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Toy Story 3: The Stalin Connection

SPOILER ALERT! Although it may seem farfetched, Pixar’s newest blockbuster, Toy Story 3 reflects aspects of global history. The main antagonist of the movie, Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (the strawberry scented bear, determined to keep full control of the Sunnyside Daycare center) shares some common interests with many totalitarian leaders throughout history, particularly former Soviet Union leader, Joseph Stalin.
Analysis by Boredsox 78

This may seem rather random, possibly even ridiculous, but the facts are there throughout the course of the film.

Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear gained full control of Sunnyside Daycare Center following the realization that his human owner replaced him with another plush bear. His anger caused him to strive for control over other toys, and after discovering the daycare center, he did just that. Lotso, his nickname for short, shares similar aspects to Joseph Stalin, among them:

1) Lotso constantly has other toys, his minions, patrolling corridors at night. By doing so he demonstrated to the other toys that he was constantly watching them and that they would be punished severely for doing wrong. These minions serve as a secret police for Lotso, for how would the other toys know who to trust at times? (There is even a monkey toy who watches over the other toys 24/7, alerting the toys in control when anyone is acting in a way that they aren’t supposed to.) Stalin used secret police as well during his rule, through which anyone who spoke against his government would be arrested and/or killed.

2) During Stalin’s rule, he would often send anyone who disobeyed him to Siberia. These people could be worked to death or simply froze in the harsh brutal winters. Although this is very different from Toy Story 3, Lotso has his minions take those toys who don’t obey to the sandbox. Mr. Potato Head, upon disobeying Lotso’s orders, is sent to this sandbox, describing it as “very cold.” This could still, of course be a coincidence (or the result of over-analysis).

3)Another approach that Lotso and Stalin share is the use of fear against all opponents. Lotso tells several characters to do what he says, or they’ll face far greater complications (such as the sandbox as mentioned above.) The toys, in the room that Lotso had sent them, cower and hide in fear from the oncoming brutal children. (These children throw, bite, lick and just beat up the toys in the daycare center.) During Stalin’s rule. Each example, both in real life and on film, showed how scared the people/toys truly were.

4) Lastly, brainwashing is used in both of these situations. In this film, Lotso has convinced two other characters, once in the same home of Lotso before his owner had replaced him, that they were replaced, too. Lotso continues brainwashing toys in the daycare center, lying and telling them how good conditions will be when in actuality it turns out the children will tear them apart. Stalin brainwashed people in the Soviet Union using propaganda and, again, fear to force them to obey him.

Although I could easily be over thinking this, Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear does show aspects of a totalitarian leader. Even though it may not be Joseph Stalin in particular that Toy Story 3 is reflecting, the similarities are nonetheless there. Toy Story 3 is in many ways a powerful film, bringing tears to the eyes of the audience during the climax to the film. If Pixar decides not to continue this franchise, it would be perfectly fine, because the trilogy has ended on a fantastic note. Thank you Pixar, Woody and Buzz for bringing another winning adventure to us all.

What do you think of the ideas of Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear being compared to Joseph Stalin?

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