Every movie, from the most depressing Oscar contender to the explode-iest summer blockbuster, works on two levels. There's the surface level of the plot, and then there's the deeper level of the theme. In other words, there's what the movie is about, and then there's what the movie is about-about, you know what I mean?
Toy Story 4 is about Woody's quest to make his child, Bonnie, happy. But it's really about accepting reality; about the stories, we tell ourselves; about letting those stories go when they no longer serve us.
But sometimes, movie-goers only see what the movie's about, and what the movie is about goes right over their heads. This is the only possible explanation for a boycott just announced by the Christian group One Million Moms, who are protesting Toy Story 4 over one of the silliest, most outdated reasons we've ever heard. Read on to find out why they've got beef and why it proves how important Toy Story 4's message really is...
The Toy Story franchise was unwrapped (get it? Like a toy?) back in 1995.The first Toy Story introduced the world to Woody, a toy cowboy owned and loved by a boy named Andy. Since it was the first completely computer animated movie, all the characters would look shiny and plastic-y. That's why toys were the focal point — they're supposed to look shiny and plastic-y.
Toy Story 2 presented a profound moral question...Woody had to decide in Toy Story 2 whether he would stay with Andy and be thrown away when he grows up, or be shipped off to a museum and put behind glass. In other words — did he want to live a beautiful, full life and deal someday with the horror of its ending, or live a safe life that could never truly make him happy?
... and Toy Story 3 gave a heartbreaking answer.Woody made the heroic choice to stay with Andy, and in Toy Story 3, the promise of horror was fulfilled. Andy did grow up, and Woody and the rest of Andy's toys ended up in a goddamn incinerator. I mean, they survived, but that scene was so traumatic that now I won't even go near the enormous incinerator I have in the center of my home.
Just last month saw the release of Toy Story 4.Now, with Andy having given him away, Woody has to try and make sense of his life. Toy Story 4 is about moving on, letting go, and building a new life for yourself outside of the narratives we may have been telling ourselves our entire life. It also has a fork-man in it, which is fun.
So far, it's made over 667 million dollars.Toy Story 4 is feelin' isself. It's getting great reviews, and the internet is positively brimming with articles asking if it's the end of the franchise — everyone who walks out of that movie wants more Toy Story.
Because these movies are about something.There's a reason Toy Story movies always do better than, say, Hotel Transylvania movies — they have something to say about the world they exist in. Woody asks great big questions about life, and purpose, and that resonates with us, deep in our cores.
(The same can be said of Frozen.)That's why Frozen was such a smash hit too — that movie had something to say. Elsa's story of hiding herself away, only to become enormously powerful when she accepted herself felt personal to anyone feeling the need to hide anything about themselves. Elsa became a powerful symbol to gay people, people with mental illness, and even people who liked the ending of Lost even though people always complain about it all the time.
But the Christian group One Million Moms is not about that Toy Story life.
"Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it and right is right even if nobody is doing it" St. Augustine— 1milmoms (@1milmoms)1442937333.0
The group's put out the call for parents to protest the film.While they stopped short of asking moms to take to the streets, One Million Moms put up a post on its website warning moms that Toy Story 4 will "blindside" them with a scene that they find "to be so dangerous."
And surprisingly, it's not because Bo Peep and Woody aren't waiting for marriage.Can't imagine One Million Moms is okay with what Woody and Bo do together at night once the three-headed sheep are asleep and Giggle McDimples is locked back in her compact.
Their issue comes from a scene at the beginning of the film.Early on, Woody's new kid Bonnie heads off to her first day of kindergarten. There, we see a number of kids being dropped off for school, including one boy... ... who has two moms.
The scene is completely innocuous.I don't even think the two moms have a line of dialogue. We just see them in the background, dropping off and later picking up their kid. They are entirely forgettable.
And that's what One Million Moms hates about it.The fact that they're so forgettable is what makes them so memorable, concluded One Million Moms. If gay couples aren't in some kind of spotlight, then, god forbid, we might start to think of them as a normal part of society.
One Million Moms is convinced it will lead to the destruction of the American family.Once gay people are normalized, they will lead hunting parties against the hetero-normative couples of America, assaulting any boys who refuse to kiss boys and striking down the girls who refuse to kiss girls.
So what exactly is One Million Moms trying to achieve here?The group's stated purpose is to "motivate and equip citizens to change the culture to reflect Biblical truth." And since the bible drops as much ink on homosexuality as it does mixed-fabric clothing, One Million Moms will presumably be boycotting The Devil Wears Prada next.
And they do that by going after businesses who swear.
Burger King Takes a Shot at McDonald's Happy Meals With a Dark Ad Showing Bullying, Unpaid Student Loans and Mental… https://t.co/cdOoRsozq7— Renato Quirona (@Renato Quirona)1562676751.0
They have, of course, completely missed Burger King's point.As we've said before, there's no way God is so petty that he worries about the specific combination of syllables that constitute swear words. I've got to imagine he does care about the trash behavior that comes from suppressing emotions, though!
But hey, One Million Moms did get The Mick canceled!That's their big win — The Mick, a middle-of-the-road sitcom about a crass, boozing nanny, was canceled after One Million Moms launched a campaign against it. (There is, of course, no evidence that these two events had anything to do with each other.)
Really though, this is all because One Million Moms can't deal with gay people.
@cmclymer One million moms is actually 354 racist white women who got drunk on strawberry boons in college, made ou… https://t.co/FFMbFF6nNM— Dana Goldberg (@Dana Goldberg)1562861599.0