In 1999, Toy Story 2 blasted into theaters. The movie, which followed the efforts of toy spaceman Buzz Lightyear and his pals to find and retrieve his bestie Woody was met with near universal acclaim. Of the 163 reviewers who watched the film, all 163 marked it certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregation website for film and TV. It was a nearly impossible feat, one that has remained unmatched... until this week.
Do you know how hard it is to get a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score?
Scratch that – there’s actually lots of films with perfect Rotten Tomatoes scores. Do you know how hard it is to get a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score in the double – nay – the triple digits?
First, you have to get a crap ton of reputable reviewers from reputable publications and sites to agree.
No, you can’t use your friends or contacts, which is what some of those perfect Rotten Tomato-scored films with only five or six reviews do. You actually have to have professional reviewers who review films for a living to agree that your film is good – or, in the parlance of the Rotten Tomatoes site, “certified fresh.”
Toy Story 3 was the second heavily reviewed film to come close to having a 100% fresh rating. 145 reviewers had watched the film and proclaimed it excellent.
That was, until Armond White, a notably finicky reviewer, tanked the score. Toy Story 3, he sniffed, “strictly celebrates consumerism.” Then again, White has never been a fan of Pixar. Of the widely celebrated Wall-E, he opined that the story was “ugly, end-of-history cynicism.”
In his slasher of a review for Toy Story 3, White revealed that he's simply not a fan of the genre.
“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 even White's cold, cold heart was warmed by the new film that has a perfect 100%, certified fresh score from 165 reviewers.
Of the film’s semi-autobiographical source material, he cooed that it has an “authenticity makes the film likable.” He even had glowing words to say of the teenaged lead actress, opining, “She brings to mind the young Vanessa Redgrave’s prodigious intelligence that turns girlishness into womanliness.”
By now, you may be wondering what paragon of cinematic excellence warmed the cockles of Armond White’s cold heart…