If you understand the title of this post, you probably have kids. Now that Jake’s turning 4, he’s a prime target for the monster marketing machine that is Disney/Pixar. Whatever. When I was a kid and we watched Saturday morning cartoons on real TV stations that had commercials (gasp! we saw commercials back then), I was swayed by commercials for Easy Bake Ovens, Barbie’s Corvette, and who could forget – Cabbage Patch Dolls. It’s somewhat inevitable, and actually quite fun to see the look on his face when he opens up a gift and it’s that “thing he saw that he really wanted.”
For Jake’s fourth birthday we received a generous collection of Toy Story 3 toys from his friends. He was (and still is) in all his glory. It’s been a while, and we’ve made several observations about this collection:
1. Woody is just a bad name for any toy. My friend Lauren and I noticed this when my son had “woody envy”. Yes, her son’s “woody” was bigger than my son’s, and all Jake could do was whine and say “I want a big woody now”. Enough said. I’m certain the guy who came up with this name was the same one that put the phallic symbol in the poster for The Little Mermaid. Grow up, dude.
2. Speaking of names, what makes Buzz Lightyear so special that he gets two names, and Woody only gets one? Totally confusing to Morgan, who has now dubbed Woody “Buzz Woody”. At least with this name if she walks around saying “I want a big Buzz Woody”, people will understand she’s talking about Toy Story and not – well – something else.
3. “To Infinity and Beyond” is quite a mouthful for kids. Mine use it as an exclamation for everything – jumping into their ballpit, swinging high on the slides. Each has their own version. Jake, “to infibidy and beyond” and Morgan, “to inyond!”. I suppose there are far worse rally cries.
4. Why, oh why, does the 3D movie not come with a warning? I admit, I’m not “up” on technology, but had no idea when we entered the theater that the entire movie would be blurry if the kids refused to where the glasses. Yes, it was much cooler than the “old” 3D movies where you wore the blue and red disposable glasses, but since neither of my kids would wear the glasses, it was not really appropriate for them. And “back in the day” you still could enjoy the movie without the glasses. Lesson learned.
In all honesty, these observations aside, the Toy Story series is one we thoroughly enjoy. We sit and watch the movies as a family – everyone with their own favorite parts, characters, and take aways from the movie. And as I sit and watch Jake and Morgan play with their Toy Story characters, read the books, and emulate the characters, I know with sadness, that they too will someday make the decision that Andy did in the third movie. Until then, I’m going to enjoy every minute of their youthful play, basking in their imaginations and fun.