AFI # 99: Toy Story 1995
As always I begin each review with “What I Think I Know”. These descriptions were all compiled before I set out on this journey, and can be read in their entirety (HERE).
What I think I know
“Toys live their daily life in constant anxiety worrying about when their owner is going to replace them with something new and better. The Cowboy forgets to take his Xanax and has full blown panic attack and gets lost with his laid-back space friend. Astronaut and Cowboy spend the rest of the time trying to get home”
The Real Review
I could go on and on spewing fun facts and memories about a beloved movie that we’ve all seen a million times, but a large elephant sat in the room with me as I watched Toy Story today. That elephant has a name and that name is Sid.
Buzz and Woody spend half the movie trying to escape from Sid’s dark chamber of torture. His room is nothing more than a bed lacking sheets and a blanket, a grungy green carpet that I swear I can smell just from sight, and a door with one less deadbolt than those at a maximum-security prison. (at least the bolts are on the inside and not on the outside. This would be a completely different article if they were.)
Can someone please explain to me where Sid’s parents are? (check the cellar) Are they concerned at all that their precious baby boy is showing at least 5 of the 7 classic signs of being a child psychopath? (he is…I googled it…).
While we don’t see it on film, (psychopath or not this is still a Disney Movie) Scud is shown as violent and aggressive. If he isn’t chained up in the backyard he is terrorizing the toys and Sid’s Sister. (Hannah retaliates by slamming the door in Scud’s face…Sid is obviously training brainwashing her.) Scud is clearly a product of his environment.
Speaking of Hannah, Sid bullies her. He steals her doll(s) throws it in a vice grip, rips her head off and replaces it with a dinosaur head then lies when Hannah runs to tell mom. I grew up with an older brother. This isn’t how we played.
Blink twice if you need help Hannah
Sid wins best in show in this category. The first time we meet Sid he is in the backyard blowing up a Combat Carl. Later he receives a package. What’s inside you ask? Oh, a good old fashion rocket. Who is this kids explosives dealer? Its 1995, I doubt he is logging on to AOL to buy them. Is there some type of catalog that caters to pre-teen pyros that I don’t know about? If rockets and fireworks weren’t enough to suggest an arsonist in the making, might I present to you exhibit B. A tank of gasoline and matches hanging out on the work bench, more matches in the back yard and matches on his night stand. He has also learned to harness the sun to start fires as well. No biggie.
In other words, wetting the bed at an age where it is not expected. I have no real proof of this as it is not addressed in the story (Disney doesn’t tackle the tough topics) but I will point out that his bed is in shambles with no sheets or blankets. Coincidence? If I’m ever granted an interview with Pixar you better believe this is one area I will demand an answer to.
A Loaner Attitude
The second time the audience meets Sid is when he ‘wins’ Buzz and Woody at Pizza Planet. He is alone at the arcade and arrives home alone. Hey, I’m all for independence, but what 9/10-year-old hangs out at pizza arcade without supervision or friends…
While not recognized as an official red flag, it needs noted that he is in possession of a “Improvised Interogations Handbook.” Either Sid is really an undercover FBI agent sent to monitor Andy’s mom (do we really know why they are moving?) or he is gearing up for future battles. You decide.
So there you have it, a brief case study on Sid from Toy story. Active imagination or pre-teen psychopath in training? I encourage you to watch Toy Story again with an open mind and decide for yourself.
(as always if you are a fan of Toy Story and want to read my live reactions while watching today’s movie, click here)