Toy Story 5: Sid's Redemption—and Disney's
Yo, Disney: This is the only Toy Story sequel we need.
I came up with a crazy idea for a Toy Story sequel years ago, when we were in the middle of our never-ending Buzz Lightyear phase. At the time, I had a small boy who loved Buzz; he identified as Buzz. His pronouns were Space/Ranger. He wore Buzz outfits to preschool, dressed up as Buzz at least four Halloweens in a row, and never let go of his plastic talking Buzz toy.
Whenever we went to Disneyland, the first ride he had to go on was the Astro Blasters ride, an immersive Buzz ride-through fantasy battle with the Evil Emperor Zurg.
Then we’d buzz over to the big tchotchke store in Tomorrowland to buy a little light-up spinning Buzz toy, which he’d tote around for the rest of the day.
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Toy Story was our family’s never-ending story. Maybe you grew up in the halcyon days of the franchise. Maybe you chortled in delight as some of the clever jokes buzzed right over your toddler’s head. Episodes 1 through 3 are perhaps the greatest animated children’s movie saga of all time, fun for grownups and kids, a true four-quadrant triumph—one that Pixar has been unable to replicate since. I find all their new movies from Frozen on absolutely unwatchable; cheap toddler chow of the lowest order.
Disney has been on a major losing streak, as you know. Parks, movies, and television are suffering from a tragic case of the Bads, and everyone knows it. Half the employees are miserable, the other half are busy dreaming up new ways to groom children.
This is what happens when the governor of Florida gives your buffoonish CEO a swirlie live on television. You #retvrn to the classics; in this case, you dig up your dead prizewinning race horse, kick it for two hours, sell tickets to the event, and throw its rotting carcass back in the hole.
All this is to say: the Toy Story saga does not need the just-announced fifth movie. It did not need a fourth movie, either.
I couldn’t even finish Toy Story 4, which was unwatchable dreck. They made a mentally challenged plastic spork, Forky, a main character in the fourth movie, a joke that deserved maybe thirty seconds of screen time.
We even owned a monstrous stuffed Forky:
I get depressed every time I look at Forky’s gaunt, hug-proof frame. No wonder children are killing themselves at record rates. He’s like the toy version of the
wire monkey mother from the cruel Harry Harlow maternal attachment experiments from the 1960s.
What fresh childhood innocence-killing nightmares are they cooking up for us in Toy Story 5? Will Buzz and Woody discover a long-suppressed romantic desire for each other? Will Jessie the Cowgirl decide she is Jesse the Cowboy? Will the new kid who inherits them give the characters fun pronouns?
Will Black Barbie, Fat Barbie, Transgender Barbie, and Wheelchair Barbie appear and team up to teach the straight-white-male toys a lesson in tolerance? Toy Lives Matter!
Yes, kids, the post-John Lasseter Pixar universe is indeed grim.
Poor John got ejected in the rampant MeToo mania; like The Claw catching Little Green Men from the prize bin at Pizza Planet, the females at Pixar hoisted John right out of his office by his Aloha shirt and ejected him from the company.
Lasseter got tossed into the same black garbage bag as Trader Sam from The Jungle Cruise and Br’er Rabbit from Splash Mountain—and dumped at the curb with the rest of the trash.
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It’s been all downhill since then, faster than the triggering log flume through a problematic collection of racist animatronic woodland critters. Florida is Ron DeSantis’s Laughing Place now, Iger!
But what if I told you… I have the only possible movie plot that can rescue Toy Story 5 from its future home on the pile of forgettable Pixar trash?
Here it is: let me know in the comments if you’d go see this movie!
I know money’s tight, but reader support is literally the only thing keeping me off the pole. Well, that, and my age, probably.
TOY STORY 5: SID’S REDEMPTION
You remember Sid, right? He is the dysfunctional bad boy from TS1 who runs a kind of toy dismemberment lab in his bedroom. He terrorizes the toys with unpleasant experiments by taking them apart and putting them back together with other toys. He is the Josef Mengele of toy doctors. He is what we would call today a “toxic male” with “maladjusted aggression” issues. But I always felt bad for Sid, who clearly didn’t have a dad around.
At the end of the movie, Sid is about to finish off Buzz Lightyear for good by strapping him to a rocket and lighting the fuse. In a last-ditch effort to save his friend’s life, Woody makes the momentous decision to reveal the Big Secret to Sid: toys are alive!
Woody swivels his head around Exorcist style and says to the terrified Sid: “We toys can see everything!” Sid looks around in horror as his other toy torture victims come alive and crawl towards him.
Sid runs away shrieking, as any normal child would do. That is the last we see of Sid for the rest of the series (although some people say he appears as a cameo as Andy’s grownup garbage man in TS3).
Sid is now a grown man. He lives alone in the basement of his childhood home and devotes every minute of the day trying to tell the rest of humanity the shocking truth about toys. He runs an Internet forum for other adults who saw their toys come to life as kids and can’t talk about it with anyone else.
Because: Sid and his fellow conspiracy theorists are the only humans on Earth who knows the Big Secret!
He is akin to an obsessed UFO hunter, or a Big Foot hunter, except he is hunting his nemesis, that old Woody doll. He has tried and failed to convince the world, so he has decided to look for Woody.
He and his friends have tried traps, hidden cameras, and more to try and catch the toys being alive—with no luck. They are dismissed as quacks, loonies, and incels.
Despondent, Sid is about to give up, retire, sell the house and try to forget the childhood trauma he experienced the day he tried to blow up Buzz Lightyear.
Then…he turns on the local news and he sees a startling story. A blurry cell phone video has caught mysterious footage of an object walking in a park at night. The reporter interviews people on the street, who wonder if it’s a Leprechaun or a fairy, or maybe aliens!
Sid stops, rewinds, zooms in on the footage. He and we can see the shadow of the figure cast by a streetlight. IT IS A WOODY DOLL.
He scribbles down the name of the park and smiles to himself.
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Sid stakes out the park….which turns out to be a desolate abandoned carnival fairgrounds, at the edge of the woods.
The carnival Woody and Bo decided to stay in at the end of TS4 is long gone, and only trash remains behind—and poor, forgotten Woody. Sid parks his rundown car and begins hunting for his old nemesis.
After a long day with no luck, he wanders past a dilapidated trailer park—and spots Woody laying behind an old children’s playhouse. There are burgers cooking on a barbecue but no grown ups in sight. Sid hears some boys approaching.
Two ferocious pit bulls in a fenced-in dog run start barking. The boys—who look a lot like Sid did when he was in Toy Story 1—show up and one of them discovers Woody, who is filthy and tattered. They laugh at him and then toss him into the pit bull cage. Sid watches in horror as one dog starts mauling Woody, then the dogs start playing tug-of-war with the old cowboy.
Sid yells, “Woody! Why don’t you do something!”
The doll stirs to life and looks at Sid. His face is so stricken that Sid springs into action, grabs some patties off the grill, and tosses them into the corner of the dog cage. The dogs abandon Woody and run for the meat.
The boys yell, “Hey mister, that’s our food!”
Sid ignores them. As the dogs eat, Sid pleads with Woody. “Come on, Woody, wake up! Get out of there!”
Woody looks at him, and seems to pass out. “Wake up Woody! Climb out of there!”
The dogs are almost finished with their food. Sid makes a decision. He jumps in, picks up the doll, and makes it back over the fence just as the dogs come charging for him.
Sid hits the ground and takes off running as the kids and the dogs go crazy.
Sid is speeding down a lonely highway. He glances at the seat next to him. There is the broken body of Woody, not moving.
He pulls over and addresses the cowboy doll. “Woody, it’s me, Sid! I was Andy’s neighbor, remember? I tried to kill you once! But it’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you—I want to help you this time.”
He picks up Woody, wipes him off as best he can, and pleads with him to wake up.
“I know your secret. You showed it to me, remember? I was getting ready to blow up Andy’s Buzz Lightyear toy, and you said, ‘We toys can see everything.’ Remember? I ran away. But I’ve never been able to forget. I wish I could forget, sometimes. But I can’t. You did this to me. You ruined my life, man!”
Woody plays dead. Sid starts to cry, years of anguish, loneliness, and broken dreams finally spilling out.
“Please, Woody. I just want to help you now. Can you forgive me for hurting you? Please.”
Woody blinks his eyes. “Sid, is it really you?”
Sid smiles, crying, “Yeah. It’s me, Woody.”
They shake hands. Sid cleans and repairs Woody’s damage. They fill each other in on their life stories. Finally, Sid says, “No one ever believed me that you came alive in my hands. They told me I was crazy.”
Woody: “I’m sorry, Sid. I should never have done that to you.”
Sid: “But you had no choice, you had to save your friend.”
Woody: “A lot of good that did. I lost all my friends. I wish…I’d just like to see them again, one last time.”
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Sid gets an idea. A Big Idea. He tells Woody that they can help each other: if Woody goes public with the incredible truth about toys, it will be all over the news, and his old friends will surely hear about it—and Sid will finally be proven right after all these years.
Woody thinks about it and finally agrees to help him.
With the help of Sid’s band of fellow toy conspiracy theorists, Woody and Sid go public.
Woody is interviewed on TV and it naturally becomes the biggest story in the history of the world. In every country on Earth, children start begging their toys to come alive. But when some of them do, parents and adults predictably panic. The panic grows and grows and adults, convinced some sort of demonic possession has taken hold of their children’s toys, begin holding mass bonfires to burn them. Parents snatch teddy bears out of children’s arms and throw them into the flames. Everything has gone wrong!
The military takes over and begins an enforced round-up of all the toys. “Woody’s Round Ups,” they are called, in a cruel twist.
But many of the toys evade capture, since they are no longer restrained by keeping the Secret. A massive toy resistance grows, led by Sid and Woody.
Other toy conspiracy theorists, including all the other people who saw their toys come to life as children, join them. They, too, thought they were crazy all their lives—until Woody revealed the truth.
The original band of toys finally finds Sid and Woody: Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, Rex, Hamm, the Little Green Men, and even Zurg—the entire cast of beloved OG toys. They are willing to do what it takes to help their old pal—and all the other toys in the world.
They only have one option. They’ve got to find someone, anyone, who can convince the world to stop destroying all the toys. After all, children need toys! The world needs toys! But who?
They hatch a plan.
The toys send the secret coordinates to their location out via walkie talkie and other electronic toys. All the toys in the world somehow receive the message. A massive toy army is quickly assembled in the old abandoned fairground where it all started: it includes an entire division of Green Army Men, a GI Joe division, a Barbie and Ken Division, thousands of Buzz Lightyears, and millions of monkeys. All the toys from other Disney movies are assembled, too: Lightning McQueen, Olaf, Monsters Inc, Mickey Mouse, Mater.
Even toys like Lotso and the Purple Octopus and the Prospector show up, firmly on Team Woody now.
But then: the real army shows up, along with angry citizens and parents holding torches and pitchforks, baseball bats and other weapons. The toys are surrounded. The grownups demand their unconditional surrender.
The toys refuse. They prepare for annihilation.
Then, adult Andy, his wife, and his children show up. So does adult Bonnie, her husband and her children. Andy, naturally, works for NASA and has top secret government clearance, so he is able to get them through the security cordon.
Andy has an epic emotional reunion with Woody and all his original toys. “I can’t believe it,” he says to Woody. “You were alive the entire time, and you never told me? And you told Sid? Don’t worry, pal. I forgive you.”
Andy and Bonnie tell the world that toys are not their enemies. Children love their toys and their toys would never hurt them, they tell the people gathered.
Woody makes a final speech that convinces everyone not to be afraid anymore. He adds, “We don’t know why we are alive. We don’t know who made us like this, but it doesn’t matter. We just want to make your kids happy.”
The war is called off. The toys cheer. There is a lot of hugging and happy tears.
Bous Post-Credits Scene
In the post-credits scene, we learn exactly WHY the toys are alive, and how this miracle occurred. The entire origin story of the Big Secret is revealed to the movie audience—but not to the characters in the movie.
What is the secret? What magic spell has enchanted children’s toys? You will have to see the movie to find out!
FADE TO BLACK
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Bob Iger: I can fix your studio. Have your people call my people. Ta-ta for now.
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