Culture

Rambling Dispatches: Toy Stories

toy story

Every Thursday in Rambling Dispatches, resident malcontent Quinn McGee rants about whatever he damn well pleases.

So there have been rumors flying around about a potential fourth Toy Story movie being made. Despite some Columbian news agency saying it was, there is no proof, because Pixar is pretty busy with all the other things they have on their plate in the coming years. Also, Disney is going to have its hands full with all of the Marvel films and the newly acquired Lucasfilms properties (just another trilogy and two newly announced spin-off films, no big deal). Do I think that Pixar is going to make another Toy Story? Probably not, just because they are busy with new properties. So why am I bringing this up?

Because Pixar better not fucking make another Toy Story.

There’s no denying that Disney and Pixar together are animation gods. Pretty much any animated movie they release in theaters makes huge amounts of money, which is no surprise, because they are always well-cast and very well-written. Look at Wall-E. It might have been one of the best animated films I have ever seen. It had adult messages for the adults, it was cute for the kids and it was all wrapped together with the usual fantastic animation that we have come to expect from Pixar. Or Toy Story, which came out in 1995 and blew people away. When I was five or six and watching it for the first time, I probably missed the real point and was just excited to see an animated film, as I grew up on Disney movies. But in reality, Toy Story put Pixar on the map in one fell swoop.

It was their first release, and is widely regarded as one of the best animated films ever released. It’s a movie about the power of friendship and loyalty. It’s about accepting who you are and realizing the best parts of it. And they followed up these messages and added new ones with two wonderfully done sequels. They went through the growth of Andy and the development of the friendship that was shared between Andy’s toys, all leading up to the kind of tearful end of Andy’s childhood, in a scene we probably have all been through. I am an older brother, so I was right there when the toys were being passed off to a younger group. Honestly, Toy Story couldn’t be much more perfect, and I will sing its praises forever.

Sure, it sounds like I should have every confidence in a sequel, and I would if the story wasn’t finished. Pixar got away with making all these sequels because they weren’t forced into the universe in which they took place. Even though the individual stories of the toys were completed at the end of each movie, the story of Andy was not done. The new stories with the toys fit directly into the story of Andy growing and developing from a kid to an adult, the same change that many people who grow up with animated films go through. You could smash all three films together and get one mammoth movie that smoothly fits together and makes you feel old as shit and realize that you sold all your toys in a garage sale.

And that brings me to my second point, the one about the needless sequels. There is a miles-long list of movies that were made as forced sequels to movies that ended and should have stayed that way. Did you know there were two sequels to Beauty and the Beast? Did you know there was a Bambi 2? BAMBI. 2. You probably didn’t, because they were all forced to DVD without theater time and had scripts that tried too hard. And before you say that those were all just Disney movies, let’s put Cars 2 on the table. That is a super-recent example of a forced sequel made directly by Pixar. The story for Cars ended in Cars, when there was a happy ending and nothing more to expand on. But we got shorts, which were fine, and then the icing on the cake: Cars 2.

Did the story need Cars 2? Nope. Was there story there for a Cars 2? Absolutely not. Cars was a done product, and a successful one at that. And it’s the greed surrounding the merchandising industry rooted in film that saw another movie come out. Pixar and Disney made so much money selling toys for that movie. Toy Story made the same kind of money (probably more) with toys when I was growing up, but they waited and formulated a perfect sequel and ended the series beautifully. Cars 2 proves that greed does lie in the hearts of Disney and Pixar, which made the Toy Story 4 rumor so successful. In a world of needless sequels and drives for money, it seems that studios will make just about any movie in order to cash in, all the while throwing creative thought to the wind.

So that brings us full circle. Can anyone think of a reasonable plot for a new Toy Story movie? I know I can’t, because the world is complete. Then again, I’m not being completely honest here. I wrote a very quick and dirty synopsis for Toy Story 4 that was promptly texted to my editor (Editor’s note: I hear he’s a handsome and well-hung sort) and was greeted with surprise and disgust a few days before this article was written. Enjoy.

“The scene opens up with Woody sneaking back to Andy’s college when he comes home for a visit. He sees Andy is depressed that he cannot get the attention of a girl living down the hall. Woody goes to action and sneaks into this girl’s room in a quest to get Andy information that he can use to get her attention. When Woody gives it to him, he reveals that he has been alive the whole time, and that bros stick together. The scene pans out from Andy’s closed bedroom door while Andy is getting lucky with the girl down the hall, as ‘You Got a Friend in Me’ plays in the background. “

I hope it doesn’t end this way.