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.
26 thoughts on “Pixar-Forgotten/Minor Characters #1: Sid and Hannah’s Mom”
I honestly think Toy Story is a bit overrated. It is great, but it is very predictable and the story is kind of simple. I dont see how it is much better than Bugs Life.
The Child Services need to pay a visit…..or a few.
I think it’s much better than ‘A Bug’s Life’. It hits all the right emotions and doesn’t really have much to any filler.
I don’t think it is that much better. From what I remember, A Bug’s Life did not have filler and had more than one character develop. Toy Story is good, but it is a bit generic as well as A Bug’s Life.
Honestly, the way Sid acts towards his sister worries me way more than his experiments with his toys. That is actually something I would encourage in a child (minus the explosions). Scientific thinking is never a bad thing.
I’m in the “it’s okay” camp. I never got the rabid love some people have for it, but I guess, I might have been too old to understand.
What is your fave Pixar movie then?
I don’t think Sid behaves particularly bad towards his sister…at least by Hollywood mean-older-brother standards.
I’m currently between Up and The Incredibles…though I certainly watched the letter one way more often.
Oh cool! ‘Monsters Inc.’ is mine.
That’s very high on my list, too – along with Ratatouille. Strangely I am not really into Finding Nemo and Wall-E either. I like them, more than Toy Story even, but they would never top my list.
Right?! I DO like Toy Story, but I’ve never really considered it the ‘masterpiece’ most people claim it to be.
Nice way to start off the Pixar edition of this project! I too am a bit uncomfortable with the fact that Sid’s mom doesn’t pay any attention to what he’s doing. And the way he treats those toys is a bit disturbing when you think of what that could escalate to in later years…but maybe I’m over reading it.
As for the movie itself, I have nostalgic feelings for this one. I watched it a lot on VHS, and it’s still a favorite of mine. I’m with swanpride on Up probably being my favorite Pixar movie, although I also really like The Incredibles, as well.
I mean, in ‘Toy Story 3’, we see Sid become a garbageman, so maybe his toy-destroying antics weren’t THAT detrimental to him…or maybe you can argue that they still were.
Didn’t think about that. Maybe when Woody and the other toys scared him to save Buzz, he was too freaked out to even go near a toy for the rest of his life.
I find it interesting that they intended to make Woody even more antagonistic in the initial versions of the story: There are story boards where he looms over the toys in a way that is genuinely really unnerving . And yet you are right: The version they plumped for is still pretty nasty at times, especially for a lead character, when you consider poor Magic 8 Ball being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (RIP, you poor inky bastard) He reminds me of another cowboy, Curly in ‘Oklahoma’ who is supposed to be the characteristic, dashing lead but whose behaviour is psychotic. I think what saves it for me is 1) Pixar give him an arc, where he realises he’s been horrible. Curly is just a dick. and 2) Hanks’s performance makes him a 3D character in more ways than one.
I actually parodied Curly’s song ‘Poor Jud is Dead’ from ‘Oklahoma’ in one of the captions in this article.
I don’t like ‘Oklahoma’ mainly because I don’t think any of the characters are likable/worth liking.
Yes I enjoyed that! Poor Ball is dead indeed. Although he is not sentient, like you point out.
I just watched it 3 times for my review . Love it. It’s such tight storytelling focusing on emotions we all have. That’s what makes it work so well. They were so brilliant to hone in on 2 things we all understand- 1. the fear and reality of being replaced, 2. the love we have for our toys. The voice casting is perfect. The visuals work perfect for the story they were telling. The music is just right for the story. I love it.
Clever pick of Sid’s Mom. I thought you were going to pick Andy’s Mom but Sid’s is very clever. I think actually Sid is very creative which makes him a fun villain.
Yeah, I figured Andy’s Mom is too recognizable since she’s gotten more and more screentime as the films have progressed.
Wow, I’ve never watched the same movie more than once in a row back-to-back. The closest I did was I watched The Golden Compass again the day I saw it for the first time because I enjoyed it so much.
Well for my reviews I like to watch it once for overall enjoyment levels . Once to take notes and once with audio commentary. Usually not on the same day but over a weekend. It was like 5 day period for Toy Story. They are tricky for me to review because with Pixar I love them so much but I want the reviews to actually be interesting to read and not just me drooling over these great films. Want to have some kind of insight as to why I love them.
I still have yet to watch a film with commentary on. I feel it’ll be exciting, but I’m scared that it’ll be boring as well.
It’s more of like school. More to learn than to be entertained. It depends on the audio commentary. Sometimes it is really fun. Other times dry and so less interesting for me. But just pretend you are going to school
I don’t have to pretend; I’m still in university, lol.
Ha. Jealous. Those were great times of my life.
We could trade lives if you want; I don’t ,mind at all 😀 !
I wholeheartedly acknowledge that computer animation has its merits, when done right, and TOY STORY is certainly an historic film for being the first feature to be produced entirely with 3D graphics, but with hand-drawn animation, you can actually see the hand of the artist in the final frame (same goes for stop motion), and it also seems much more lyrical, whereas CGI is more technical, aesthetically. Jeffrey Katzenberg once described it as “the difference between an email and a handwritten letter. [Regardless of who it’s from], there’s an emotion that comes through a handwritten letter. There’s something that human beings do when we create on a piece of paper, we put something of ourselves into that.”
Hence, I’m highly biased in favor of hand-drawn animation, and it angers me to no end that most of the major studios have abandoned it in favor of CGI (although WDAS hasn’t COMPLETELY turned its back on the medium, if PRINCESS AND THE FROG, WINNIE THE POOH, and, in a sense, MOANA are any indication).
All of this being said, as much as I have always loved TOY STORY, I have also come to resent it in recent years for starting the whole snowball rolling in the first place.
Yes, I’m with you on traditional animation although it took me a long time to come to that conclusion.
My feelings on the matter have made me all the more determined to create the films I intend to direct, using the hand-drawn medium. (Of course, the ancestors only know how long it will be until the day comes when I finally get the chance to direct