Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Toy Story Without a Father

My latest contribution to GodlyDaddy.com ...

I admit, when I'm too tired to go outside in the afternoons and keep the kids occupied and Darling Valerie is at work, I will turn on the DVR and let them watch Toy Story 1, 2 and 3 if necessary, even if it means I'm going to cry in front of my children.

Don't look at me like that! You can't judge me!

I'm quite happy that they are big fans of the animated films, because I am as well.

Although, by the 50th time watching each of the trilogy I started to analyze and nitpick every little tidbit and trivia.

While I was initially too busy wondering why Andy's mom would change his entire bedspread less than a week before moving, I started to wonder exactly where his father was in this whole story.

Andy's dad isn't even mentioned in an aside, like before they go to Pizza Palace the mom could've said, "Your father is packing, so let's go eat!" In the second Story it's Andy's mom taking him to cowboy camp. Andy heads off to college in the third movie and there are no hugs from dad.

When I googled the idea I realized I was only the 100 millionth person to wonder the same thing, and according to the Toy Story creators it was a no-brainer.

One of Pixar's team, Matthew Luhn, said that, “If there was a dad in Toy Story, the boy would not have had such a need for a doll who represents a kind of authority figure, like Buzz,” he says, adding that “we never even brought it up.”

You could read something deep into it, like Woody and Buzz helping Andy deal with abandonment issues, but there's no evidence of that.

All kids love their toys. When I watch my boy Cooper playing with his rubber critters I'm not thinking he's overcompensating for my hatred of spiders. Nor do I figure that when Penny slobbers on her little Pooh that she's really wishing that her mommy would sing "Jesus Loves Me" one more time each day before nap time.

Disney is certainly not afraid to do away with parents. Their movies are notorious for killing off a mother (Bambi) or father (The Lion King).

If I had a week to add 10,000 words about crappy pappys I would add it here, but I don't so I won't. Sometimes it's out of the father's control, sometimes it's not.

For those deadbeat dads I will just note that during his writings on supporting widows, Paul writes in 1 Timothy 5:8 that "if anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

Online surveys are surely always correct (*cough*), but if true one online dating survey shows that 33 percent of single men with kids don't even want to admit they have them lest it hurt their mojo when trying to make moves on the ladies.

I'm not mad at Toy Story for what could be perceived as a slight against dads and the importance of fatherhood; all three are still great films, frequently hilarious and simultaneously touching.

If you're looking for a movie with a father doing all he can for his kid, stick with Over the Top. If you're looking to get embarrassingly weepy when thinking about your favorite childhood toys, any of the Toy Story movies will do the trick.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to get my favorite stuffed tiger from childhood, Tippy, out of Cooper's closet and hide him under my pillow before bedtime.

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