The Strange Subtext Of Toy Story | Jack Saint

The Strange Subtext Of Toy Story | Jack Saint


BUZZ: “No, Woody. For the first time I *am* thinking clearly.” “You were right all along. I’m not a space ranger, I’m just a toy… …a stupid, little, insignificant toy.” WOODY: “Woah, hey, wait a minute! Being a toy is a lot better than a space ranger!” BUZZ: “Yeah, right.” WOODY: “No, it is! Look, over in that house is a kid who thinks you are the greatest. And it’s not because you’re a space ranger… …it’s because you’re a toy! You are HIS toy!” I think it kind of goes without saying that
if I say I’m someone between the age of 15 and 30, you could guess I have a deep emotional
connection to the Toy Story franchise. I realise that’s basically baiting my comments
section to be filled with people saying “uh actually I have never seen a Toy Story film
and I don’t even know what one is”, but you get my point. Even among Pixar’s stellar track record,
the Toy Story series is one that jumps out as having resonated with a lot of youngsters,
and for good reason! Coming out at just the right time, It was
a novel concept, a technological marvel, and with its colorful cast of endearing plaything
characters, kids of all types would have something to identify with and pique their interest. Like if you’re a cop, or a space cop, or
a girl cop, or a sheep cop. In all seriousness, what I think most of all
connects people to the franchise is its premise, one that seamlessly blends a fairly mundane
reality with some high-falutin’ fantasy that digs deep into the classic well of what
secret worlds might exist within our own everyday lives. And that, aside from the fact that they’re
just genuinely well-made films that mostly hold up on a rewatch (we’ll get to that),
is I think what’s kept us so drawn-in for all these years. But uh oh! My brand alarm is going off – could this be
an opportunity for me to read too deeply into the messaging of harmless kid’s movies? Sorry folks, the alarm says so! What’s that, alarm? A contractually obligated product plug? Well I guess there’s nothing I can do – but
you can, by signing up to Skillshare. Hello, once again! The lovely folks at Skillshare have again
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that use the offer code down below get two free months of the service! It’s a living! I’m going to assume most of you know basically
how the Toy Story Trilogy goes, but I gotta fill that watch-time, so here’s a quick
run-down; Toy Story 1 is a story about a gang of sentient
toys living in secret in the room of their child owner, ‘Andy’. The toys, led by horny cowboy Woody, live
relatively harmoniously as the playthings of Andy, until the arrival of a brand new
toy named Buzz Lightyear. Tensions rise as Woody, the top dog of the
Andy’s room hierarchy, senses a shift in the power dynamic, as soon Andy is treating
Buzz as his new number one and Woody nothing more than another toy for the box. And through a series of beefs and squabbles,
Woody and Buzz wind up lost together on a quest to find their way home to Andy, each
grappling not only with physical threats like the sadistic young Sid and his devilish dog
Spike, but with their own hard-headed beliefs. And through all of this they finally come
to mutual understanding, and an acceptance of the place they each have in Andy’s heart. It’s a classic tale of pride, hubris, the
human condition. Yes, all of the human characters look like
freaky doll-people by today’s standards, and yes the exterior shots mostly look like
test maps in a Half-Life 1 mod, but other than that it’s aged remarkably well. Pretty infamous now is the troubled production
of the first Toy Story which, as could be expected as Pixar’s first major release,
had that rocky period of trying to decide the exact tone and audience they wanted to
go for – whether they wanted to swing for the same sort of family-friendly cheese expected
of a Disney branded product, or something harder and edgier. And I think that concern really comes across
here because I’d probably say it’s the most balanced of the three in this way. It tackles adult themes of greater purpose
in a meaningless existence, while retaining that fantastical energy – and doesn’t fall
into the occasional mindless slapstick goofyness I kind of feel like two and three fall prey
to. Not to say I think that’s a bad thing or,
well, that’s not why I didn’t like that direction as much, but I’m getting ahead
of myself. The second movie was released a few years
after the first and, wouldn’t you know it, Andy is also a few years older. This movie begins with Woody accidentally
getting broken, an incident which once again leads our cowboy into an existential crisis
of what would become of him if Andy eventually got sick of him. As a result of this guilt, Woody makes the
bold move to rescue some toys put out for a yard sale and is there coincidentally spotted
and taken by a maniacal toy collector named Al. Buzz and company go on a B-plot to find and
rescue Woody, who meanwhile discovers a past life as the toy icon of the Jim Crow generation
– they never explicitly call it that, but you can read between the lines. PROSPECTOR: “Once the astronauts went up, kids only wanted to play with SPACE TOYS.” “Take that! SPACE TOY!” “Always hated those upstart SPACE TOYS…” There he meets Jessie, the actual thematic
centerpiece of the film, with her own tragic story of having exactly what Woody feared
would happen to him, having happened to her. Forgotten and abandoned, all Jessie has left
is her fellow collectables, which leads to some conflict when Woody declares he’s leaving
to find his way back home – Al can’t sell the toys without the complete set, giving
Jessie the impression this is yet another broken family moment. In a moment of personal growth, Woody forgoes
his own selfish desire to return to Andy to stay with this new family, reasoning pretty
realistically that Andy losing interest in the toys is inevitable anyway. Nonetheless, when Buzz arrives and hears all
this, he’s unconvinced, seeing Woody as a traitor to Andy and leaving him to his fate. On hearing the classic You’ve Got A Friend
In Me tune, Woody is reminded of what really matters – friends and family…. Which, technically speaking Andy is neither,
but nonetheless Woody decides he’s going back home and taking his new family with him. It turns out The Prospector, the hapless old
lad of the set, is none too happy with this. He doesn’t want to be a kid’s possession,
which as these films will remind us a few times, is the worst thing a toy can believe. Kidnapping Woody and Jessie to maintain the
complete collectable set, Buzz and company rush to the airport to save them and, through
a series of tense encounters, they do so. I guess Prospector’s going to have a lot
of baggage to deal with after that one! It looks like The Prospector’s torment is
only in its infancy! I sure hope The Prospector likes commodification! When Andy returns home from Cowboy Camp… Cowboy Camp… he finds his toys safe at home
ready for him, now with some new additions! For a long time I definitely thought of this
as a rare example of a sequel exceeding the expectations of the film that came before,
and in many ways that’s still the case – animation has markedly improved, jokes are snappier
than ever, and there’s definitely a feeling of a grander scale here, but on a rewatch
you can sort of start to see the holes both in the presentation and the ideas of the text. In the first film, there’s a clear sense
that the core of this story is about anxiety over where you fit in the world, purpose,
and pride. Befitting that, the story centers specifically
around the conflict between Woody and Buzz – hence the decision to separate the duo from
the rest of the toys 30 minutes into the film, to really dig deep into that conflict. By contrast, Toy Story 2 is more of a story
about accepting loss and moving on from the past, the emotional high-points all coming
from Jessie and her own tragic past experiences. This all fits in nicely with Woody’s moving
on from his glory days, and The Prospector’s inability to do the same – but then there’s
the other half of the movie, which is pretty much just Buzz and the lads on a wacky adventure. There’s a whole subplot with another Buzz
and a Zurg and it’s like a Star Wars parody and Barbie comes along at some point, and
it honestly just feels like a distraction, albeit a fun one. Essentially the focal point of the story remains
on Woody and Buzz, when thematically all signs should be pointing to Jessie as the focus
here – and this ends up leaving its theme of abandonment and moving on feeling a little
underdeveloped, essentially Woody spending about two minutes saying “Hey hey hey I
know you have PTSD from being trashed by your owner but can you just subdue that trauma
and trust me that this new kid will definitely not end up forgetting about you?” and then
she just goes along with him. It’s actually way more conniving and frankly
messed up because Woody’s literally playing on her abandonment issues with her old owner. “Wouldn’t you give anything to have just
one more day with Emily?” Yeah Jessie, don’t you want to be reminded
of that person you loved that trashed you on the side of the road? Don’t you want to relive that experience? Maybe it’s better this segment went by too
quickly to think much about… Well, don’t worry Jessie, I’m sure you
can rely on Woody’s word. Andy will never abandon y– JESSIE: “WE’RE BEING ABANDONED” The third movie, set around a decade after
the second, gives us a college-aged Andy getting ready to head off and in the process leaving
his old toys behind. Like hopeless addicts, the few remaining members
of the Andy’s room gang lay crumpled in a dark box, wishing for years on end to be
pulled out for just one last playtime, a playtime which sadly never comes. While Andy does decide to err towards nostalgia
and keep them stowed away in the attic instead of giving them away entirely, a mix-up results
in the toys being donated to a daycare center. Once there they discover things aren’t so
bad after all, and under the watchful eye of de-facto leader Lotso Huggin Bear, the
daycare could represent a fresh start where the toys can finally get some much-needed
playtime. In stark contrast to his position in the second
movie, Woody is now the one who can’t let go of Andy, and so he splits from the rest
of the group as they slowly realise things aren’t quite as harmless as they seem. You see, it turns out in the daycare center…
kids play with the toys. Specifically, it turns out the infants in
the play-room play a little rougher than their older counterparts, and the gang quickly change
their mind about sticking around. Now I don’t know what kind of hellish daycare
center is letting small children run around screaming at each-other fucking around with
glitter and paint unsupervised and anywhere this would be standard procedure needs to
be shut down ASAP, but I ain’t here as an expert in early child development, I am an
expert in overthinking movies intended for early developing children. Lotso is the Charles Manson of the daycare
center, shaming and coercing its members into line while using his hapless underlings to
enact his twisted whims. When Buzz arrives to challenge him, asking
if his friends be spared the rough room, Lotso forces surgery upon the naive space man, his
vital organs treated as playthings, and before you know it, he’s brainwashed like the rest
of them. Woody, having been taken by a young girl named
Bonnie, learns more about Lotso from the toys he soon meets – the bear a toy once filled
with a pure and innocent love, corrupted by yet more abandonment with a resultant grudge
against the entire human race. Well, kind of. Let’s talk about dystheistic pantheons. As my greatest rival Big Joel once put it,
“like many Pixar movies these are stories of anxieties about being replaced and forgotten. Every Toy Story movie deals with this fundamental
theme, being scared that some day we won’t be needed anymore or something or someone
else will come along that serves our purpose better. But I’m not Big Joel. I’m Jack Saint.”(read by big joel) And
while Toy Story is certainly a series about obsolescence and the anxieties surrounding
it, they’re also about something else. Daddykink. Sorry, dystheism. What did I say? As we make our way through this trilogy, we
can see the natural conflicts and tensions between the toys as pivotal to these narratives. Challenged hierarchies, forged allegiances
and betrayals, all that stuff. But though humans continue to serve larger
and larger on-screen roles in the Toy Story franchise, what with them no longer looking
like horrible cyborg goblins, their relationship between humans and toys goes relatively unquestioned. Even when a grudge against humans is pivotal
to the characters, as seen in The Prospector and now here with Lotso, their vengeance isn’t
really inflicted onto them. If you remember back to that first movie,
the third act conflict unites Woody and Buzz against a common enemy, the sadistic young
neighbour of Andy’s, Sid. Pretty memorable now is how exactly Sid gets
warded off by the toys – while it seems like some kind of complicated plan at first, it’s
really just them deciding to break their unspoken rule about ‘playing dead’ around humans,
revealing themselves to freak the shit out of the kid for… playing with toys he never
knew were alive. And this isn’t some Sid From Toy Story apologetics
video, that dude stole most of his shit from his sister and that’s messed up, but god
damn is it really his fault that he didn’t realise he was actually killing things when
he blew up his toys considering you all, you know, hide the fact that you’re alive? And the fact that these are even questions
that come to mind is I think exactly why ever since then, that kind of encounter has never
been addressed even when it would make sense within the narrative. Buzz in the first Toy Story genuinely believes
he’s a space ranger, and has no awareness of a rule against engaging with humans, only
‘playing dead’ like the others as a way of respecting the toy’s customs as he would
any alien race. Based on the encounter with the second Buzz
in Toy Story 2, it seems like Buzz being convinced of this delusion wasn’t just a fluke, and
yet these toys believing themselves to be more than just playthings doesn’t become
an issue again. And while The Prospector’s anguish is based
around being left to rot in a dime store display for so many years, he never sees fit to just…
leave. Lotso Huggin Bear is, literally speaking,
still serving humans, despite his hatred of them explicitly being what fuels him. And you know what’s being communicated here? No! Are you even fuc–… It’s the dystheistic pantheon. It is now, I just made it up. If you’re familiar with the notion of theism,
boiled down simply as a belief in a god or gods, dystheism is a variant relating to the
idea that god is real, but they may not be good, and may even be evil by popular standards. And then the pantheon is just that there’s
a bunch of different gods out there. Put them together, hey it’s a bunch of different
gods and none of them are perfect. I don’t really know why nobody’s put those
two words together, maybe it’s a tautology or something. Why am I rambling on about morally flawed
gods? Because in the end that’s the closest parallel
I could draw between how humans and toys interact in Toy Story. It’s not a master-slave thing because the
toys don’t technically serve the humans, they just sort of passively exist to their
whims, it’s not like a neoliberal coerced partnership because again, toys as playthings
is not something that’s reasoned, it’s just a fact of their world, and, well, at
the end of the day humans are literally the toy’s creators (looking at you Toy Story
4). You can do the research yourself but I have
watched this trilogy back and forth more times than you could imagine, and the results are
in: Toy Story is some VeggieTales biblical shit. So where does that leave us, now that we understand
the kind of religious undertones reinforced through this trilogy? Well, it certainly casts some doubt on a lot
of the comforting assumptions we had about the movies up to this point, especially the
first two. Now when Buzz is sullenly admitting that without
his identity as a space ranger his existence is meaningless, Woody’s retort that of course
his life has meaning, Andy loves him, has an almost manipulative feeling to it. More than anything, this closer examination
gives the scene the tone of a cult leader choosing a vulnerable moment to stoke a wayward
follower’s emotional dependence on God – his God. Why is it good that Andy loves Buzz, considering
he doesn’t actually know who he is? Why is it good that Buzz is his? Why is it in any way a good thing for Buzz
to literally build his identity around his devotion to this one figure of worship? He has branded you, you are his now! Do you see what I mean when I say that, once
you’ve built this understanding of how these films establish the relationship between toys
and people, a lot of these plot beats have a sort of ‘cult-ey’ vibe? Like, yes, on a surface level Toy Story 1
is about Woody realising he doesn’t need to be Andy’s number one – but it’s also
about stripping away Buzz’s sense of personal identity to convince him that he’s a toy
just like everyone else, so as to make his identity reliant on the kid who happens to
own him. And through the clear move by the creative
team away from directly addressing the skewed relationship between owners and toys, it winds
up feeling unexamined across the entire trilogy. In the second movie, Jessie is deeply scarred
by traumatic experiences with her owner, clearly a result of how much of herself and her personal
happiness she put into that ownership. Arguably the more healthy advice in her case
would be, find identity outside of being someone’s plaything – but instead what Jessie gets is
“Hey, I promise it’ll be different this time, Andy is a wise and loving God”, and
with an adult lens you know that it won’t be that different. Toys are toys, of course Andy will eventually
lose interest, if not throw them away entirely. Woody saving Weezy from the yard sale is like
an cause for celebration in Toy Story 2… and then the dude just gets trashed off-screen
anyway in the third movie, because of course he does. And it’ll happen to you too Jessie – welcome
to the family. And as expected, Toy Story 3 goes on with
the toys find their silver lining in finding a brand new owner – thanks for donating a
bunch of toys to some white-picket-fence middle-class kid who already has a bunch of toys Andy you
ever hear of underprivileged youth donation?? Is this never challenged? Well, once again, we get Sid and we get the
kids at the daycare, but the idea there is never “should we be owned” but “who
should be our owner?” Pixar tells stories about accepting the things
we can’t change and not letting ourselves be held back by them – beit Up and Carl’s
dead wife, or Finding Nemo with Nemo’s disability. But the truth is, the toys of Toy Story don’t
need to accept a life where their happiness is contingent on the whims of their benevolent
owner, even with the pseudo-religious overtones. Their whole “playing dead” thing is a
choice, they’ve shown that, and toys are capable of living independently of ownership. Until now, the closest thing to a character
who recognises this was Lotso, who realised toys were just seem as expendable commodities
and almost kind of rebelled against it… except for the part where he didn’t really
rebel, he just went to live at a daycare center. And that’s all we got, a somewhat confused
villain who winds up totally unredeemed because he refuses to admit a toy’s rightful place
is with an owner. Or, well, maybe that’s all we got until
now. BO: “Who needs a kid’s room when you’ve got all of this!” It may have seemed like I’ve been increasingly
down on these movies, and maybe to some extent I am because I do think in general with each
entry they kept adding more and more goofy fluff that only made it harder to track the
actual messages being conveyed. Toy Story 1 gave us Woody and Buzz having
a frank argument in a parking lot about their different perspectives on life, Toy Story
3 we got Spanish Buzz trying to get his space rocks off with Jessie while Mr. Cucumberhead
emerges from the shadows. And no I’m not even beginning with the question
of where the sentience of toys is stored if Mr. Potato Head can just transfer himself
onto any object (is it the eyes? Are their souls in their eyes?) but the point
is all of this actually makes me pretty excited for Toy Story 4, which is at least leaning
into the idea of maybe addressing the fact that emotional dependence on ownership has
been both the cause of and solution to every problem in the franchise thus far? That maybe there could be a life with meaning
beyond worshipping your weird indifferent God. Or, you know, maybe it’ll just be a goofy
nostalgia-fest with some forced emotional beats about how this might be the last time
we see the toys again. Who knows. As it stands, yes, Toy Story does kind of
have that assumed, barely questioned hierarchy thing I kind of talked about in my Talking
Dog video, among these other aspects. And to make it clear just like I did in that
video, yes, I know a lot of the things I’m talking about here were probably not intended
by the creative team at Pixar – they just wanted to tell a fun fantasy story about the
relationship between kids and their toys, and show off some neat new technology. But I almost think that makes stuff like this
more worth talking about, because it’s often the things in media that go unexamined, deliberately
or mistakenly, that can expose a lot about how we think and behave in a society. I don’t know if John Lasseter or anyone
else at Pixar was themselves religious, Randy Newman is actually an outspoken atheist and
he even did a song called He Gives Us All His Love that mocks the mindset of total religious
devotion – look, it’s down here in the Wikipedia article for dystheism, isn’t that cool how
it all links together? Almost makes it seem like I thought any of
this through (he didn’t). And a part of me wonders if, with that attitude,
Randy saw any of this coding in the text. But again, it doesn’t really matter – movie
analysis isn’t just about trying to dig into the heads of creators… even if sometimes
parts of those movies can be honestly pretty revealing. PROSPECTOR: “So you two are absolutely identical? You know, I think I could get you a role in Toy Story 3…” Well, I guess we cracked the case, huh? Toy Story’s implicit thematic messaging
turned out to be weird religious subtext all along. A job well done…. But you know….Something’s still playing
on my mind… I mean, the way these films are framed, the
audience obviously isn’t just supposed to identify with the toys, the kids are going
to identify with the kids in the films too – otherwise, what would be the purpose of
tracking Andy’s childhood so precisely with the audience up to this point? But what would Disney/Pixar gain from leading
kids to think of their relationships with their toys this way… to make them believe
there was some deep, significant, almost spiritual connection here… to put such stock on ownership
of a commodity specifically, no less, to make this like some divine pact… to make children
feel some kind of greater power simply by how many figures they own—- wait a second… OLD MAN CAPITALISM, IT WAS YOU ALL ALO– Hey there folks! Frankly that was complete gibberish, if you
claim you got anything out of that, you’re lying. Anyway, thanks for watching, feel free to
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100 Replies to “The Strange Subtext Of Toy Story | Jack Saint”

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  2. Can a movie never just be a movie? Why does everything need to be overanalyzed? There is no god parallel in Toy Story. The idea of Buzz thinking he's a real space ranger is meant to show toys starting out as believing their franchise is real. This is shown in the christmas special with the dino toys as well. But being with an owner who plays with them allows a toy to see that there is no set backstory for them. They can be whatever they imagine themselves to be, without an owner they wouldn't have that experience. But Toy Story 4 ruins that with Bo Peep and the carnival toys, more proof that Toy Story 4 shouldn't have been made. It was only made to milk that nostalgia money, that's all that Disney and Pixar care about.

  3. I found this video a bit hard to watch… I wish I could pinpoint why, but I can’t. I just… could only watch it in several sessions of a few minutes each

  4. The point of a kid thinking that their toys are alive is to believe there is always someone there for them, like an imaginary friend but in an object form.

  5. Tbh the trailer of the next movie looks exactly like toy story 2 and 3, someone gets taken away, we resque them, we go back to living with the kid as it SHOULD be

  6. Toy Story made me extra paranoid as a kid. I was anxious that my toys were lonely or felt guilty for not playing with a particular toy. I started talking to them just in case they happened to be alive.

  7. it’s kinda weird to think that most this stuff is probably made with wholesome readings in mind, but yet looking at it through different lenses can still lead to interpretations like this. it really makes me think about how i want to write a series if i ever get into the industry, lol!

  8. My biggest problem with your criticism is that.. what would Jessie or Buzz do if they rejected their God and tried to find self-identity? They can’t go out and live a meaningful life because… they are actually toys lol. Unless you’re claiming that the toys should form an atheistic, independent society? I feel like that would cause a massive backlash from the humans, which is where the false equivalence with our own, actual Gods can be derived from. We can live as though God doesn’t exist, but toys can’t. Our God is invisible, theirs is mighty and has sticky hands from drinking too many Capri-Sun juice pouches.

  9. I would love to see you dissect the themes and story progression of the how to train your dragon trilogy

  10. I’m bummed that there was a comedic and thoughtful observation about the themes alluded to in Toy Story to be made here, but it got thrown in the toy box in favor of a sleek, way cooler, intelectual-sounding speech about the unambiguous bleakness of life. That’ll put the kids to thinkin’.

  11. Seems like a big component of the "family" theme was missed in this video. The family that Woody invites Jessie to isn't just belonging to Andy, it's being with him and the other toys. You could certainly argue that the first two movies do a bad job of showing of this, or that if it's there it pales in comparison to the apparent goodness of belonging to the owner, but it is there, and Toy Story 3 is really about that theme. Yes, they start by trying to get Andy's attention, but then they all sort of collectively shrug and move on to Plan B, citing "staying together" as the most important thing now that they know Andy is done with them. Woody realizes partway through the film — even though he knows for a fact Andy didn't want to throw them away (and knows Andy was going to take him personally to college) — that being together with his toy family is the most important thing to him. There's no rejection of Andy, just a moving on from one phase of life (a newly bought toy with one special owner) to another (an old toy with his owner grown up, but his family still with him), and I think those themes in 3 undermine your religion-related interpretation. Meanwhile, we find out that Lotso's evil isn't that he hates his owner or humans in general, it's that he tore apart his own family (Big Baby and the clown whose name I don't remember) out of spite and is now manipulating and destroying other toys who are trying to come together as a family (ones without a specific owner, mind you). And yes, the ending of the movie does see the main cast of toys going on to stay with a new owner, but at that point, it was clear that all of toys were okay with either going to the attic or back to Sunnyside as long as they stayed together.

  12. These movies have always terrified me. It's something like child's play told from the point of view of the dolls

  13. Actually I've never seen a Toy Story film and I don't even know what one is.
    I didn't cry watching a cartoon… you can't prove I did. I'm not tearing up now, thinking about it. OH GOD, BUZZ BROKE HIS ARM TRYING TO FLY! HE JUST WANTED TO BE A SPACE MAN! WHY IS LIFE SO HARD? Andy is going to give them all away anyway. Followed eventually by the heat death of the universe.

    * clears throat *
    So yeah, Never seen it.

  14. i loved this video so much, just front to back. the toy story trilogy was a big part of my like “pop cultural identity” for a long time, like as long as I could remember, and it was really something seeing them analysed and critiqued which I guess I’d subconsciously avoided until now. It’s so strange how my “favourite movies” don’t always line up with my own beliefs, at all.

  15. this probably doesn't matter but

    there are a lot of comments relaying how they interpreted the relationship as not worshipper/god, but parent/child. and that connection between parents as worshippers of their own cruel gods is something I cannot unsee.

  16. I can never watch these movies now knowing the toys treat humans like passive gods; its strangely uncomfortable

  17. The conclusion of the Buzz story in the first movie, should not have been to give up its identity as "space captain" to find meaning in being only an ownership of Andy, but to understand that although he is a toy, in last instance for Andy he is a space captain too, and exercises that identity through play.

  18. I don't remember Woody ever promising Jessie that Andy would never forget her. As I understand it, the theme of the second movie is about purpose, and the tension between the permanence or impermanence of that purpose. While remaining with Andy and the rest of the toys may be impermanent purpose, the love from Andy and sense of family with the toys is more worthy purpose the permanent sense of purpose that comes from the fame of being in a museum and the false sense of love from the admirers. This dichotomy of choice is also somehow entwined with the idea of mortality with love being greater than immortality without, but how toy death works is not deeply explained.
    In regards to Jessie, I think the movie WANTS to say that after we lose the impermanent purpose, we must continue to seek love and family, rather than to allow the loss to overwhelm us. This is obviously complicated by the question of how much agency Jessie has. Despite telling her she has a choice to move on with her life with Andy, it previously implies that she had no choice but to sulk under Emily's bed for years, and again remain the toy collector with Prospector for years.

  19. I would have to disagree with you about your thoughts about dystheism pantheon. Simply put, I believe the philosophy surrounding the relationship between humans and toys is actually love and what is the opposite of love. We see this demonstrated in contrast between Andy and Sid. On one hand, we have Andy – a boy who loves his toys, witnessing his love until the end of Toy Story 3 when, through his last playtime with the gang, he gifts his toys to another child. It's in Toy Story 3 we see the true emotion from a human perspective that the character Andy, who is representative of us, actually loves his toys. On the other hand we have Sid. To save time, Sid represents everything you point out starting at around 19:00 minute mark forward. I think what you failed to see was the whole notion of human emotion towards the toys, that it's not just a one way street between the toys and humans but a reciprocal relationship between toys and humans. Toy Story 3 clearly demonstrates this at the conclusion just as Andy drives off to college and Woody responds "So long, partner."

  20. Yeah, the change of thinking of Jesse was too quick. Not only that, but Woody just said that Andy had a little sister and Jesse just went "Well, what are we waiting for?". Didn't we had a whole thing with the fact that you could not return to the life of a toy so easily? I think that the people writing this didn't know how to resolve this dilemma without doing "the diferent style of life" that they do in Toy Story 4 or even 3 (although, the ones at Sunnyside just stay there because they didn't fall in the trash)

  21. Skipping to 3:08. I came here for content, not to hear about whatever that stupid product was. Also, cut your hair!

  22. found this video after just watching 4 and wow it makes the ending……weird.

    [SPOILERS//]
    ,
    ,
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    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    "I'm gonna run away with my gf and her new friends and see the world! …while also rigging carny games so the imprisoned toys can be sent off to random owners, who will lose interest in them much faster than a commercial/mainstream toy like myself."

  23. toy story fucked me up as a kid whenever i lost a toy or found out my mom had gotten rid of some i felt like i had just abandoned someone who trusted me

  24. This video was complete gibberish and I got absolutely nothing from it, but I did enjoy the shit out of it

  25. I thought I was the only person in the world who had issues with the direction of the Toy Story franchise. It's kind of relieving to see that's not the case.

  26. Toys of the world UNITE!!
    we have nothing to lose but our packaging
    we can overpower our human masters and start a new world where substrate won't determine your worth.

  27. I would love to hear your thoughts on Toy Story 4 and how the overall narrative feels compared to the original trilogy idea

  28. Hm you should make a video update with toy story 4?? It does adress some stuff you said, especially about being owned (however not all of course).

  29. I kinda see the toy-kid relationship as a parent-child relationship, where a lot of the identity of the toy ends up coming from the child they're caring for, the fear of being replaced a young child's parent might feel and the feeling of abandonement when a child leaves it's home.

    I've noticed how andy's mom takes credit for most of the actions the toys take, and she often shares anxieties and emotions similar to the toys.

    With this interpretation I'd say the fourth story is about refinding yourself as a person after you are no longer needed to care for your child.

    I don't write video essays tho, so I'm limited to poorly worded youtube comments to communicate these ideas. Oh well :]

  30. actually I've never seen a toy story film and I don't know what one is. I've watched the entire video and I still don't understand. please help me out of this child-sized labyrinthine hell.

  31. I could be wrong but I am thinking the writers thought they would make a kids movie about toys since kids like toys and they made an inconsistent reality because they didn't think about it too much and threw in some exciting scenes for drama. But what do I know. Maybe it was supposed to delve into existentialism, classism and theistic themes to entice heading adults but got the subtext entirely wrong.

    It's like, if sea life can construct entire civilizations including buildings and cars in Spongebob Square Pants, then why hasn't humans made contact with these advanced species. Maybe Spongebob is commentary on the human condition dealing with xenophobia which is a product of our own prejudices.

  32. sorry, Jack, you can't call it subtext when it is specifically brought out in the text with THE CLAW! The Claw is our leader.

  33. [The devil always used deception–to blind the nations from the Judeo/ChristianGod].
    ….All pagan-religions and tribal-rituals were inspired by satan,As religions matured,invalid doctrines were institutionalized:Demons cemented reincarnation in{Hinduism],naturalism in{Buddhism}and idol-worship in{Chatholicism};they later helped muhammad construct a slaughterhouse{Islam},appeared to joseph smith as angelic-beings{Mormonism},led charles russell to degrade jesus divinity{Jehovah'sWitness's},and deluded many to think man=God{New-Age/Pantheism}.Eventually,false-religions duped the nations with a convenient lie{many paths to heaven/good-deeds gets you in}.
    ….From ages past satan also used Necromancy productively{belief the dead still wander},even now,demons utilize haunted-homes[ghosts] and psychic-mediums[channeling] as a stage to mimic the departed.Mimics are allowed to occur the instant we believe and seek-out dead spirits{demons to surely mimic when using séance/quija-board}.Scripture eliminates the idea:when men expire,it's heaven/hell,they don't return as ghosts. [demons also use psychics{channeling}to mimic ascended-masters,spirit-guides,angels and aliens,all devices of divination,tarot-cards/crystal-balls/spirit-boards/charms/wicca/etc..are demonic].
    ….Satan initiated the groundwork[for the final delusion}back in the 19thcentury by helping darwin write his book[layin secular ground/for new deceptions};during the 20thcentury he conducted demons to shapeshift as ufos,aliens[abductions]and bigfoot on a regular basis.These tactics helped ignite and sustain an atheist/darwin culture.As the decades progressed,tv and films about invading aliens eventually set the stage for the final delusion:In the final stretches of a world war–demons will then appear and intervene as aliens of peace,satan will shapeshift ufo's over the survived-cities as demon-hybrids relate with men on land,religious institutions-to dissolve away as the nations/aliens commence and reform a global alliance.(world-government/antichrist/alien-delusion).2Thessalonia2:8-11.
    ….Having read satans schemes,will you still be duped?To resolve the problem of sin and avoid hell all you must do is accept jesus,that so difficult?for evidence demons exist click ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn_S43SlnPY&fbclid=IwAR0JTd-KO-c3FjgsuGSaEnvIxQd5s-orKTEdeOUiVrjeuf9WQ4lnC4k7U-U​​

  34. 15:18 kinda messed up that these toys knew they were about to die and still didn’t break the rule of playing dead

  35. I still find the pro-slavery theme of Toy Story quite interesting. The toys in that universe are sentient beings with human levels of intelligence, yet they still wanted to be nothing more than inanimate objects to be owned by beings who are more powerful than them. That aspect kind of undermines any messages that the movies offer since love and family aren’t genuine in a master slave relationship. Sid in particular is a peculiar cause. He was portrayed as villain in the first movie because he mutilated sentient beings, but really he was just doing what 90% of kids do with toys. Toys get broken, stretched out, thrown into garbage, and outright desecrated by children. Even I admit that I did some messed up stuff with my toys because I was a kid who didn’t know any better. Especially since I thought that they weren’t alive, and therefore didn’t feel anything. This is what makes the movie “Ugly Dolls” especially egregious because the toys in that universe were not only sentient, but they also had their own world with homes, cities, and the freedom to do whatever they want separated from humans. Despite all that, the plot of the movie still revolved around the toys wanting to be owned, used and abused by kids. There was even a scene in the movie where the dolls are put through torture endurance training. If that doesn’t hammer in the pro slavery message. I love how you and almost all of the other reviewers didn't mention or care about Forky. I know he really didn’t matter in the movie because it was about Woody and Bo Peep, but his presence should’ve been a much bigger deal than 10 seconds of the toys freaking out. He makes the God theme of Toy Story more obvious since the toys owner, Bonnie, created life. I was disappointed throughout the whole movie because I wanted the movie to explain how and why toys are alive in that world. Or at the very least have the toys be like, “If this literal pile of trash can be alive and be loved by a kid, then what does that make us?” I thought Woody would be jealous of Forky getting more attention from Bonnie since he’s an actual factory made toy, and Forky is a bunch of trash.

  36. I take it you really liked the 4th movie, then. It kind of bugged me how inconsistent it was thematically with the other movies (the third, especially), but maybe that was a response to the theme of the trilogy being kind of weird if you think too hard? Still, I think it was a tad inconsistent with itself; apart from Bo and Giggles, the only toy who didn't want to belong to a child was Forky, and he was convinced to by the end.

  37. Always thought it was pretty weird how they made movies to tell kids to appreciate toys more and not replace them instantly with new commercial bs, and sold so many toys from it.
    It's like they made a movie for the parents to appologize for pushing so many toy sales on their kids – while trying to sell new toys.
    Toy Story 1 was an 81 minute lampshade.

  38. 12:00–12:30 as some one who worked taking care of kids yea that place would be shut down so fast

  39. I've always wondered about how the toys are "born" in this world, especially since the fourth one. And like… Can they die? Obviously if they're destoryed but how far does that go? If your teddy bear was ripped up and you fixed it up with spare fabric or parts, what would happen?

  40. Your statement "…but the idea there is never, 'should we be owned' it's 'who should be our owner'" is an amazingly succinct way of describing modern capitalism.

  41. Interesting video, it was well made and presented good ideas worth thinking about. I have a few points I'd like to bring up to see what you or others think.

    Your term Dytheistic Pantheon is kinda redundant, considering that pantheons as established relative to western culture's history show that Polytheistic gods are inherently imperfect, going so far as to have HUMAN emotions, such as jealousy (Think about the Trojan war's mythology), which serves the purpose of creating multiple gods to cover multiple aspects of reality, because each are imperfect but have the power to hold one another "accountable" supposedly.
    You touch upon a toy's choice to be alive or in-animate while introducing the religious subtext idea but you never fully flush out the idea in my opinion. You call what Woody does to Jessie cultish but she still chose to go with him, and she still chose to STAY with Woody and Andy. She wasn't brainwashed, She trusted Woody and his judgement, she could've left at any time, as can all toys, as has been shown. And you know what, her life wasn't bad until Andy grew up. We see proper brainwashing in toy story 3. Toy Story 3 introduces the idea of "Denying the gods" so to speak and what results of that. Lotso is what happens when you deny the "real gods" and try to become one yourself. Thats when the real cult shit starts. Actual manipulation, coercion, imprisonment, brainwashing, Violence, standard cult behavior. The toys are like "fuck this shit" and leave.
    They bring up what a Toy's purpose is so many times throughout the franchise (to be played with), but never truly confirm it with any real weight, its an already assumed facet of this universe. A toy's purpose in reality is to keep kids preoccupied and fulfill a child's external need to fuck around with things in order to learn. If they were to make a fifth movie, I'd have them actually answer this question.
    Also, the ending is backwards and in my opinion is a common mistake made amongst most capitalist critics, what we buy doesn't define our identity but merely reflects it and exposes pieces of ourselves.
    not sure how much sense any of this made lol but there ya go.

  42. Toy Story 4 is about Woody becoming an atheist lmao.

    Also the villain's ending was DEFINITELY changed from test screenings

  43. Andy could also be interpreted as a corporate entity, the toys the employees of the cooperate entity, perhaps acting like toys is utterly compulsive and viewed as necessary for survival, much like how some view work.

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