Though I’ll admit I enjoy the movies, I’m still somewhat disturbed by the Toy Story concept. It would be less disturbing if the concept was foreign to me, but it is all too familiar. As a child I loved my stuffed animals and dolls so dearly, and was convinced that when and if I got rid of them, it hurt their feelings. If I played with one too infrequently (like maybe the doll I gave a ‘salon’ style hair cut to and whose right eye was constantly blinked closed no matter what position she was held in) I was afraid feelings would be hurt. I was afraid they’d feel I didn’t love them. From ages 3 through, oh I’ll admit up to 12, I felt deep down I was inflicting pain on the dolls and toys who felt ignored or who were abandoned. Finally overcoming this silly childish fear, I gave very little thought to packing away such creatures as my stuffed dog (with just a short kiss to his grubby head first).
Then Toy Story came out and my worst fears were confirmed. Woody felt terrible when it seemed Andy liked Buzz better than him. They toys deepest desires were centered around being loved and played with. The toys I’d abandoned as a child, not only felt it and remembered it, but had depressing songs to accompany montages of us playing together.
What had I done?
With this next Toy Story movie coming out, I have mixed feelings about watching it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it (as I’ve enjoyed the other Toy Story movies), but I’m just as certain the guilt of toys abandoned will haunt me again. And to the Kris Kringle dog I used to own, I’m really sorry. I had no good reason to get rid of you.