“What is Good” regularly publishes articles with a detailed analysis of the storylines of movies, cartoons and TV shows. Previously, in most of the analyzed works, the main message remained positive, and all negative moments were transmitted to our subconscious by chance – through background scenes. But now everything has changed radically.
More and more films are being produced in which destructive sets run through the entire story and are the main topic of the action. And the greatest danger is caused by cartoons because they receive an age rating of “0+” or “6+” meaning that the main impact falls on children.
The choice in favor of cartoons is clearly not accidental, because children are more trusting than adults, and believe everything they are told or shown. The forces of evil learned Eastern wisdom perfectly: “If you want to defeat the enemy, educate his children,” and by all means actively depraves the younger generation. The Russian film market is still dominated by Western animation which propagates the principles of individualism and increasingly embed into the immature minds horrible ideas full of cynicism and cruelty.
We bring to your attention the analysis of the animated film “Toy Story 4”, released on June 21. Under the theme of family values, friendship and light humor, we are served a tasteless dish of false values: hedonism and individualism, which is strange to Russian and post-Soviet society. Let’s take a closer look at the main semantic messages that the creators of the cartoon are trying to convey to the audience.
“Toy Story 4″ plot
The main character of the cartoon is a toy named Woody. This brave cowboy has all the best qualities. He is very kind, loyal, responsible, always ready for self-sacrifice for the sake of others. And he is strong in his believes. Woody doesn’t follow other toy advices which often tell him to either give up in the face of life’s circumstances or take his duty less seriously. He is always guided by his conscience and honestly talk about it with other personages. But, as it happens in real life, the one who sincerely lives for the sake of others should give up on himself. When his beloved – a toy named Bo Peep, is no longer needed, so, Woody, who is loyal to his duty, did not stay with her, even though they both want it very much. He sacrifices his happiness for the welfare of his owner – the boy named Andy.
Years passed, the boy grew up and gave his cowboy to sister Bonnie. Now Woodybecomes her toy, which means that from now on he is responsible for her. But she is a girl, and she wants to play more with dolls, and not with a cowboy. So, our hero was forgotten. He was no longer loved, but he continued with awe and tenderness towards his little owner. And while other toys persuade him to accept it, he does not give up his mission. Woody’s determined to stay true to his duty of taking care of Bonnie and taking responsibility for her. Our hero is sure that she really needs him, especially during such a difficult period of adaptation to school.
And he turns out to be right. The girl feels uncomfortable at school. Then Woody is doing everything he can to help her. His love is not selfish, because when a girl crafts a new toy named Forky and begins to play with him often, Woody is not jealous. On the contrary, he tries in every possible way to encourage him, explain to him the importance of duty and the meaning of serving to children. And he succeeds. At the beginning, Forky is careless, thinking only of his own personal happiness and suddenly realizes that the real happiness is to make another person happy.
And what a nice, wonderful cartoon it seems to be! How much good and bright it brings to children! But it turns out that this is only the top of the iceberg. And now let’s take a closer look at the hidden moments of the cartoon storyline.
Unconscious choice of life partner
Setting on the right path Forky, Woody returns with him to the girl, but on the way back he accidentally meets his longtime beloved – shepherdess Bo Peep. But how she has changed! There’s no sign of a gentle, kind, feminine beauty. Having lived for years without a family, without caring for anyone, she became a selfish, domineering woman. Her appearance also changed – she changed her long chaste dress for men’s trousers. From now on she lives only for her own pleasures and does not burden herself with taking care of children. She says to Woody, she wants to travel, and indeed, now she can do whatever she wants. At the same time, Bo Peep is very strong, independent, courageous, has more masculine qualities than feminine ones.
Woody, in front of her, looks very soft and unconfident. He sometimes makes mistakes, sometimes he is afraid of something, she doesn’t, she always has everything under control, everyone respects her, she is a leader. Even more contrast, Bo Peep creates in front of male character Duke, who in all scenes behaves not like a man. At the same time, the masculine shepherdess feels sympathy for Woody. However, she teases him, defiantly, and at one moment even openly scoffs at him, exposing him as a fool in front of her buddies. She does not have any respect, which means she doesn’t have true sincere love for our hero. And how can it be with her new view of the world? Now she lives only for herself, and Woody is just a nice addition.
However, for the audience, as the authors conceived, she remains a positive character, and her new behavior is shown as correct. So correct that Woody begins to doubt his views on life. And when in the final scene he again has to make a choice – stay with Bo Peep, accept her new values and lifestyle, or stay true to his duty and continue to take care of the girl Bonnie, Woody chooses the first option.
Thus, a once strong man turns into a wimpy personage and renounces all his ideals. It often happens in real life, but in a cartoon, this is shown as a normal and correct phenomenon.
In addition, the creators of the cartoon promote the idea of an unconscious choice of a life partner. Woody succumbed to the temporary romantic impulse, memories of past relationships with the once beautiful and soulful shepherdess Bo Peep. The main character of the cartoon did not notice the changes in his beloved and did not think about how their two completely different worlds could touch, how can be combined his kindness and responsiveness with her thirst for adventure and pleasure?
It is worth noting that this moment is carefully smoothed in the cartoon and therefore it is difficult to identify it without critical thinking.
Woody fully fulfilled his duty to the girl: he faithfully served her brother for many years, supported her, saved her favorite toy Forky, sacrificing his own voicebox. Before his leave, he entrusted the care of her to his friends and even appointed a person responsible for this matter. Here the question arises: what further scenario could the authors choose? Woody could find a naughty boy who could really need his help. Woody could stay with his beloved shepherdess, convincing her of the need to find the child and already be useful together. The writer could send these toys into the hands of low-income children or children from the orphanage, who would appreciate them and play with them. There could be a lot of options.
However, the hero of the cartoon chose to stay with his beloved, who radically changed her views, appearance and behavior while they were apart. This is a very important topic in the education of the younger generation in the field of relationships between the man and woman – a conscious choice of a life partner! Husband and wife are each other’s choice, families are built not only on mutual sympathy, but also on mutual respect, on common values. The future of the children who will born in this family depends on it. Woody, much to his regret, yielding to a temporary sensual impulse, stays with Bo Peep and puts aside his beliefs in kindness, devotion and mutual help.
As a viewer with a critical mind, I have a question: what will their life be after? Will a cowboy be happy with a shepherdess who professes the ideology of hedonism? How will her egoism and his desire to do good things, get along in their union? How to combine her desire to be child-free and his desire to have a native soul? Will our hero be happy? Is it acceptable for children to be imposed the idea that to choose a partner (father or mother of future children) so irresponsibly and unconsciously is a norm? And is it worth having a relationship with the other half, who is convinced that she does not want to have kids? Today it is one of the many reasons for the collapse of the family unit as the building block of society.
Unfortunately, the propaganda of feminism and the ideas of child-free are not the worst thing in the cartoon. The real evil is hidden in the storyline with the negative character Gabby-Gabby.
Achieving the goal by any means
Gabby-Gabby is a talking doll with a factory defect: instead of saying “I love you,” her speaker is wheezing in a strange voice. Because of the defect no one ever played with her, so she is very unhappy. And since she is unhappy, she thinks that everyone owes her and that she can do anything. For example, to perform a forced organ transplant, namely to cut out a voicebox from Woody and insert it into herself. Yes, yes exactly like this! In a children’s cartoon with an age rating of “6+”, the authors boldly address the topic of organ transplants! This fact already causes goosebumps. But even this is not the most disgusting. The worst thing to come.
Since no one in their right mind would give their internal organs to the first comer, this wonderful doll Gabby-Gabby kidnaps Forky and forces Woody to agree to a transplant of the voicebox. However, she tells him her sad story, but this story does not touch him. After all, Woody understands that no grievances can justify such a crime. He agrees, but solely because of Forky. Gabby-Gabby gets the voicebox, and immediately runs to the girl to acquire such a long-awaited love. But the girl does not like her even without the defect. After all, love is not for appearance but for the fact that inside. And inside, Gabby-Gabby was a selfish, ugly, envious, disgusting monster.
And here we go again. It would seem what a wonderful right cartoon! The villain received a fair punishment for his crime! A lesson to all children that you cannot step over people. And, also the message that the outer perfection is not important at all. But not that fast. The authors’ purpose is not to teach something good and useful to our children, but quite the opposite.
After Gabby-Gabby does not receive love she does not repent at all. She does not apologize to Woody and does not realize her terrible crime. All she said was pity for herself and resentment for the world. In her and the author’s viewpoint, she is not a villain. She is just a very unhappy doll, a victim who is unlucky.
The author manipulates the audience’s opinion, makes them feel sorry for Gabby-Gabby and shows the positive attitude of good characters towards the doll. Just a few minutes ago, this monster committed kidnapping and forced organ transplants, and there is no doubt that she would not have stopped before the murder, if she had to. And after a moment, Woody along with other characters are already sympathetic to her. After all, she’s just a miserable doll who hasn’t had enough love all her life. So, for the audience in an instant the devil turns into an angel, and all this without repentance. That is, the devil has remained the devil, he has not changed, has not repented of his evil deeds, and therefore, can repeat them again. But the audience’s attitude to this character has changed.
So, Woody gives a hand to the “former” monster and helps to meet another girl. New girl likes this strange doll, and she takes her home. As a result, according to the logic of the plot, it turns out that Gabby-Gabby achieves her goal through a terrible crime – taking the voicebox away from Woody. It turns out that this monster received for her atrocities the highest reward but not punishment! Exactly what she wanted and desired!
It is important that, even having received the desired, Gabby-Gabby does not thank Woody. Words like “forgive” or “thank you” are not heard from her. Not at all. She believes that everything is fair. She was unhappy and happy now. The authors of the cartoon do not give the chance to the unfortunate doll to realize the full severity of her crime, she lacks such qualities as integrity and compassion, and therefore she does not convey this understanding to the audience of the cartoon.
Thus, the authors deliberately and in cold blood destroy their two good promises: it does not matter how you are outside, and that you cannot build your own happiness on someone else’s blood. With a firm hand, the producers cross out these ideas and prove the exact opposite, infusing the idea: “on your way to happiness, there are no prohibitions or boundaries in principle!”
- Irresponsible choice of spouse. The choice of partner is based on sudden feelings. Align moral qualities and life priorities is not necessary. In case of mismatch, one can simply put aside own moral and ethical principles.
- The pronounced propaganda of feminism. Men – stupid, weak and cowardly losers. Women are smart, willful, strong, courageous, independent.
- Propaganda of child-free ideology. Taking care of someone is good. But living for your pleasure is also great!
- Propaganda of cruelty and violence to achieve its own benefit. On the way to your personal happiness, you have the right to commit any, even the most unthinkable and monstrous crimes.
- The triumph of evil over good. The most terrible criminal receives the highest reward and for this he does not need to repent or abandon his past convictions.
Translated by Nata Kallissi