This mom’s ‘Andy’ growing up fast, as ‘Toy Story 3’ shows

My husband and I took all three of our kids plus one extra (the 8-year-old boy who my 14-year-old son is baby-sitting this summer) to see “Toy Story 3” on opening day.

The aforementioned 14-year-old practically learned to talk by repeating lines from the original 1995 “Toy Story.” He wore the videocassette out and nearly drove his visiting grandmas crazy with his repeated viewings.

I have fond memories of him carrying around his Woody doll, offered as a Burger King promotion at the time. That thing didn’t leave his side for a solid year, so I guess those five 6 a.m. trips that Hubby made to our local BK in search of the hot toy were worth it.

So now my son is a big guy, nearly 6 feet tall, lifting weights and training for his high school football debut this fall. He’s got a sweet girlfriend, his first job and lots of armpit hair.

But “Toy Story” is still on his list of all-time favorite movies, along with war pictures and zombie flicks.

When did my little “Andy” grow up? ...

Fortunately, my 4-year-old son provides me with a new set of eyes through which to fall in love with the latest “Toy Story” rendition.

TS3 wowed the whole crowd — as the first one did — with outstanding computer animation (just watching leaves skitter across a roof is a treat!), edge-of-your-seat thrills (I was honestly clenching my teeth during the incinerator scene), heartfelt themes, and a sweet-and-sour cast of characters.

We see Andy, now 17 and headed for college, contemplating the fate of his childhood playthings (attic storage, garbage bin or day-care donation), with only one making it into the box bound for his dorm room. It’s his old pal Woody, of course.

But the ties that bind and a few twists of circumstance once again lend plenty of drama to the unfolding tale.

There’s a new bad guy: Lotso Huggin’ Bear, who is looks and smells sweet but is as bitter and nasty as they come. Lotso rules the day-care playrooms with a strawberry-scented iron fist. My oldest liked Big Baby, Lotso’s enforcer, who eventually gets wise to Lotso’s evil ways.

And the way newcomer Ken and newly liberated Barbie play off each other is great fun, with cat-walking Ken trotting out all his glitzy glamwear, grumbling “no one cares about fashion here,” and Barbie declaring that “authority should derive from the consent of the governed” during a tense standoff with Lotso. You go, girl!

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