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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?

4 Yes
0 No

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all totalitarian leaders generally use the same methods. these things could be applied to hitler, mousalini, and other 2 bit dictator out there. they are obviously the inspiration for the character. i havent seen this yet and i keep hearing about this climax scene at the end that is so heart warming and sad. it must really be cause everyone is pointing it out.
superdog - 6/21/2010, 7:22 AM
A totalitarian is a totalitarian. Whether it be Stalin, Marx, Hitler, Obama , etc.

Dictators use whatever methods they have available to them.

Propaganda is propaganda.

It wouldn't surprise me if They Did use Stalin et al as reference. More typical Hollywood (Communist) drivel.

Yes I said Obama is a totalitarian and a dictator.
What of it?
Skyh00k - 6/21/2010, 3:15 PM
marx was neither totalitarian, nor dictator. he was merely a philosopher, and political and literary critic. extreme dictators took his ideas of communism and basically re-wrote them to fit their own agenda. as for throwing Obama in there, taking a step toward socialism is not quite communism (they in fact differ greatly). If Pixar did use Stalin as a model for Lotso--which i would be willing to bet that they did not (they were probably just writing a tyrannical toy, like the Prospector in TS2)--how would that add justification to your stab at Hollywood's Communist ideals? ...they made the "communist" toy THE ANTAGONIST.

Obama is no where near a dictator. americans voted him in, and still have the power to impeach him and get a new president. were he a dictator, just mentioning that you didnt like him would get you killed. what a dumb thing to say.
bbfreshness - 7/3/2010, 11:07 AM
Marx, along with with his buddy Engels, were not only philosophers but outspoken racists and virulent antisemites. The poison they imbued their philosophy of enslavement with practically ensured that disciples such as Stalin and Hitler would have to be as destructive as they were.

There are some interesting parallels between Lotso and Obama, most notably that they were both abandoned. Lotso by his little girl and Obama by his Marxist mother and father. While Lotso was replaced, Obama never actually occupied that great a place in the heart of either his mother or father. They both loved Marxism more. And Marxism is about the breaking down of familiar ties and common history. Love and truth do not serve the Marxist but hate and distortion do.
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