Sunday, 6 January 2013

Toy Story 3 is too heavy for grown ups

It has been a really long time since I last blogged. Is an apology appropriate? Does anyone care? I'll address it and move on. Excuses: I got a job that was really time consuming. I made an EP, that was quite time consuming as well. And I just wanted to write things that rhymed for six months. So to any previous readers currently thinking I'm a half-job Harry, I am a bit, but I'm probably a much better rapper than you. Swingers and roundhouse kicks or whatever.

So, yeah. The blog post:

I watched Toy Story 3. Have you seen it? It's surprisingly good and tackles some actual themes, but it is flawed and I'd like to expose those flaws to the world in the hope that Pixar (who definitely know about me) can learn from their mistakes.

The Toy Story movies appeal to adults. The writing's good, the characters are consistent, the themes are universal. Grown ups like Toy Story. I like Toy Story. I prefer Scorsese, don't get me wrong, but Toy Story's all right by me. I'm sure this is a hugely cynical move by Disney/ Pixar, and nothing to do with good film making; grown ups have money, children don't, but it's cool that I can watch something I saw as a child and still enjoy it. However, I think they went too far with the grown-up thing in 3. TOO FAR!  

Randy Newman
The film starts up pretty well. I was amazed at how much longevity the writers had managed to rinse out of what looked to be a pretty limp flannel back in 1995. Not that I would've clocked then, I was 11. But there's a story, it's solid, I could relate. The funnies are funny, the peril is tense, and it all looks good and pretty.  Everything's ticking along nicely until the Toys end up in a 'garbage' disposal site/landfill. This whole scene is perhaps too ridiculous but we're already buying into the living toy theme so I can't gripe there. But then, due to a number of mix-ups/betrayals/near death experiences (I'm sure you can imagine), they all end up in the mountainous pile of waste slipping gradually and inevitably into a Mt Doom-esque ball of flame that passes as the incinerator. Everyone scrambles frantically upwards but to no avail, they are fatigued and the rubbish slips under their feet. Surely Woody or Buzz will come up with a plan, surely some titan coincidence will save them all from certain doom. Surely. SURELY!

No. Not this time. Buzz is the first. He turns, stares mournfully at the gushing stream of fire and stops struggling. He reaches out to his platonic love interest and wordlessly urges her to stop struggling as well. She then reaches out to her horse and another toy and so on until all the toys are holding hands, silently and lovingly facing death together as a family. Now, facing death in the movies is no biggie, but to accept it? To know it's going to happen, that this is the end? For there to be no possible way out? THAT'S LIKE REAL LIFE! 

The only true inevitability is death. I still can't handle that. Can anyone? Really? We know it. We've accepted that it's true, but to face it, calmly, with dignity, without wriggling and kicking and fighting till the last moment, I'm  nowhere near that yet. Will I ever be? Will you? Is it even possible?

Death is ubiquitous in cinema, even kids cinema: Bambi's Mum, Beethoven (the dog), E.T. (for a bit), The Watership Down Rabbits, Mufasa. Oh! Mufasa! That was a tough one. But all these characters died fighting, they didn't hold hands, smile wistfully, and cuddle-puddle into the torturous abyss of death. We CANNOT relate to that!

Anyway, (spoiler alert) the Toys get saved at the last minute and we are left dangling off the edge of the emotion-rollercoaster, numb-tongued, moist-bummed and feeling rather ticked off. Yeah, we bought a ticket but no one said anything about having to stare, slackjawed and wide-eyed into the snarling ocean of our own  mortality. Thanks Pixar.

Children don't think about stuff like that. Or at least I hope they don't. But as an anxious, hyper-aware adult, rushing at breakneck speed to my own demise, I don't need to deal with it in the final third of a children's film. And, yes I suppose Pixar should get a hat-tip for affecting me so strongly, and not shying away from the theme, and creating something genuinely memorable, but I feel deceived. And still a little shaken.

Maybe I'm a wet fart, I am a poet, but I can't be the only one. It was just a bit much.

Wasn't it?


  1. Alright lad. You can't just engage in social media, teasing your public with an EP and then not referencing at least one dark corner of the internet where you might go to download or *purchase* such delights.

    You are busting your own balls writing alluring internet verse without at least one shameless self-plug on your own blog.

    1. Where's your EP?
    2. You're awesome. Please continue...