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“Toy Story 3″‘s latest marketing campaign has no time for loners.

“Toy Story 3″‘s latest marketing campaign has no time for loners. (photo)

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This summer’s blockbusters offer a bleak landscape, with “Killers” this week, “The A-Team” next, and plenty of similar riches all the way down the line. “Toy Story 3” stands out as a beacon of hope, no matter that pesky number at the end of it.

Who doesn’t have at least a little genuine affection for Buzz, Woody and the rest of the friendly faces that made an initially off-putting visual style warm and funny? Even the crabbiest of moviegoers has to admit that the two “Toy Story” movies hover far above your average children’s animation (especially the sequel, which was near-miraculous).

So Disney has a lot of necessary goodwill to start as it tests the waters of Facebook marketing by offering tickets for “Toy Story 3” directly on Facebook itself, privacy issues be damned. “The whole idea is that no friend gets left behind,” claims a Disney exec, managing to both paraphrase the film’s tagline “No toy gets left behind” and play on audience insecurities that your pals are doing fun stuff and not inviting you.

In fact, you can also rope in non-Facebook users with this automated invite: “‘Toy Story 3’ arrives in theaters on June 18! Who are you bringing with you?” Because if you go alone, well…you’re a loser?

Facebook’s Dan Rose says it makes sense “because moviegoing is one of those activities that is inherently social.” This may well be true — the communal experience of sitting in a darkened hall with lots of other people, all thrilling in unison, etc, etc — but part of me resents the logic.

06022010_story.jpgThe actual physical act of watching a movie is, in fact, anti-social, unless you’re just going to be a jerk about it and jabber on with your companions. The social aspects are ritualistic, involving braving the ugliness of the initial plunge into the multiplex (and the purchasing of overpriced refreshments if you’re into that) and discussion upon exiting.

Meanwhile, if you’re an overly sensitive viewer, watching a movie with your friends can, under the worst circumstances, be actively distracting. What if you drag them to something and they hate it? Are they laughing? Are they bored? If none of you like it, what then? Do you give in to the urge to turn the theater into your own private bitch-fest?

In my opinion, the whole “communal” aspect of film-watching is overrated. Playing on people’s fears that they’re doing the social activity of filmgoing the “wrong” way may be brilliant marketing, but it’s a little unpleasant.

[Photos: “Toy Story 3,” Disney, 2010]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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