In tune with Newcritics’ Comedy blogathon, I thought I would take one of my favourite comedies and envision whether I would like it quite as much. All very Melinda & Melinda, I know.
Toy Story was the first movie I ever saw in English cinemas, and for that alone it plays a huge part in my love affair with the talkies. It deals with all kind of humour, with Mr Potato Head, the dinosaur and the Slinky for the adults, and the antics of Woody and Buzz Lightyear to appease the kids, and the voice cast, lead by an on-form Tom Hanks and Tim Allen goes perfectly. Here are a few of my favourite lines from it:
[Mr. Potato Head rearranges his facial features crazily]
Mr. Potato Head: Hey, Hamm. Look, I'm Potasso.
Hamm: I don't get it.
Mr. Potato Head: You uncultured swine.
Sergeant: [he can't see what Andy is holding up] It's a...
Rex: It's A WHAT? WHAT IS IIIITTTTT?
[Rex shakes the table, inadvertently knocking off the TalkBoy and causing the batteries to fall out]
Mr. Potato Head: Oh, ya big lizard! Now we'll never know what it is!
Hamm: Way to go Rex!
Woody: [as the toys struggle to put the batteries back in the TalkBoy] No, no, turn em around! Turn em around!
Hamm: He's putting them in backward!
Woody: CROSS IS POSITIVE! MINUS IS NEGATIVE! Oh, let me!
Sergeant: [downstairs, into the Baby Monitor] Red alert! Red alert! Andy is coming upstairs!
[Woody puts the batteries back in properly and picks the Talkboy up]
Sergeant: Assume your positions! I repeat! Assume you positions now!
Woody: ANDY'S COMING EVERYBODY! Back to your places! Hurry!
[mayhem breaks out]
Mr. Potato Head: [in a panic] Where's my ear? Who's seen my ear? Did you see my ear?
And despite the slightly dark plot involving the sadistic child Sid, the two toys find their way back to their rightful owner, ergo happy ending. But what if it wasn’t as funny, and more serious? Say, for instance, instead of this happening, what if Buzz had really died? Then we might not have laughed so much. And what if those green aliens, instead of worshipping Buzz and Woody comedically, had abducted them, refusing them to leave? Then neither would have ever returned to Andy, and there would have been a sad kid. Then underlying menace of the movie takes a front row with Sid, whose line “"Extremely dangerous. Keep out of reach of children." Cool!” shows everything that he represents. And in his malicious company, Woody and Buzz were both intensely close to not making it out alive, and finding their home. But at the end of the day, that would not only have been not funny, but it would have been sad, and totally against everything that Disney embody. And whilst it’s not realistic in any way, kids go to Disney for their dosage of happy pills, and for that, I’m happy that Toy Story is a feel-good comedy with a happy ending.