Well, time for the first entry in my Pixar version of my Forgotten/Minor Characters Project and the first film we have to dive into is the classic, Toy Story.
Released in 1995, the film quickly became a household name and an instant classic beloved by nigh everyone,
as well as a stepping stone into the beautiful world of CG animation.
And since the film is so well-known, I don’t think that I need to even talk about the story. Everyone knows the story of the toys who come to life when humans are out of the room and that the beloved cowboy toy, Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, starts to feel threatened and jealous of the new spaceman toy, Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen, who actually thinks that he is a spaceman, and not a toy!
And with this film being so well-known, all the characters are instantly beloved and memorable! And that usually is a good thing…except when your project is about FORGOTTEN and/or MINOR characters! So it was a bit hard to choose one from this movie.
My first choice was the Magic 8 Ball that Woody consults when he wants to know if Andy will take him to the arcade. When the answer is unsatisfactory, Woody frustratingly throws the Magic 8 Ball down until it rolls behind a desk/dresser. And we never see it or hear of it again! I mean, here we have a toy that’s left to rot its life away (until Andy moves wherein they would presumably find the toy) behind a desk/dresser and nobody would miss it! That’s just sad!
Then, I started thinking about whether or not the Magic 8 Ball is a character. You see, the ball never talks or walks or anything, rather it acts how it’s pretty much supposed to act. That’s when I realized that there is a difference between a toy and a GAME. That’s why the Battleship board game remains a board game and never comes to life; that’s why the barrel of monkeys remains a barrel of monkeys and never comes to life; it’s because they are GAMES, hence inanimate and can’t qualify as characters.
With that said, I had to reluctantly choose Sid and Hannah’s mom to be the forgotten/minor character of this movie. She’s never seen and is barely heard, but it’s obvious that she doesn’t pay much attention to her kids and what they’re doing. Sid is a mischievous boy who blows up toys for fun, gets kicked out of summer camp, yet we see that the mother does absolutely nothing to rectify his behavior.
There’s even a scene near the end of the movie where Sid yells to his mom asking her where the matches are. If I had any kid under the age of 18 asking me where the matches are, I’d be instantly concerned! Yet, the mother never does anything about that or show concern. Maybe you can argue that she didn’t hear Sid calling her, but the mere fact that Sid feels comfortable enough to actually ask his mother that question as if it was everyday and mundane lends itself to further interpretation.
In my book, this mother isn’t exactly one whom I would announce as Mother of the Year. She doesn’t seem to be involved in her kids’ lives much and when she is, she doesn’t seem to give a darn. I mean, come on, if she saw a big crater in her backyard as a result of Sid blowing up one of his toys (one that SHE most likely bought him) and DIDN’T react just makes me worry about her even more.
So for a character who is never seen, rarely heard, and vaguely remembered, Sid and Hannah’s mom is a good way for me to start my Pixar version of my Forgotten/Minor Characters Project.