I saw it last night on DVD. I was quite impressed by it, frankly. For a film that is intended to be for children and adults, I’d say they managed to balance things for the two audiences quite effectively. And there are a lot of well-done prison break movie references that I found quite enjoyable.
I’d also have to say it was one of the more emotionally mature of all recently-made movies I’ve seen. I’ve heard that some people even cried at the end of it. I can’t see that. (It’s about dolls, after all.)
Nonetheless, it’s definitely true that the people at Pixar take these things more seriously and think them through more than most film directors nowadays are likely to do.
Lastly–and I know I’ll sound silly for saying this–I’ve always thought it interesting that the toys in these movies seem to look more “alive” than the human characters. Presumably, this is because they are the “stars” of the movie, and therefore more effort is put into working on them. However, it does create something of an interesting “the-toys-are-more-human” effect in the viewer’s mind. (Sort of like how HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey has more personality than the human characters.)
This is an interesting effect; but I think in Toy Story 3 it actually hurts the movie, because the human characters play a larger role in it than in the previous two, and for the first time they are somewhat relevant as characters, not just as plot devices.
But perhaps that is simply over-analyzing what is, after all, an entertaining children’s flick.