Toy Story 3: Socialism isn’t for play time


Warning - slight spolier!

The other day I watched Toy Story 3. Amongst the fun animation, adventure and a tale of a boy parting ways with his much loved childhood, was a significant sub-theme. Toy Story 3 was a film that was anti-authoritarian and pro freedom.

Much of the film focuses around the toys’ lives in the world of Sunnyside Day Care Center. The center is initially depicted as a utopia, where the toys are played with frequently and a wise benevolent strawberry scented teddy called Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (A.K.A Lotso) acts as community organizer.

However, the dystopian reality of this socialism becomes quickly apparent, as Lotso has conflicting opinions about the public good, inequality before the law prevails and our protagonists begin to suffer under this coercive system of hierarchical public control. A vast totalitarian machinery of cameras, toy trucks and a large dolly is used to maintain order, ensuring that toys must follow the rules, and that the only escape is death.

The story tracks the toys’ escape from the center, politically climaxing with Barbie’s proclamation that “authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from the threat of force”, a statement that would have surely gained the approval of the U.S. founding fathers if they had been in figurine form.

For those who have yet to seen it, I will avoid revealing the ending, simply noting that many have described it as a tear jerker. While I was hardly blown away by the film, I did enjoy it. I’m also pleased to note that the film has been a capitalist success story in reality, raking in over $800,000,000.