So, I had a Toy Story marathon which quickly taught me a very important lesson: When going through a break-up the Toy Story movies are perhaps one of the best things to watch, seriously not only did it make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (which it did… so lovely and warm) but I had many positive epiphanies throughout about relationships (both romantic and platonic). Here are some of those important lessons that Pixar subtly teach us.
Warning: Spoilers for all 3 Toy Story’s are in this article.
Don’t let Jealously ruin potential friendships- This point is mainly emphasized in the first movie when Andy receives a new Buzz Lightyear, a high tech toy with flashing lights and wings. Woody immediately begins to feel threatened and let’s face it, starts to act like a bit of a dick. Woody became sad, anxious and bitter as Buzz became the new “spotlight” toy. Instead of embracing the new toy as an equal, he treated him with resentment and tried to knock him behind thee desk (resulting in him accidentally being flung out the window). By the end of the movie they were best friends and Woody accepted sharing the spotlight. I know sometimes I have let my own personal jealousy of someone I hardly know effect potential friendships with amazing people. Maybe your jealously is stopping you finding the Buzz to your Woody (that sounds way more sexual then it was intended to be)
Sometimes a reality check is in order, and although difficult it is definitely worth it- In Toy Story 1 there’s a beautiful sequence in which Buzz realizes he is, in fact a child’s toy. It’s a very touching scene that made me cry as a child. Now… initially he doesn’t handle the news that he is a toy very well, but can you really blame him? His entire world has just been shattered! We next see him dressed as “Mrs. Nesbitt” in the mist of a mental breakdown. Woody slaps him some sense into him but he is still in a deep set sorrow. Not caring about his fate (he’s meant to be exploded by a rocket in a few hours) But eventually he realizes to accept who he is and realize that although he may not be a real space ranger there is still a little boy who cares deeply about him just the was he is, and let’s face it, he becomes a way better character once he realizes this. So, message? Sometimes we believe things that aren’t true because it makes us feel better about ourselves, be it denial of a failed relationship, how we act or whatever, the point is a reality check is sometimes in order and it’s painful and difficult but it ultimately leads us to becoming better people.
Just because you’ve been hurt before, doesn’t mean you should close yourself off to future relationships- In yet another Toy Story scene that has made me cry, we learn how hurt Jessie was to be forgotten about and eventually donated. To me I viewed this as a metaphor for romantic relationships. Jessie was so hurt and wanted to go live in a museum where she will never be forgotten about, but she would also never be loved in the same way. Eventually she opens her heart up again and goes to be Andy’s toy, which we know from the rest of the movie and Toy Story 3 was definitely the right decision.
When it comes to love, don’t worry about the future just enjoy the present- This point kind of ties in with the last one, in Toy Story 2 Woody basically needs to decide to spend eternity in a museum or a few years to be loved by a boy. The latter is uncertain and short lived, but Woody knows the importance of love, even if it’s short lived. Again, romantic relationships, don’t back out of one because you’re scared of it eventually ending. The joy is worth the sorrow (something I’m learning to accept myself).
Although they may be dreamy, don’t settle for someone who’s horrible to your friends- Let’s face it, Barbie in Toy Story 3 is KICK-ASS although her and Ken seem “Made for each other” when she realizes how horrible he is to her friends does she still stay with them in the dream house? NO, she joins her friends. That’s an important lesson right there.
Just because a couple may seem right for each other, doesn’t mean they are- Although Woody and Jessie appear to be made for each other, they aren’t. Opposites attract and Jessie’s heart belongs to Buzz and poor Woody will never get over the tragic loss of Bo Peep (what ever happened to her?)
Sometimes people appear nice, but they’re actually dicks- Lotso, ‘nuff said.
If you’ve been hurt in the past, don’t use it as an excuse to be a dick- Again, Lotso. He was replaced. If you have ever seen someone you once loved with someone else you may sympathize with Lotso, but he changed and became hard and distant. When hurt use the experience to change for the better, not the worst.
Sometimes, those really annoying people you hate, actually are really important, don’t underestimate them- OK, during that VERY stressful moment when all the toys were almost BURNED TO DEATH (How could you do that to my emotions Pixar… HOW?!?!) Thanks to Lotso-dick-face who rescued them? That’s right, those 3 alien dudes. My Potato head thought they were annoying and stupid but these are the same people who saved his life! I feel there’s a huge lesson in that.
Just because someone parts with you, doesn’t mean they don’t still love you- In my opinion this is the most important lesson of the Toy Story trilogy and the one I personally found the most helpful. Sometimes people outgrown each other. Just because Andy doesn’t play with his toys anymore, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about them deeply, just because someone doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore, doesn’t mean they don’t still care. Sometimes only one person changes (Andy) and the other doesn’t, the other stays loyal (the toys) but eventually have to accept that if the other person has moved on, maybe they should too. Not in a sad way, but in a way that acknowledges that the relationship was very important to both, but now must end even though the other is still willing. Andy was going to take Woody to College, but eventually realized he’d have a better life where he would be played with, it was difficult but for the best.
And would you look at that I’m crying.
Basically, Pixar is awesome.