Why Toy Story 3 and Life are Basically the Same Thing

There are some movie/book/TV series that I would love to see become a reality. If I got the letter accepting me to Hogwarts, I would go there in a heartbeat. I would take any job offer to the office from Parks and Recreation so I could hang around those crazy government workers. There is even a sadistic side of me that would participate in The Hunger Games… though maybe instead of killing each other we could turn it into an elaborate game of tag?

One series that I would never want to see come true? Toy Story.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Toy Story! But can you imagine if the whole series ended up being a documentary? How frightening would that be? Imagine how you would feel if you were sitting in your room, doing homework or something like that, and all of a sudden your toys started singing and dancing! Wouldn’t your first reaction be to destroy them all?

So, before I continue, let me just say that I honestly hope the Toy Story movies never become a reality. For anyone. Ever. In fact, if any of you have experienced toys coming to life, I urge you to seek counseling and/or a priest to perform exorcism in your house!!!

But ignoring the somewhat jarring and even traumatizing idea behind Toy Story, many life lessons can be learned from the series–especially the third movie, which is what I will be focusing on today.

(SPOILER ALERT!!! But honestly, if you haven’t watched Toy Story 3 yet, it’s your own fault. I have no sympathy for you. For crying out loud, people, it came out three years ago! I was literally on the other side of the world when it was released and I still managed to watch it, even if it wasn’t until a year later!)

Woody or Buzz?

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In one scene, Andy decides which of his toys he wants to take with him to college: Woody or Buzz.

Decisions, decisions. Every day is full of decisions, some bigger than others. Woody or Buzz? Chocolate or vanilla? Responsibility or fun? College or the circus? These are all decisions that I, like many others, have had to face in the past. Luckily, I can say with confidence that I always made the correct decision in four out of five of those cases. Buzz is clearly cooler than Woody because Buzz is from space. Also, cowboys are the worst. Chocolate is of course better than vanilla, except for when it comes to pudding. Fun always beats responsibility, which is why I’m writing this ridiculous blog post instead of thinking about my future and stuff.

Unfortunately, sometimes we make the wrong decisions. I will always regret going to college instead of joining the circus… but I made my decision, and now I must face the consequences–the consequences in this case being a college education and an actual career. Bummer!

Andy tried to throw us away!

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Remember how Andy’s mom accidentally puts Andy’s toys out to be taken by the garbage truck, causing the toys to think their owner tried to throw them away? Then it takes the toys a good part of the movie to figure out that it was all a misunderstanding!

Sometimes we feel that people just throw us away like toys. They use us, abuse us, rip our arms off (metaphorically speaking, I hope), and then get rid of us when we’ve served our purpose in their lives. People suck sometimes, but I highly doubt that most of us intend to “throw other people away.” There is something called “moving on,” which in some cases can leave people feeling abandoned. However, I feel like true “moving on” involves bringing in new aspects to your life while still staying connected to your past. Unless your past is horrible and you really want to forget about it, in which case throw that crap in the trash!

So people, stop throwing your loved ones away. It’s not nice!

The Incinerator

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Did anyone else find this scene incredibly unsettling? I know most people I talked to thought, for a split second, that Disney was going to end the beloved children’s series by burning all the toys to ashes! That would have been a really finalizing but extreme way to end the series.

I, for one, am glad they decided not to incinerate all the toys! Can you imagine? A huge pile of ashes… sad music playing as all that can be found is a single arm that once belonged to Jesse, clinging onto the severed hand of Buzz. How disturbing! Disney would have paid for a lot of tears and therapy if they had chosen to go down that route!

Luckily, the toys were spared. Sometimes in life we face our own personal “incinerators,” times of tribulation (i.e. facing the “fire” in our lives) that we think will destroy us. But everything always works out, and those moments of fear, uncertainty, and pain will always pass.

Saying Goodbye

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Who doesn’t get a little choked up at the part when Andy leaves his toys behind and heads off to college? Even I, the guy people have deemed “The Heartless One” (OK, nobody has ever called me that… but I kind of like it, so I’m going with it), had to hold back a tear or two. My dad, who was semi-watching this movie with me, said this part of this movie is so sad because we can all relate to it.

My first reaction to my dad’s claim was that he was probably going a bit senile in his ever-increasing old age. How can I relate to being sad about leaving behind toys when I hardly even remember most of my toys? I do remember having some beanie babies, but I usually just used them to create my own version of Survivor or the summer/winter/spring/fall Olympics (yes, I know there are no spring/fall Olympics, but I was that stupid). I also remember having a stuffed Barney (you know, that highly perverted purple dinosaur?) when I was really little, but my older brother brutally murdered it in a crime of ill-repressed rage against me. I don’t even remember what I did to make him so mad, but I do remember there being lots of… stuffing. Everywhere. It was quite gruesome.

When I told my dad that I didn’t even remember half of my toys, let alone feel any sense of sadness about getting rid of them, he simply shook his head and said, “You are really stupid. The toys represent family! Idiot.” OK, so maybe he didn’t really call me stupid or an idiot, but it was implied! Anyway, he had a point. We all can relate to saying goodbye to friends, family, and other loved ones… leaving them behind to start a new chapter of our lives. Which is always hard, but change is just a part of life.

So there you have it. Those are just a few of the reasons why Toy Story 3 and life are basically the same thing. Let’s just hope all our toys never come to life.

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