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Will critically acclaimed 'Toy Story 3' win over Oscars too?

June 18, 2010 |  9:10 am

Toy Story 3 Tom Hanks Tim Allen Oscars Although "Toy Story 3" opens before the year is even half over, it is already a front-runner for the Oscars. Like "Up" -- last year's offering from Pixar -- "Toy Story 3" earned rave reviews, scoring an astounding 100% approval with Rotten Tomatoes and 90 at MetaCritic. This third trip to toyland could land a best picture nomination and is a strong contender in the animated feature race at the Academy Awards.

All of the old toys are back in "Toy Story 3" -- Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Hamm (John Ratzenberger) and Barbie (Jodie Benson) -- joined by newcomers Ken (Michael Keaton) and Stretch (Whoopi Goldberg), among others. The film was helmed by "Toy Story 2" co-director Lee Unkrich from a script by Oscar champ Michael Arndt ("Little Miss Sunshine").

Both the original "Toy Story" (1995) and the equally successful sequel "Toy Story 2" (1999) predated the separate animated feature race at the Oscars. "Toy Story" contended for best original screenplay ("The Usual Suspects" won) as well as song and musical/comedy score ("Pocahantas" won both awards) and the sequel also had a song contender ("You'll Be in My Heart" from "Tarzan" won).

Pixar has produced five of the nine Oscar winners in the animated film category since it was introduced in 2001: "Finding Nemo" (2003); "The Incredibles" (2004); "Ratatouille" (2007); "Wall-E" (2008); and "Up" (2009). Pixar's other two films of this era also contended for this prize -- "Monsters, Inc." lost the inaugural race to "Shrek" and "Cars" was kicked aside by "Happy Feet" in 2006.

In total, the 10 features produced by Pixar have earned 35 Oscar nominations resulting in eight wins -- the five animated awards plus best song for "Monsters, Inc.," best sound editing for "The Incredibles" and best score for "Up."  Among its five nominations, "Up" earned the sixth best original screenplay bid by a Pixar picture.

Photo: "Toy Story 3" poster. Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

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