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This summer the box office has been in a slump. A big one. Box office wins have been less “wins” and more “at least our movie didn’t do as poorly as the others.” Last weekend the remake of “The Karate Kid” jumpstarted the dismal box office sales (and here I would like to insert a comment about how way too much credit has been given to Jaden Smith and none to Jackie Chan for the film’s success), but it is this weekend, when Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” which opened today, goes through its first full weekend, that we will truly see the summer 2010 blockbuster.

“Toy Story 3” will be amazing simply because it captures the child in all of us. For those who are children, “Toy Story 3” will be enjoyed because after all,  it involves animation and toys. Perhaps it becomes just another animated movie, but if they’ve seen the previous movies, perhaps they’ll experience a little bit of what those of us who were children when the first movie was released in 1995 will feel.

Because for us, “Toy Story 3” is not simply another sequel in a beloved  series, it is also, in a cathartic way, a journey that many of us have been part of. The boy who voiced Andy in the original movie and sequel also voiced the character in this newest installment. Only he is no longer a boy. Now 25, John Morris essentially grew up with his character, much like the stars of the Harry Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Only in this case, his character was animated and it was his voice that made the journey. Like him, most of us are now in college or just out (or I guess in the young adult stage of life, for those who didn’t choose college). Perhaps after we see this movie, we’ll revisit our forgotten toys and bring back the joyous memories of our childhoods.

And for those who are older, this movie brings in the inner child, whether it is the 40-year-old man who is nostalgic about cowboys & astronauts (common boys’ answers to the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question), or the 65-year-old grandma who’s remembering when her children and grandchildren were little. If you scour a little online, you’ll note that many older Internet users are ectastic about seeing the film.

And of course, “Toy Story 3” will be a blockbuster because Pixar is simply amazing. Look at their track record – I mean, have they even failed yet? (And yes I have seen all of them, my favorite probably being “Up.”) Their movies are always so heartwarming, different, offer a point, and simply ingenious.

I’m in the middle of nowhere right now sans car but I plan on getting myself to a theatre sometime soon to see it. It’s time to become a child again.