Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Death in Kid's Movies

I recently (finally) finished watching Toy Story 3. There is a long story about my daughter freaking out during the daycare scene because it was fucking loud and terrifying, (okay, so it's apparently a really short story) but basically we went to go see it in the theater on Father's day and I only saw the first hour. Well, my mother in law just gave us the DVD, so I finally got to see the whole thing, and Holy Shit... Spoilers to follow. (for Toy Story 2 and 3, Transformers the movie, and some other kid's movies. You have been warned.)

Believe me when I say this; 
this movie will likely scare the shit out of your young child.

So, my wife and I were watching TS3 (which is what I will refer to it as from now on 'cause im lzy) and realized that even though it is rated G, there was no way we could let our daughter watch it. You see, these movies all have some pretty disturbing implications when you think about them; Toy Story 2 (TS2) for instance; Jesse has some horrible abandonment issues, and Prospector Stinky is messed up, way messed up. But he gets his, right? He winds up in the hands of a child who mutilates and paints up her toys. For toys, I am pretty sure that is like living a Saw sequel, but I guess that's fitting since he threatened to take Woody apart piece by piece. (speaking of Saw...)

The third one is several times more disturbing, but comes with some pretty useful lessons for small children, like "growing up will emotionally destroy your once-loved toys" and "new people are terrifying sociopaths under the surface, especially the friendly ones who smell nice."

Kids, that there is the face of evil. once you get his back-story, he is even more frightening than Big baby, who combines the already freaky-ass imagery of a baby doll that speaks entirely in baby sounds, it combines it all with a shriek-inducing Paris Hilton quality lazy eye:

Honestly, Big Baby scared the hell out of me when I first saw him, and pretty consistently for the rest of the movie, until it turns out he was lied to. Oh yeah, Lotso Huggin Bear is a royal shithead; he is accidentally forgotten, and then because he was replaced, he turns into a bastard who lies to the other two toys that were left because, you know, fuck everyone if he couldn't be happy.

But the awful doesn't end there; by the end of the movie, he is revealed to the other toys for the asshat he is, and after he is rescued by Woody and friends from a garbage shredding machine, he is given a chance to save them all from a fiery death, and runs off. You hear that kids? If you help people, they will screw you. I say that because he is saved by Woody and Buzz because they hope he will stop the conveyor belt that is dragging them and tons of shredded trash into an inferno.

Losto is repaid for his douchebaggery by being lashed to the front of a garbage truck, presumably until he shreds after years of exposure, or until , well forever. In Toy Story, toys have their own Hell. But the worst part is when the hero toys from the series wind up in a huge, slow moving whirlpool of flaming garbage, drifting inexorably toward a fiery end. After some ineffective attempts to crawl against the falling trash, they start holding hands. Cute, right?

Nope, they are grimly accepting that they are all going to burn to death. In a kid's movie! Holy Shit! Pixar! What the fuck? Did your dad die while making this? Jesus, that part was dark for an adult movie. It's not like the scene was horribly inappropriate; it would have been fine in an adult movie, and was actually one of the few non-idiotic scenes in Armageddon but God....

I also mentioned Transformers: The Movie. I am, in fact, referring to the "kid friendly" animated film from the 80s. I still remember it vividly; it was one of the first movies I went to myself. I lived on Grissom AFB in Indiana and was about as die hard a Transformers fan as there could be at the time. In the opening of the movie, after we get past the cheesy 80s guitar music and the "Hey, we're fun-loving! Something awful is just around the corner!" scenes, and after the ominous planet eating-planet-opening, we get treated to some good old fashioned Transformer fighting! Yeah! Robots! Lasers!


Wait, what? What the hell?!

Do you recognize this guy? I do; that's Ironhide. He was a Transformers staple in the 80s. He is also dead less than 15 minutes into the movie. It turns out that a lot of the cartoon's plot-lines could have been trimmed down to Starscream using Megatron as the gun he was. He kills every god damn Autobot on a spaceship in under a minute with Megatron as a gun. Boom. Dead.

EDIT: I Found the video on Youtube:

The worst part is probably Prowl buying the farm; it's a kid's movie, yet we see the light fade from his eyes, and smoke pour out of his mouth as he tumbles to the floor. And I forgot that Ironhide and the ambulance jerk spasmodically as gunshot after gunshot rips through them. No wonder I'm so screwed up.

Then they did the equivalent of murdering Transformer Jesus for fun Hostel-style; they kill Optimus Prime. I mean seriously. Why not make a My Little Pony movie and shoot Pinky Pie in the face 20 minutes in. Seriously people, that's fucking brutal.

Disney is pretty bad about this kind of thing. It's like Mickey and Goofy hang out and snort coke, then laugh while bathing in the tears of terrified children. Have you seen the end of The Little Mermaid? After Ursula loses her shit because she killed her own eels, she grows huge(r) and gets rammed by a ship. The prow pops her like a balloon! AHHHHH!

Let's also not forget, they gave us Bambi, where a young child's father is an absentee and mom gets fucking shot. It's only a matter of time before Dora finds the remains of several kittens who were burned in a forest fire and has to bring the arsonist to justice, is what I am getting at.

Holy Hell, Hollywood. Let the kids get fucked over by their classmates in high school to get their innocence ripped away, I guess I am saying.


  1. Dude! I still remember that scene in Transformers....

    Ironhide looking up defiantly... cut to Megatron with his arm extended and... firing. Then, never seeing Ironhide again.

    It took me awhile to register that Megatron really had blow Ironhide away.

    I was traumatized.

  2. I don't know if it's really all that bad for kids... by the time I was 12, I'd learned to tie a pressure bandage on my father's arm which was squirting blood, watched my brother have his head sliced open (falling shelf, I was 3 or 4), watched him break his hand (twice) and chop off the top of his thumb. As well as stop his snowboard with his face, and trip onto an electric fence.

    And that's ignoring the awareness of death that comes from having a parent who has a chronic illness as well as being a pastor's kid whose mother worked reception at a funeral home. My parents had us play "downstairs" in front of the morgue.

    And I'm relatively well-adjusted.

  3. I read your crow article on Cracked. This is the first time I've ever gone to an author's website, -- don't tell any of the other guys :) -- you're hilarious. BUT -- of course I disagree with you. If kids don't learn life lessons in a cushy Disney and/or Pixar way, they won't learn them unless it happens to them. And then HOW do they deal with it??? Obviously this is a general wash, but things like a death (and as inconsequential as it may seem for an adult, a cherished toy) are things that kids need to understand; even if it's only in their weird kid way of understanding it.

  4. I also found this site through your "crow article" (badass, btw), and I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!!!! My four year old loves TS3 and will watch it back to back, but it's horrifying! I'm looking at all these movies for kids and wondering what kind of sadistic bastard created them. The kids apparently don't care, but damn. I'm scarred for life, lol

  5. While drunk and bored (I was drunk and bored, okay?) I watched Disney's The Princess and The Frog with my family. The helpful, cute firefly sidekick (spoiler) gets stepped on at the end by the villain. But then (somehow) he's still in one piece and he gets to have one final moment with the rest of the heroes before slowly dying. You've still got it, traditionally animated Disney flicks!