In trilogies, so much of the world-building is done in the first two instalments that it's unusual to see many new characters appear in the third instalment. When you see The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King, the only new characters with any bearing on the plot are Denethor, steward of Gondor and all-around douche, and Gothmog, who was a gnarly creature effect if anything.
Where Pixar have once again broke the mould is in introducing a wealth of new characters into Toy Story 3. As mentioned in my review at the start of the week, these characters figure nicely in the plot without ever short changing Woody, Buzz, Jessie et al. Spoilers may follow as I cover seven of those new characters.
Lotso Huggin' Bear
Lotso's a fairly beat up old-timer, based on a real-life toy from the 80s and voiced by Ned Beatty. He runs the show at the Sunnyside Daycare Centre, but like most of the toys therein, he's not what he seems and he proves an incredibly effective character when we see his origins.
With Barbie appearing for the first time in the second film, the third one brings her plastic beau to the screen, and gives him Michael Keaton's voice. The character proves an extraordinarily self-centred scene-stealer and you'll probably forget how awesome it would've been to hear Keaton voicing an unhinged Batman action figure.
This dopey lookin' bastard is one of those baby dolls that blinks its eyes, but his right eyelid was broken off long ago. Now he's something of an enforcer at Sunnyside, and his action figure has gone on tour with director Lee Unkrich to promote the film, arriving in the UK this week.
These toys belong to Bonnie, a young girl who's dropped off each day at Sunnyside. There's Mr. Pricklepants, a thespian hedgehog voiced by Timothy Dalton, which is just as funny as it sounds. The (male) unicorn is Buttercup and the triceratops is Trixie, who comes from the same range of dinosaur toys as Rex. These are the three I'll mention, but there's one more I'll let you see yourself, whose surprise appearance got one of the biggest laughs of the film.
Watch out for this scary bastard. That's all I'm saying. Jeez.
Toy Story 3 Week concludes tomorrow.