Toy Story

Oct. 3rd, 2014 08:21 pm
[personal profile] reece0
One of the first Pixar films I ever watched was "Toy Story," and it has remained one of my favorites.

"Toy Story" centers around the premise: what if toys come to life when nobody's looking? The film namely follows the toys of one young boy, Andy, and how the community of secretly-alive toys changes as Andy grows. The two main characters are Woody, a cowboy toy and a long-time favorite of Andy's, and Buzz, an exciting new spaceman toy that Andy receives for a birthday present. With Andy's attention being shifted to his new toy, Woody faces being completely cut off from Andy's affection. Meanwhile, Buzz has trouble coming to grips with his being a toy at all. Ultimately though, Woody realizes that there's room for both him and Buzz in Andy's heart, and Buzz comes to terms with the fact that, though he may not ever explore distant planets, he can serve a valuable role as a child's toy.

Maybe this is a stretch, but I think this movie has three main themes at its core: teamwork, existentialism, and growth. An exchange between Buzz and Woody captures the first two well. Woody says to Buzz, "You are a child's plaything." Buzz responds, "You are a sad, strange little man." Their two beliefs as to the nature of their existence and purpose are completely at odds, but they both must say their piece to the other for the other to come around to a new mode of thinking. They disagree on the topic of their existence; they are not a team; they must grow to become one.

They do grow; this is visible at the movie's end. The holidays have arrived at Andy's house, and the family are opening presents. The toy community are listening in to the gift-opening ceremony from the next room -- including Buzz and Woody. They do the same thing (listen). They think the same thing: the only things on their minds are what new toys Andy will get and how that will impact their ability to play with him. They are a team.

Their actions indicate something more as well: Where before, Buzz and Woody opposed each other on the questions of being and purpose, by the movie's end they agree on these topics. They are at peace with their role as toys, and move as one in the enactment of this role. They show to have grown from their earlier place of disagreement.
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Jack Reece

December 2014

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