“Flabbergasted” is how “Toy Story 3” helmer Lee Unkrich described his reaction to the five noms showered on the toon. He and others who worked on the pic figured the sequel factor would work against them in the awards derby.

“When we were making this movie, we didn’t even dare dream of any awards at the end of the road because we just completely figured that no awards are ever given to a movie with a ‘3’ at the end of the title,” he said. But the aud’s affection for the characters and the franchise allowed them to pack the pic with heart.

“I think that people … not only were highly entertained by the movie but a lot of people had very deep emotional experiences watching the film,” he said. “We set out to make one of those rare films that can be entertaining in every possible way but also incredibly meaningful. It was a lofty goal and we didn’t know if we would be able to reach it.”

For Unkrich, being in the Oscar nominees circle is literally a dream come true.

“I moved out to California from Ohio with dreams of making movies,” he said. “You dream about something like this happening in your career but you never actually think it can happen to you.”