TOY STORY 3, Part 2: The Beauty of Unintended Consequences
By Jacob Krueger
As I discussed in Part 1 of this series, Toy Story 3 does a wonderful job of building its structure around the greatest wish of its main characters: to be loved and played with by children. When the toys feel that their owner Andy no longer cares about them, this desperate desire forces them to question their loyalty to him and seek out love and attention from new children at a daycare center. By establishing the character’s most deeply held desire clearly from the start, the writers of Toy Story 3 give themselves the foundation they need for a great structure.
The Beauty of Unexpected Consequences
Great writers know that however beautiful or benign the character’s greatest wish may seem, they must explore both the best and the worst possible implications of fulfilling that wish. And the toys of Toy Story get a heck of a lot more than they bargained for.
Trapped in a playroom ruled by a psychotic strawberry-scented bear, and filled with insane toddlers, the non-age-appropriate toys are literally tortured by the fulfillment of their own greatest desire, played with nearly to death, until the best thing they can hope for is to somehow escape to a life of confinement in Andy’s attic– the very fate that they were fleeing when they came to the daycare center in the first place. When you can make your main characters run from the very thing they most want, you know you are succeeding as a writer.
Toy Story 3 pushes this irony even further by exploring yet another riff on the theme of loyalty: the journey of the one toy Andy still loves enough to take with him to college: Woody the Cowboy…
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