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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Oscars 2011: Growing up, going to college with 'Toy Story 3'

By Jenna Johnson
Jenna Johnson

When the first "Toy Story" movie debuted in 1995, many of today's college students were just old enough to understand movies -- but young enough to wonder if their toys also came to life after bedtime.

So when Randy Newman sang "We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3" during the Academy Awards on Sunday night -- and the film won two Oscars -- some teens and 20-somethings got a bit nostalgic.

toystory3.jpg"The voice of my childhood is performing," one announced on Twitter. Although Newman was performing one of his lesser-known "Toy Story" songs, several on Twitter called his voice the "soundtrack" to their childhoods. "You've got a friend in me, Randy Newman," someone else tweeted.

Twitter captured other "Toy Story" sentiments: favorite movie quotes, longing to be a kid again or admitting to crying during the latest film.

In "Toy Story 3," Andy prepares to leave for college and sorts through his old toys, some of which are accidentally sent to a day-care center where children don't form a strong friendship with their playthings (Ann Hornaday's review). A lot of people I know who saw the movie came back with this simple review: They cried.

The transition from childhood to campus, from full house to empty nest can be an emotional and hard-to-navigate process -- especially for students who were usually only a cellphone call away from their baby boomer (and sometimes helicopter) parents.

There's a whole niche industry dedicated to this cause: Books with titles like "Emptying the Nest" and "I'm Going to College -- Not You." Colleges increasingly host orientation sessions for parents, and some have entire offices dedicated to dealing with emotionally attached parents.

But sometimes it just takes the subtle themes in an animated film to start conversations about making that next step in life.

The creators of "Toy Story 3" knew it wasn't just a kids' movie, and they launched social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter aimed at older teens and 20-somethings. Before the summer release date, Disney hosted "cliffhanger" showings on several college campuses, showing students just 65 minutes of the unfinished film.

The emotions continued Sunday night. Here are just some of the thoughts shared on Twitter:

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | February 28, 2011; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Networking  
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Comments

See the trailers of the animated nominees from this year at: http://babyglee.com/

Posted by: FridayHarbor | March 2, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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