Barbie to reunite with beau Ken in `Toy Story 3`

Los Angeles: They split officially in 2004 after 43 years of romance. Now, the uber glamorous Barbie and the handsome Ken will reconcile in the forthcoming `Toy Story 3`, the third instalment of the successful franchise.

In 2004, Mattel, manufacturers of both the dolls, had announced a split for the couple on grounds that the plastic pair "feel it`s time to spend some quality time - apart... Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end". The company also indicated that the duo would "remain friends".

In the computer-animated 3D "Toy Story 3", Barbie once again falls head-over-heels in love with the shallow and awkward looking California beach guy.

"The idea of putting Ken in the film just felt rife with comic potential. Ken is a guy who is ostensibly a girl`s toy and he is also really nothing more than an accessory for Barbie. He is no more important than a pair of shoes or a purse," Lee Unkrich, director of the movie, said in a statement.

"We figured he had to be pretty insecure about those things and tried to tap into that as much as possible. He is really into clothes, being the ultimate fashion maven. He wears a different outfit in every scene in the movie," he added.

Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, the final instalment in the series will release in the US June 18, in Britain June 23 and hit the Indian screens June 25.

Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn, Jeff Pidgeon, R. Lee Ermey, John Morris and Laurie Metcalf all reprise their roles from the previous films.

Noteworthy is Barbie, who takes on a greater role in the third edition.

"What`s nice about working with Barbie and Ken is that the audience knows a lot about these toys already and there is a certain amount of embedded information that they bring to the theatre with them that we can play with or against," said Bobby Podest, who worked as supervising animator on the movie.

"You don`t need to establish that Barbie might have certain doll-like attributes. They (audiences) know the way that Barbie`s legs bend. When she cries, her hands cover her face in this awkward pose that might look weird but it`s exactly what a Barbie doll would do. And that makes it funny. It`s the same thing when Ken is showing Barbie his Dream House and gestures with his fused fingers," he added.

Popular Broadway performer and voiceover star Jodi Benson returns to voice Barbie in the outing and Michael Keaton lends his voice for Ken.

Benson says she has tried her level best to make Barbie sound real.

"There is this perception that Barbie is not too bright and we wanted to show that she actually is quite smart and is able to use all of her gifts and talents to do the right thing," said Benson.

"She loves people, is a loyal friend for life and is completely trustworthy. And you sure don`t want to mess with her when it comes to her friends. She does tend to be a bit on the perky side. She`s also very passionate about fashion," she added.



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