That particularly includes the willful sacrifice friendship requires of one another: Woody goes from resenting Buzz in all his technical awesomeness to saying, “forget me, go save yourself” at the second act break. After Woody humbles himself for the one he envies, Buzz in turn forgives Woody, and they both get what they want together. Woody bears with Buzz, Buzz bears with Woody. (Galatians 6:2)
But of course, the path to turning their rivalry into a friendship is a rocky one, as it starts with them each wanting to get their own idea of home: Woody being Andy’s favorite toy again, and Buzz going to fulfill a mission that does not exist. Yet because of these impossible goals, they both wind up instead inside the home of toy horror. It puts Sheriff Woody into a rethought process on what it means to be there for Andy, and it puts Buzz Lightyear into an existential crisis. Woody realizes how pathetic of a toy he really is, having only a pull-string as his one accessory, and Buzz wonders why Andy would want a toy over a space ranger. Woody is demeaned by being Sid’s first choice to launch with a rocket, Buzz is demeaned by a tea party. In both cases, they each feel like Job, having lost everything they once knew, or maybe like David, who wrote many of the Psalms based on his suffering throughout 1 and 2 Samuel.
Andy’s room almost seems like a time capsule of himself growing up, especially seeing how he at one point wrote his “N’s” backwards (just look at the bottom of Woody’s boot), unlike now, when Buzz’s foot has a proper “N.” Toys are not just a time capsule of our youth however, everyone has those nostalgic feelings with toys from long ago, proving how God’s message applies universally to all. (Matthew 7:24) Even better, while things always change, such as interests and pop culture trends, we are blessed, because God’s character stays the same. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8)
Although there’s always the danger of idolatry when it comes to honoring inanimate objects. But this movie is aware of that, even the toys worship idols: Woody relies on a magic 8 ball, the green aliens worship a claw, and of course, Buzz thinks he’s a real space hero who can fly (when it’s actually dumb luck that affirms his delusions). Those subtle signs of idolatry resemble occult practices ranging from false deities to psychic mediums, and these signs let down their admirers as the events play out. God likewise warns against crafting idols, (Exodus 20:4) commanding His Israelites, “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.” (Leviticus 20:6, 1 John 5:21)
The irony of toys essentially being idols for kids but without the deity nonsense mixed in makes the fact that even the toys have deities to worship all the funnier. Going back to Buzz idolizing his identity as a space ranger, after letting that go, he flies for real while getting himself and Woody back to Andy, but Buzz does not call attention to the fact that he’s flying. Miracles often show God’s activity, and at times He even allowed pagan beliefs of the people to be fulfilled, but only to debunk those beliefs then call attention back to Himself. (Exodus 7-12, Numbers 22:28, Daniel 5) In this case, the miracle of Buzz’s flight is allowed to help himself and Woody fulfill their created purpose of being there for Andy.
It’s easy to see why Toy Story has touched so many people to the extent where twenty-four years later, it earned three critically acclaimed sequels. The strong unlikely friendship between a raggedy cowboy and a high-tech alien-fighter proves how the best bonds require equal share from both sides to benefit others. If you do the same as what Pixar has taught an entire generation along with their own children, and allow Christ’s teaching to be the center, then your friendships will last to infinity and beyond.
Have a great week, and happy watching, God bless!