Toy Story 3 is in cinemas in the US tomorrow, across the pond we have to wait until 23 July. I can’t wait. Pixar movies really made an impact on me earlier this year when Rem realized I had a tendency to avoid the emotional bits and by doing so, missing the plot and so we watched them all, except cars, from beginning to end. He is much better at capturing the magic in words, so here’s his thoughts:
How many things can pull at your heart strings? How many things can make you feel? Is it love? Friendship? Life? Is it more simple? Possessions? Thoughts? Anything that can pull at your heart strings is a worthy mark to forever remain engraved in your mind. No matter how many years pass we always remember that thing that let us shed tears, let us feel, and show us something somehow and it manages to show feelings you may not know you even had. What can cause this? You can ask yourself this and come up with a million questions. I ask myself this and I see three answers: games, books, and Pixar.
Pixar is an animation studio behind the most legendary movies that have ever been crafted to grace the big screen, your time and your hearts. “They just make movies.”, you can simply say but Pixar has a way of crafting a movie, a story, to the point where it’s finely created to show us something new. Something that we wouldn’t have experienced, truly, without this new vision. Toy Story 3 is being released June 18th and so I saw it fit to recollect on Pixar. This seems so simple to many but to me it holds such a near and dear meaning.
1995. 1995 had many events but really the one event to stick out of my mind was Toy Story. I remember exactly when and I how saw it. My birthday had come and my cousin had handed me a small paper bag. Grasping it gingerly I wondered what was inside while I flipped the paper and stuff my hand inside. I pulled the item out to see a cover: a cowboy peaking over the side of the bed glancing towards a larger toy in white; it’s title read “Toy Story”. I tapped the side with pure glee and eagerly went to my room, stuffed VHS into the player, and glanced at my oh so tiny TV. A boot legged copy with a touch too much darkness and sound a little to loud but my eyes refused to leave the TV. I was hooked automatically. I saw Toy Story without flinching once and forgetting to blink and breathe. I took a breathe and saw the movie again. I was utterly blown away by the amount of emotion it all had.
Buzz Lightyear was stuck in his own world, thinking himself an actual space ranger, while Woody does his best to show Buzz he’s just a toy, nothing more nothing less. Jealousy and angered fueled Woody and eventually pushed things too far. Woody and Buzz separated from their owner, Andy, are lost. In the worst situations these simple toys say themselves for something more. Buzz learned the hard way that he was just a toy, that he couldn’t fly, while Woody slowly felt Buzz’s pain as he saw Buzz’s world crashing around him. Woody finally put jealously and anger aside to show, prove, and encourage Buzz that they may be just toys but they both have somebody that loves them enough to play with them till his hearts content. They wouldn’t be alone: they had each other. They wouldn’t be forgotten: Andy always remembered them. As a kid, I understood this but didn’t feel emotionally effect instead I grew more and more eager for Toy Story 2.
Toy Story 2 finally arrived 4 years later. I was filled with utter and complete joy knowing my most adored story would be returning. As a child I couldn’t understand emotions but as Toy Story 2 passed before my eyes I understood what I should have felt in part 1 and part 2; sadness. Toy Story 2 showed me sadness. At first, I was ready to leap out of my chair in joy seeing the gang again and how the tables have turned with Buzz trying to save Woody. Soon the oh so heart breaking theme of being forgotten and not loved kicked in. At first Woody knew that the guys would come to his rescue so they can all return to Andy to the point where he forgot the consequences it would have on his new found friends: Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete. They would be forever put away to never be loved or played with. Jessie revealed to Woody that she had an owner a long time ago. She grew and Jessie was forgotten.
“…So the years went by
I stayed the same
But she began to drift away
I was left alone
Still I waited for the day
When she’d say I will always love you
Lonely and forgotten,
I’d never thought she’d look my way
And she smiled at me and held me just like she used to do
Like she loved me
When she loved me…”
Jessie had her heart broken and betrayed and Woody broke open old wounds. Stinky Pete then encouraged Woody to the point where he was convinced that Andy had tossed him aside, had broken Woody on purpose, and that he would be forgotten just like all the other toys. Buzz had to find Woody and save him and then prove to him what it meant to be a toy “to make that one person happy” that one philosophy Woody had taught Buzz was forgotten. Woody remembered and urged his new friends to come back with them to Andy. They all had such dedication to give that one person happiness.
Nearly a decade later now and I sit and watch Toy Story. I can not watch either without shedding a tear, feeling emotion for these toys, and knowing all the trouble they go through to be loved and to make that one person happy. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” and “When She Loved Me” will forever break my heart. They may be toys, CG, pixels or what have you but they managed to bring out emotions in me I never knew existed. With the ending of Toy Story 3 imminent I both dread and eagerly anticipate it. These toys I have seen as a child and now as a adult have forever stayed with me. They are a mark that shall never leave.
Everyone has something that pulls on their heart string, to help reveal something. Toy Story, these toys, these feelings, these themes… they will forever stay with me.