody ever since Pixar began.

"It just seems like moments later," chimed in Allen, the voice of Buzz.

Trouble is again afoot for the toys. Their owner Andy is no longer a young boy and is heading to college when Woody, Buzz and their friends including cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack), Barbie (Jodi Benson) and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) get mistakenly tossed away.

The group winds up in a day care center where they are turned and picked over by a group of toddlers when all they really want is to go home. The gang also meets a host of new toys -- including Barbie's main man Ken (Michael Keaton) and Lotso (Ned Beatty), a plush strawberry scented bear.   Continued...

<p>Actor Tim Allen (L), who plays the voice of the character Buzz Lightyear (2nd L), and Tom Hanks (R), who plays the voice of character Woody, pose together at the world premiere of Disney Pixar's "Toy Story 3" at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California June 13, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>