Pixar and Politics

The thinking drinking man’s film critic, Vince Mancini, wrote that Toy Story 3 was the third best movie of the year. I won’t spoil his other top picks, but I wanted to share a brief rant he went on, because dude is legit. Take it away, clown-fro:

The only people who didn’t like Toy Story 3 were the Armond White-esque symbolists of the world, who couldn’t get past the idea that it was a love letter to commercialism or materialism or private property.  For the record, I thought it was more about friendship (why do you think the toy disobeys the kid in the end?).  Anyway, the people calling Toy Story 3 Pixar’s capitalist brainwashing, strangely, seem to be the same ones who thought Wall E was Pixar’s leftist propaganda.  So which one is it?  The larger point is, if you’re so blinded by ideology that you can’t appreciate the charm of either of those movies, you should give some serious thought to going and f*cking yourself.

I also liked Toy Story 3 more than Up, and along with Wall-E, those are Pixar’s three best movies. But seriously, people, what was the environmental message of Wall-E? At the end they go back to Earth, take responsibility and initiative, and clean up their own mess. That’s hardly the environmental trope du jour; humans are the problem.

Similarly, what’s the corporate message in TS3? I know policy wonks and libertarians got their knickers all in a twist because Barbie quoted the Second Treatise on Government, but the movie is hardly Fischer-Price Shrugged. Like most Pixar works, it touches on the limits of authority, whether that authority is coercive, like Lotso, or essentially lovable, like Andy. It’s about finding or creating a community, and what it takes to nurture one. It extolls thinking and action, and I don’t see why that isn’t enough for libertarians. Surely the point of our ideas is that we need more space that is less political. Why ruin a perfectly good movie (or two) by searching for some desired hidden meaning?

(Side note; check out Disney’s totally sweet TS3 Oscar campaign.)

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3 Responses to Pixar and Politics

  1. Carolyn says:

    You liked Toy Story 3 BETTER than Up??

    • Aaron says:

      Yes, but it’s close. I think UP is more creative, and inventive, but ultimately it’s about nothing more than loss, sadness, and adventure (with a brief nod to father-son pathos).

      TS3 has a deeper plot, a more diverse and interesting cast, and more emotional resonance. UP is a great adventure more, Toy Story 3 is a great movie, without the caveat or qualification.

      • Aaron says:

        All that said, Doug the Dog still kills me every time.

        “I have just met you, and I LOVE you!” “May I take your bird with my back to my camp, as my prisoner?”

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