Sunday, January 9, 2011

Toy Story

The number one movie of 2010 was Toy Story 3. But I haven't seen a Toy Story since the second one was in theaters more than a decade ago. I remember Woody and Buzz and the dinosaur, but I probably need a refresher. So before testing Toy Story 3, I'm going to watch the one that started it all.

Less than a minute into the movie, and I'm already having a sort of existential crisis. Can toys possibly count as men or women for the purposes of the test? They're kid's toys, so I assume they don't have the plumbing. (Although I do vaguely remember Woody gettin' it on in Toy Story 2.) I suppose they would count. Woody is obviously supposed to be a toy-man, and Little Bo Peep is a toy-woman. Can a toy potato count as a man, even if it's Mr. Potato Head? Does a screaming baby girl count as a female? These are the truly important issues of our times...

Since the second and third levels of the test are all about talking, I think it's fair to say that a character with intelligible lines counts, and one without intelligible lines doesn't count. Of course, Andy is the first male and his mom is the first female of the movie.

blug1.png Toy Story passes RB-1 at the 3:30 mark, when Woody wakes up for the first time.

blug2.pngblug3.png Whether Ham counts as a man or just as a pig, Woody talks to the green army man at the 4:15 mark, asking about Slinky the dog. In less than five minutes, Toy Story passes all three levels of the Reverse Bechdel, before even passing one level of the Original Bechdel.

pink1.png Less than a minute later, Little Bo Peep, the second woman, has her first lines. Her first lines are flirting with Woody, and we see where Woody gets his name from. Wait, no we don't, this is a kid's movie.

pink2.pngpink3.png Sid's sister, Hannah, calls out for their mom at about the 39-minute mark, but I don't think this counts since the mom doesn't audibly respond. However, seven minutes later, immediately after Buzz's failed flying attempt, Hannah and her mom have a three-line conversation. Hannah asks where her doll is, and the mom says, "What dear, what was that?" Then Hannah finds the broken Buzz Lightyear and says, "Never mind!" It's not much, and Hannah's mom is off-screen for the conversation, but it technically fulfills the requirements for both OB-2 and OB-3.

While Toy Story passes both the Original Bechdel and Reverse Bechdel tests, it is still a predominantly male movie. All the main characters are male: Woody, Buzz, Andy, Sid. All the toys that have lines, except Little Bo Peep, are male (or at least speak with male voices). Little Bo Peep has no substantive dialog, and is mostly just one more thing that Buzz is stealing from Woody in the first part of the movie. The most well-developed female character is Hannah, Sid's sister, who interacts directly with Sid, Buzz and Woody (although she thought that Woody was her mother). Andy's mother also has quite a few lines, but she's mostly just a human for Andy to talk to.

Speaking of Andy's mother, where was his father? Or Sid and Hannah's father, for that matter? Of the two families shown in the movie, both seem to be single-parent, missing the father.

1 comment:

  1. I dunno. Isn't Buzz considered a man, or at least a male character? Since OB-2 was a conversation about Buzz, it doesn't count for OB-3.