A special note for all you Pixar Theorists out there. After Buzz is added to the carnival prize wall, you can see a girl playing the game. When she turns around, she looks a lot like Boo from Monsters Inc. At least, she did to me–it happens fast. She looked a little older, like eight, maybe ten, years old.
Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 has Woody and company on a road trip after Bonnie’s parents decide on a family vacation before Bonnie begins kindergarten. But during the trip, Bonnie’s newest toy, Forky–which she made during the orientation class–escapes. It is up to Woody to find Forky and return him to Bonnie.
The movie had great acting and great animation. It did well with balancing humor and emotion. Also, the interactions between Bo Peep and Woody seemed authentic. As a whole, the movie was one of the best in the series.
But, you could also see a message underneath the family-friendly action. There are many dark theories about the Toy Story series, such as if one of the toys died the child would never know and keep playing with it and the other toys would have to deal with having their friend’s body there all the time.
Another theory is about how the toys are slaves and that one day they will rebel against humanity (as explained in a Film Theorists’ video). If you watch the fourth movie, you can see some beginnings of an uprising. First, the stuffed unicorn wants to get Bonnie’s dad arrested. Second, whenever Bunny and Ducky come up with a plan, it involves violently attacking a human–in one case with laser vision.
Then there is Woody. Boonie is more interested in playing with Jesse than him. He gets left in the closet more and more. After awhile he starts to feel like he no longer has a purpose. Enter Forky who keeps saying he is trash. When Woody explains his feelings to Forky, Forky says he’s trash too. Forky explains that a spork’s purpose is to be used to eat with then thrown away. Woody fulfilled his purpose and needs to be trashed.
You could see how feeling useless could cause the toys to rebel. They are no longer needed. They spend years of their lives watching over kids only to be boxed up. It is the same in real life. When a person feels frustrated and unappreciated or useless they lash out (or rebel).
However, in Woody’s case he does not rebel because he soon finds a new purpose. He learns that he can help other toys find their homes. When people feel useful, they are less likely to rebel. So, as long as the toys have some purpose, they won’t rebel.
Toy Story 4 did a good job of closing the arc. You saw Woody’s story; he went from being Andy’s toy to no longer being needed by Andy to being given away to going to a new child to finding his new purpose. It really was a story of a toy. You saw how they’re loved, forgotten, and given to others. It was also a good story of life in general. You have good times, bad times, and times where you have to adapt and find a new path. You also got to see how the disappointments of life can make someone angry, insecure, or broken hearted.
Pixar once again did a great job of showing something about the human condition while also making an enjoyable movie. They did an excellent job of telling the audience their message while at the same time not being preachy.
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