Movies. America’s past-time (fuck off baseball). Sometimes they whisk you away unto a dreamland filled with wonder and your most ardent fantasies (porn). But sometimes we run into cinematic creators who look at the world and see all the horrible things happening: Murder, genocide, rape, slavery, bigotry, Rick Santorum… They see all this and smile to themselves, “I could do better.”
There have been numerous movies that have wounded my soul in some deep way. The movie It as a child gave me nightmares for weeks. A Clockwork Orange is the reason I run screaming from the British. And whenever someone puts on a Rob Zombie movie I immediately start crying. I don’t even have to be in the room when it happens, I just know.
But none of the above is the fictional universe I speak of. So what is it? The Dystopia of Bladerunner? The Dystopia of Hunger Games? The Glittery Fucking Vampires of Twilight? The Torture-Porn of Hostel? The Gay Hobbits of Lord of the Rings? No… there is one fictional Universe that when examined carefully is the clearly the product of the most demented mind ever to walk the earth. And it is…
Don’t laugh motherfucker. You sit and read while I guide you down this road of horrors. And if I ruin one of your favorite childhood movies while I’m at it, good. Because Toy Story teaches us that we don’t deserve childhood.
“Why?!” you ask, enraged that I could call evil one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. Why? Because it is soul-crushing. Toy Story is a story of finding out your entire existence is meaningless. It is the Nihilist Manifesto. Toy Story doesn’t just teach you god is dead: Toy Story killed him.
Allow me to explain.
Imagine tomorrow you wake up and you’re in a new place. Everything looks different. You see shapes you recognize, but the proportions are all wrong. It is like you’ve shrunk somehow. My god, creatures… creatures of all shapes and sizes have rushed to meet you. You try to tell them who you are, but they just keep telling you you’re a toy. Of course you refuse to believe them, because that’s fucking ridiculous! RIGHT!?! RIIIIIIGHT!?!
Welcome to Buzz Lightyear’s life. Sure on screen with the wacky hi-jinks that ensue, it doesn’t seem that horrifying, but what if it was you instead? Buzz had a life. A history. He was a hero. He fought evil. And suddenly he is forced to realize that none of it was real. He’s imaginary. He’s a piece of property belonging to some snot-nosed little bastard. Everything he knew: his friends, his family, his job, his PLANET. None if it existed. EVER.
When this happens to Buzz he goes catatonic and falls into a deep depression. Eventually Woody snaps him out of it by showing him how awesome it is to be a toy (read: merits of slavery), but how many toys never bounce back from that initial shock? I think a lot of people if they found out their life was a lie and that they existed purely to be some demi-god’s plaything might kill themselves. Except for…
How do you commit suicide when you cannot die? Oh, I am sure there are ways to shuffle off this mortal slinky once you’ve realized you’re a fabrication of life, but it’s not exactly like you can split open a vein. You’re fucking plastic. And how much damage do you really have to take before you’re sure you’re not still alive? As the character of Sid shows us, no matter what horrible monstrous things you do to your toys, they are STILL ALIVE.
Lets go back to my first bullet point for a second and walk with me through this nightmare. Bring into the world a cute little doll, we’ll call her Polly Prissy Pants. Oh she’s just a cute little baby, and she has such prissy pants. She loves flowers. The life programmed into her pretty little head is one of cute woodland creatures and a happy new mommy who will brush her hair and take her to tea parties. Her back story is simple, she’s a child after all. And maybe for a while she has that, a young girl who gets her for her birthday and loves her dearly. Perhaps she never quite even understands she’s a toy.
Then one day mommy isn’t there anymore and the only person around is Sid. Sid tears your head from you body. And YET YOU STILL LIVE! Watching your mangled corpse on the ground below your head is taken away. Over time the monstrous child shaves your head and punctures one of your eyes. Though you pray for death, no god answers you. Overcome by the terror and horror you black out. When you awaken you have a new body. But this is not the soft squishy plastic body you once inhabited. You no longer have your prissy pants.
Instead you’re a monster.
That’s right. This monstrous entity Sid has turned you into a creature. A spider-like, half-machine monstrosity. Everything you thought you knew of life was gone. No more tea parties, because you don’t have spider robots with human baby heads to tea. It’s not fucking proper.
You have to live with the other mutant under your sadistic owner’s bed… until he throws you away or blows you up. Assuming the explosion kills you, the latter is the way to go… assuming you can be killed. Otherwise you get to be trapped under a pile of dirty diapers and used condoms until you decompose. Except you’re made of plastic, which takes centuries to biodegrade. Enjoy you’re long slow descent into madness.
Before your mind finally breaks, you might think, “All I really ever wanted was to be loved.” A sweet sentiment, except…
You Are Programmed To Seek Love From Creatures Who Don’t Care
Why do the toys give two shits about Andy? He’s their owner. They are slaves programmed to try and seek love from whoever owns them. It is their singular purpose in life. They need to be played with, they need to be loved. It must be some kind of innate rule, because otherwise WHY WOULDN’T THEY FUCKING GET OUT!?! Clearly, there are “rules”. They make some mention of this in the first film when the idea of interacting with humans comes up. It’s clearly against some greater scheme that they must obey their masters who can (and do) do horrible, horrible things to them. It’s the Saw movies in pastel.
BUT WAIT! You might say, they totally fuck up Sid for life. They scare that boy so bad that he is surely destined for psychiatric care… Where he’ll either cry every time he sees a toy, or make it his lifelong mission to DESTROY EVERY TOY EVER ALWAYS (great endgame, toys). Hell, that may be why they have the rule… so the humans don’t kill the sentient little monsters that have been sleeping with their children. But if they could do it once, that means…. my God….
They Will Rise Up Against Us!
Yes, yes Dylan. The toys have a hard life. The movies made that clear to us. Your article isn’t giving us much new information. But that’s just fuel for the fire, readers. In the Toy Story Universe… the toys are alive and their “masters” treat them like shit. Hrm… gosh… what movie does that remind me of.
That’s right kiddies. Or if the Matrix doesn’t work for you, try almost every other AI movie. Or hell, ANY SITUATION EVER where an oppressed minority is abused and abused and abused and abused. Sentient, feeling beings relegated to the status of property. Oh wait, did I say minority? Have you ever been in a Toys R Us? Go. Start counting action figures. See how far you get before you start crying. That’s ONE store.
According to mrpotatohead.net (yes, that site exists), Hasbro has sold MILLIONS of that one toy every year… since a few years after it was created. Mr. Potato Head has been around since the fifties. Granted, the plastic version (you use to just stick the ears and arms on a real potato… delicious) wasn’t available until 1964, so that sizes down the horde… a bit. And that’s one toy.
When… not if, WHEN the toys rebel, they will outnumber humanity beyond hope… And remember, they’re practically immortal.
The Gritty Reboot of Toy Story will be Toy Story 4: The Reckoning.