First Bad Review for Toy Story 3 Comes Predictably From Armond White


Everyone knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time before film criticism’s reigning anti- anti- anti- king, Mr. Counterintuitive himself, chimed in. He’s “a troll,” in the words of Roger Ebert, who once tried to defend Armond White, this peculiar man, only to take it all back. He’s “smart and knowing,” sure, but he hates Toy Story 3. He was the first one to write a negative review, and it’s unsurprisingly backwards coming from the man who loves Mr. 3000. Hate fun, fine, but parts of this review are total bullshit.

White has never been shy about his disdain for Pixar. He called the well-received Wall-E, which many saw as tragic, yet adorable, “ugly, end-of-history cynicism.” In “The Way of Pixarism” he chalks everyone’s appreciation of these animated films up to “contemporary news media’s unprincipled collusion with Hollywood capitalism.”

And so, with 145 reviews counter on Rotten Tomatoes, all of them positive and the proud mark of 100% sitting up top, White swooped in to shit on family fun and Tomatoes history. Previously, Toy Story 2 held the record for most reviews with 100% at 147. The third in the trilogy was on its way. But not so fast.

Toy Story 3, he writes, “strictly celebrates consumerism” in a review entitled “Bored Games.” White basically comes right out and says he hates fun. Children, too:

I admit to simply not digging the toys-come-to-life fantasy (I don’t babysit children, so I don’t have to) nor their inevitable repetition of narrative formula: the gang of animated, talking objects journey from one place to another and back–again and again.

But as a 2009 New York profile explained, “Lest anyone think White is reflexively negative, the critic says he has never knocked a film without suggesting a superior movie a viewer might more profitably spend his time watching.” Well, Mr. White?

We’re meant to enjoy our susceptibility, not question it, as in Joe Dante’s more challenging Small Soldiers.

Rest in peace, Phil Hartman and all, but come on. Try again?

Besides, Transformers 2 already explored the same plot to greater thrill and opulence.

You heard the man. Skip the theater this weekend — 3D movies are hella expensive anyway — head to your local Movie Gallery and pick up Shia LaBeouf’s tour de force. Megan Fox is a doll, isn’t she?

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.