Monday, July 26, 2010

The Theology Of Toy Story

I saw Toy Story 3. Let me go ahead and answer the obvious question. No, it wasn't as good as the first 2.

As for the movie itself, I was struck several times with the prominence of underlying Catholic themes all throughout the show.

Spoilers do follow and you have only yourself to blame if you keep reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For example, you've got LotsOHuggin Bear who is clearly Satan disguising himself as an angel of light. I first noted this parallel when the toys arrived at the day care center and were getting the tour. Lotso was not very complimentary regarding the kids, instead trumpeting the independence of the toys.

"We own ourselves." Those were his exact words and are standard Satanic propaganda, whether it takes the atheist form of believing oneself to be sovereign over one's life or the Pelagian nonsense of salvation being a product of self rather than grace.

Contrast this with the perspective of Andy's toys. They do not pretend any equality with Andy. They accept his will, whether it's playtime or the attic. They might not like it, but they were willing to go to the attic for perhaps forever. When did they get in trouble? When they stopped trusting Andy and believed he no longer loved them. They sought their own way out of trouble. That was bad.

I could also go into parallels between their long drought of playtime and the dark night of the soul, but I'd probably have to re-read parts of St. John's work, and that would take a while. Needless to say, it's there.

Going back to Lotso, consider his ravings on top of the dumpster. He says that Daisy didn't love them and thought they were all trash and so forth. I initially took this as an accusation against God for leaving man to total depravity even after redemption, but I admit that it could also be the standard atheist tack of reducing man to just another animal. Generally speaking, these are both huge problems. Folks see man as God's work, but consider him so foul and wretched that only a few elect can have any claim to goodness at all. Or folks see man as not God's creation and just a destructive blight.

Man is made in the image and likeness of his maker. That's a big deal.

Andy's toys have always portrayed themselves as something more than mere objects. This is almost the central theme of the whole series. Being "just a toy" is a great honor and privilege. So is being "just a person."

Lotso shouts, "Where's your kid now?" Come on, folks. That's almost too blatant.

Finally, you have the scene where Andy parts with his toys. He clearly loves them all, but in a sort of reversal of the above metaphors, he speaks of Woody as always having been there for him. And that's true too. There's definitely something of the guardian angel relationship when Andy is shown as the kid rather than the sovereign. His toys are protective of him and ultimately concerned only with his happiness, often to the point of risking their own destruction. Consider all those chase scenes in the series.

"I've got to get back to Andy/Andy's House!"


"Andy needs me!"

And so forth.

Anyways, just a few thoughts. What did I miss?

No comments: