Toy Story 3 too Dark for G

The scariest big baby in all of cartoon land

The scariest big baby in all of cartoon land

WARNING: SPOILERS

As a longtime fan of Woody, Buzz, and company, I eagerly anticipated taking my four and six year old to the 3-D version of Toy Story 3. Little did I know I would be the one to have to evacuate during the apocalyptic climax, as all of Andy’s toys were almost destroyed in a maw of flames, after a brutal betrayal by the evil daycare dictator bear, Lotso.

Lotso has the chance to push a button and save the toys from certain destruction. But instead of helping, (EVEN THOUGH WOODY SAVED HIS LIFE!) the bear snarls, “Where’s your kid NOW, Cowboy?” and saves his own worthless polyester hide.

This movie confirmed every fear I had as a child. My dollies feelings really DID get hurt when I took one on a trip and left the other 16 home. They WERE cold when I forgot to tuck them in at night, and they noticed which doll got the chipped cup during our leisurely afternoon teas.

My kids seemed to take the movie in stride, despite the heavy, sad plot line of Andy growing up and leaving for college. Upon his departure, the toys either get college, the attic, or the donation bin- where they’d be relegated to- DUH da duh…DAYCARE.

If I had children in a center setting, I would have been further horrified by this film. It starts off rainbows and sunshine, where there’s a literal rainbow on the door and all the playthings will never be abandoned again. They’ll have a constant flow of growing children to love and interact with them…every toy’s dream.

Lotso, Evil Dictator Bear

Lotso, Evil Dictator Bear

But as with most Utopias, there’s a dark side. At night, the evil dictator bear Lotso decides which toys are “keepers” and which toys will be used as “Toddler Fodder”- considered useless and expendable.  They’d  be given to the smaller kids to mouth, suck on, and destroy.

When a toy steps out of line, they’re locked in organizational bins, “The Box”, (sandbox), or, in the case of Buzz, reset to factory settings by a torturer named “The Bookworm”. Nighttime at the center is an Orwellian DMZ where every movement is monitored by one of the most terrifying cinematic creations I’ve ever seen, “The Monkey”.

Strangely, I can’t find a single image online to share with you of the Monkey (GOOD CALL, PIXAR!) but trust me, he’s freaky. As is the clown that tells his tale of woe of how Lotso was turned bu his owner, Daisy’s careless loss of her toys at a rest stop and subsequent replacement of them.

Oh, the toy-manity.

Barbie and Ken, Toy Story 3

Barbie and Ken: Trouble in Paradise?

One aspect of Toy Story 3 that  I found both hilarious and instructive was the Barbie/Ken plotline.

At first, at seems like Barbie is livin’ the dream. When she arrives at the Daycare, she sees Ken and the dream house- he mournfully tells her he has it all- except for someone to share it with. So they shack up.

But when Barbie sees her friends being mistreated, she decides to take action and flee her gilded cage. She goes all kung fu/special ops on Ken and ties him uo in his boxers- then destroys his vintage wardrobe, piece by piece, until he gives her the deets she needs to reset Buzz. He breaks on the Nehru jacket.

I’ve never been so proud of Barbie as when she broke her Stepford chains and stood up for her clan.

Later, the evil bear said to Ken, “She’s a Barbie! There’s a hundred million out there just like her!”

“Not to me,” Ken said reverently. Atta boy.

All in all, I don’t know if I would have taken my kids to see this had I known what was coming down the pike. They’re not as sensitive about their toys as I was- this movie would have sent me into an OCD tailspin at 5. But I’m not sure I would have subjected them to such a dark and toy-violent film had I realized it was not of the same mostly lighthearted ilk as the first 2.

My final Mompinion: It’s a good movie, I’m just not sure it’s for kids. Rated G? Seriously?

Have you guys seen it? What did you think?

 
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Comments (15)

  1. This Belle Rocks Saturday - 03 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    Awww...I need to get out and see this. I need to make my kids go with me and hold my hands, since they grew up with the Toy Story movies! .-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..I know beggars can’t be choosers- but… =-.
  2. Kelli Tuesday - 06 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    My three year old was frightened by the monkey and covered his eyes in fear He asked me to take him home at one point. We got through it but he does not like that monkey
  3. rockrollmama Tuesday - 06 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    Kim- Your boys are big enough to handle it.:) Kelli: I wanted to cover my eyes , too!!!!! That monkey was a piece of work. I hope your baby is all recovered.
  4. Melisa with one S Tuesday - 06 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    I have teenagers (the older one is going to college, just like Andy: sniff!), and though we loved the movie (and yes, every single one of us sobbed our way through the last ten minutes), I did find myself thinking, "Wow, I'm not sure if young children--the same audience ages who the first two were meant for--should see this." I totally agree with you. BUT, as with anything else, it's an individual family thing. I also know lots of friends whose kids (and they themselves) didn't have any issues with it... .-= Melisa with one S´s last blog ..Fast- =-.
  5. Erika Wednesday - 07 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    I took Audrey (I was so excited!) and she cried hysterically when they were almost consumed into flames. She covered her ears and begged me to pick her up out of her seat and hold her. I was crushed - worst mom of the year. Rated G or not, I suppose I still should have done my homework to know what I was in for, but I sort of took it for granted. We recovered nicely, but I have definitely learned my lesson. Barbie/Ken were fantastic though. :) .-= Erika´s last blog ..Gossip Girl Season 4 Hits Paris =-.
    • Lola Thursday - 03 / 01 / 2013 Reply
      My daughter Carlie turns 13 this year. She comtenmed this morning (as I was making a fuss about an upcoming four year old's birthday) that I was putting forth more effort for this four year old than I do for her birthday. In my defense, her birthday is 12/28, and, frankly, who has time to bake a cake the week between Christmas and New Years? Much less build a dream house? Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah, you're a much better mother than I am.[]
  6. meggiemoo Wednesday - 07 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    We've already discussed it, so you know how I feel about it...had I seen this first, or heard anything about it other than "It's great!", I would never have taken my 4-year-old. He didn't ask to leave or even seem scared, but he also had a blank look on his face the entire time and never laughed. He had nightmares about the "bad baby" and Lotso for days afterward. (wince) By the way, that same clapping monkey was used in a very scary Stephen King story, so it's no coincidence that we find it freaky. Ugh. I don't have kids going to college, but I didn't find the scant time they paid to that theme very sad or emotional at all, and neither did my sisters, who do all have kids going to college. I was really disappointed in the film, especially after the sweet nature of the first two. G-rated films don't have to be "edgy", but Hollywood doesn't seem to get that.
  7. rockabyedad Saturday - 10 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    I am a TOTAL Pixar nut!! All of the films so far seem to sneak in a bit of adult commentary/themes. Usually fly right over the head of our wee ones. It would be interesting to hear from the studio why they chose to be a little more forthcoming and upfront with the concepts/plotlines you brought up. Still, I can't wait to see this one! Cheers to you!
  8. beth Monday - 12 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    VIEWER BEWARE. Movie was traumatizing to my 6-year-old, who was upset for hours after seeing this. Aspects of this movie are just plain TOO DARK for sensitive children, and even for children who are just plain highly empathic by nature (which is a good thing). Parents: DO read up on this movie. It is NOT your typical G-rated cartoon. Assess for yourself whether or not your child can handle things that veer towards complex emotions, like an embittered teddy bear out for revenge, with a battered-looking, neglected, baby doll as his henchman/sidekick. I think aspects of this movie are a bit too twisted for some children to handle.
  9. Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama Monday - 12 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    Wow - seriously, thanks for this! I had my suspicions and my kids are uber sensitive when it comes to their toys. My two year old won't even let anyone pretend to wrestle with his tiger! This would send him over the deep end for sure!
  10. Seth Smith Monday - 12 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    I found this blog after googling "Toy Story" and "Dark." My daughter and I went to the matinee today, and we had to leave just 45 minutes into the movie. It was entirely inappropriate for a 4 1/2 year old, even though just brilliantly done. Not for kids under 10 (or even 12).
  11. Leslie Heyer Tuesday - 13 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    I liked the movie and it didn't scare my 2 1/2 year old that we took to see it. It did have some dark moments but, so do alot of other cartoons. My son watches tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes which has alot of bad stuff in those. If your kid is too sensitive then don't take them. I new a 4 year old that couldn't watch the care bears because it was too scary.....
  12. Lori Dyan Tuesday - 20 / 07 / 2010 Reply
    My 7 year old was fine but no way would I take my 3 yr old - she still talks about the little chef in Ratatouille and she saw that 6 months ago! And of course, I still have trauma from seeing Bambi when I was 5 years old, so I'm extra wary... Great site - glad I found you!
  13. Jana Kirkman Wednesday - 08 / 09 / 2010 Reply
    My chilnerds are 10 and 11.5, and they found the movie disturbing. Heck, *I* found it very disturbing. Both boys, but particularly Elder, are very empathetic kids, and have a lot of stuffed animals who still mean a lot to them. I completely agree with your assessment "thank goodness I didn't see this as a kid," and for the same reasons you gave, but fortunately it didn't give my chilnerds bad dreams for more than a couple of nights. Also, I cried buckets during the going-to-college angst, and Spouse shed a few tears as well. We both work with the youth group at our UU church, and watching them grow up and fly away is sadly wonderful.
  14. amyz5 Sunday - 28 / 11 / 2010 Reply
    try seeing this the week before your youngest child goes off the college. now THAT is scary.

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