TOY STORY 3, Part 4:  Choose The Right Antagonist

By Jacob Krueger

As discussed in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, Toy Story 3 does a brilliant job of exploring diverse aspects of the theme of loyalty, through an emotional structure built upon the toys’ shared desire to be loved and played with by their owners, and the gigantic obstacles that stand in their path.

In this context, one of the things that makes Toy Story 3 so emotionally powerful is the way the question of loyalty, and the desperate desire to be loved, governs not only the actions of the good guys, but also the base desires of Lotso, the evil strawberry-scented Teddy Bear.

Choose The Right Antagonist

Just like our protagonists, Lotso believes he has been abandoned by his owner.  But rather than remaining loyal to his owner or his nature, he has become twisted by his feelings of betrayal, and lost his ability to love  and be loved.  Even when the good toys risk their own lives to save him, Lotso chooses betrayal over loyalty, and anger over love, abandoning the other toys to death by incineration at the garbage dump.

Mustache Twirling Villains Don’t Scare Us

Whether you’re writing a comedy like Toy Story 3, a drama like The Squid and The Whale or a thriller like Cape Fear, the most dramatic antagonists are usually frighteningly human.  They too have needs and desires, and in their map of the universe, they see themselves as the hero or as the suffering victim.

By humanizing Lotso, the writers of Toy Story 3 deepen the emotional journey of their main characters, by exploring yet another variation on the theme of loyalty.  Lotso is more than just an external threat to the toys, he’s a physical manifestation of the danger of giving up on loyalty, and the way the desperate desire for love can twist a character into an evil mockery everything he once represented. In this way, Lotso becomes more than just an antagonist.  He becomes a walking symbol of toys worst fears, about Andy, about the world and about themselves.

For more information about upcoming classes available online or in our Studio, click here.

1 Comment


  1. […] Check in for tomorrow’s installment: “Toy Story 3, Part 4: Create The Right Antagonist“ […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Welcom Back!

Log in to access your account

Our website uses cookies to provide a better user experience. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more about cookies and how you can refuse them.

Your seminar link is on its way to your inbox.

But wait… that’s not it!


Join award-winning screenwriter, Jacob Krueger, and industry pros for an hour of writing lessons and guided exercises. Every Thursday, via Zoom.

Sign up below for this Thursday’s class!



Registration Information


We will see you this Thursday!

7pm ET / 4pm PT

Check Your Email For The Link

(Don’t see it? Check your spam folder)

Donate To Our Scholarship Fund

We match every donation we receive dollar for dollar, and use the funds to offset the cost of our programs for students who otherwise could not afford to attend.

We have given away over 140,000 of scholarships in the past year.

Thank you for your support!

Other Amount? CONTACT US

Get Your Video Seminar


Where should we send it?

"*" indicates required fields

Would You Like More Information About Our Classes?
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Need A Payment Plan?

We like working with artists and strive not to leave writers behind over money.

If you need a payment plan or another arrangement to participate in our programs, we are happy to help.

Chat us or give us a call at 917-464-3594 and we will figure out a plan that fits your budget.

Join the waitlist!

Fill in the form below to be placed on the waitlist. We'll let you know once a slot opens up!