The tragic existence of Buzz Lightyear

In the first Toy Story movie, Buzz Lightyear starts out thinking that he is a space ranger, which I guess is like a cop on a much larger scale.  He has trouble accepting the fact that he is just a toy and that all of his memories of “academy training” are false, but he comes to terms with it amazingly quickly.  He skips over some very important questions that he really should be asking, such as…

Does this mean I’m not a person?

Toys are inanimate objects, not people.  They don’t have rights, and their owners are under no obligation to treat them with consideration or respect.

How can I move?

During the movie, Woody advises the panicking toys in Andy’s room to save their batteries, suggesting that they run on battery power, but Woody is made of cloth and wood, and the majority of Andy’s toys are likewise not battery powered at all.  People are powered by the conversion of ATP into ADP.  What animates the toys?

Who am I?

If all of Buzz Lightyear’s memories are false, then so is his personality.  As a space ranger, Buzz felt compelled to come to the rescue of anyone in need and deserving of it.  After he found out the truth, he stayed that way, but why?  Freed from his delusion of being a space ranger, Buzz became free to develop his own personality, so why didn’t he explore that?

Am I immortal?

Woody was made during at least Andy’s mom’s childhood, if not earlier.  As she stated in the second movie, he’s an “old family toy”.  That means he’s quite old, though he shows no signs at all of aging other than a bit of wear and tear that is restored during the second movie.  This seems to suggest that as long as they don’t break, toys are immortal.  They have to deal with their kids growing up and abandoning them, and it causes them the same grief that a human immortal would go through seeing their loved ones die.  You see this in Jesse.  The prospector was driven insane by sitting unbought on a shelf, trapped in his original packaging for all those years.  It seems that insanity is a common affliction among very old toys.

Did the other toys experience false memories when they were first made?

This isn’t as crucial of a question as the others, but Buzz should really be curious about this.  He was made with a backstory, which he believed completely.  Not all toys have a story attached to them, but Woody does, and he doesn’t seem to remember it at all.  In the second movie, it comes as a surprise to him that there was a show and merchandise (which strangely wasn’t alive like all the other toys) dedicated to it.  Did he used to think that he was a real sheriff?  If he did, why did he forget?  Will Buzz lose his false memories as well?

I could probably go on, but I won’t.  The existence of living toys in Toy Story raises many philosophical and practical questions that I would love to see explored in a more adult oriented Pixar movie.

Advertisements

Post your thoughts! Post them now!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s