And while there's plenty of enjoyably madcap action as Andy's old playmates eventually attempt to escape Sunnyside, it's the emotional connection the screenwriters have created that ultimately keeps you on the edge of your seat. Delving into everything from friendship to betrayal to forgiveness (and even the struggles associated with empty-nest syndrome) so meaningfully, Toy Story 3 picks up right where last year's Up left off in terms of tugging at your heartstrings—quite an accomplishment in a year where substance and style have been sorely lacking at the local cineplex.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  None.

  • Language/Profanity:  No expletives, but there is a bit of rude scatological humor.

  • Sex/Nudity:  Barbie and Ken do quite a bit of flirting (one of Barbie's compliments to Ken is that she likes his ascot), but the running joke is that the very metrosexual Ken is gay-curious, given his love of sparkly suit coats and outrageous costumes.

  • Violence:  Unlike the previous two Toy Story movies, there is a slightly darker, ominous tone that could frighten younger children at times. In addition to scenes where our favorite toys are almost crushed by a garbage compactor or getting very close to being thrown in a fiery incinerator, there's also a maniacal monkey that's after Woody and his pals and a stuffed pink arch nemesis named Lotso who locks the toys up in cages when they disobey him. He also warns them that they'll never be able to escape Sunnyside, no matter how hard they try.

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in St. Paul, Minn., she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.