Toy Story 4 & Other Toys That Go Bump in the Night
If you desperately hoped that your favorite childhood toys would come to life when you were a kid, then the newest installment of the beloved Pixar Toy Story series is the perfect way to make your childhood dreams into a reality. What’s not to love about being reunited with characters like Buzz Lightyear, Sheriff Woody, and Mr. Potato Head?
Except, not every story about toys coming to life is all fun and games. In fact, some of the stories are downright terrifying. I mean, toys never blink. Like ever. That means they see everything; they know everything. If toys can walk, talk, and live forever, then they are definitely going to take over the world someday, right?
In honor of the Toy Story 4 premiere on June 21st (and to placate our future toy overlords), let’s take a trip into the toy chest to celebrate our favorite stories of toys coming to life.
1) Why Am I Alive: Toy Story 4
In the newest Toy Story 4 film, we are introduced to Bonnie’s homemade toy, Forky. Forky — who is a plastic spork with googly eyes — undergoes an existential crisis when he is transformed from a simple spork into a little girl’s favorite toy.
Forky’s whole life was once centered around helping people eat soup. Seems simple enough, right? Except now he’s been tasked with being a toy and asking some really tough questions like, “why am I alive?” Oh man ... things just got heavy.
This adds a whole new frightening layer into an already confusing tapestry of what it means to be alive as a toy. Not only do we need to worry about breaking our toys’ hearts when we grow up, but now we also have to worry about making more sentient beings? Are you saying that everything we put a face on becomes alive? Gasp. Everything around us just became so much more confusing. Does this mean we’ve doomed hundreds of arts and crafts creations with googly eyes to a too-soon death? We’re monsters!
Thankfully though, the Toy Story series is an idealistic tale (except for maybe Sid and his love of torturing toys ...we don’t even want to open that Pandora’s toy box) of friendship and toys coming to life. So, head out on a road trip of discovery with Woody and Forky — and meet up with new and old friends like Little Bo Peep, Bunny, and Ducky — and understand the joys of being a toy.
2) Voodoo Toys: Child’s Play
The 1988 horror film, Child’s Play, is the exact reason that everyone — at least on some level — has a fear of those creepy old timey dolls. If a relative gave you a new doll or figurine as a gift, your first thought — thanks to Chucky — was always “it is definitely going to kill me in my sleep.”
The popular ‘80s movie introduced audiences to the already creepy red-haired “Good Guys” Chucky doll and then made it 100 times worse by having it possessed by a serial killer.
You’re telling us that this is a story about ghosts, possession, voodoo, AND serial killers? Yeah, that’s a big ol’ “oh hell no” from us. Not even the fact that this story was centered around a toy doll can make it any less scary. His legs might have been short, but somehow that little bastard could be everywhere at once. We’d rather have a sentient spork any day.
3) Goblin King Hears All: Labyrinth
Jim Henson’s cult classic, Labyrinth, is the iconic ‘80s film that follows the story of Sarah and her baby brother, Toby, who has been kidnapped by the Goblin King.
Although we love everything about this movie (David Bowie AND Muppets? We’re sold) there’s no question that it’s also a terrifying tale of a young girl’s toys coming to life and forcing her to undergo a strenuous journey through a maze filled with monsters. Sarah enters a fantastical world that has been filled with living and breathing versions of the toys from her bedroom, down to the Goblin King himself.
She wished the Goblin King would take her baby brother and, voilà, the Goblin King took her baby brother! Problem solved. Does that mean toys can hear us and make our spontaneous wishes come true? Are we about to get stuck living in Barbie’s Dream House!?
4) It’s a Little Nutty: The Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky’s famous story, The Nutcracker, has been reimagined as a play, a ballet, a film and more for decades; still — whatever medium it is presented in — the story continues to hold a special place in our hearts, especially during the holidays.
Nonetheless, there is no amount of Christmas garland or twinkling lights that can hide the fact that this is actually a really creepy story about a wooden nutcracker coming to life and falling in love with a little girl. Plus, once you tie in that whole scene where the rat king and his giant rats eat an army of gingerbread soldiers, everything gets just a little bit weirder.
Clara also stays with the nutcracker prince in his magical realm. So, is this actually a story about a toy kidnapping someone and holding them hostage? Should we call the police?!
5) Blaze of Glory:The Velveteen Rabbit
The children’s story by Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit, might actually be the most heart-wrenching toy story of all time.
A stuffed rabbit desperately hopes to be loved by the little boy who owns him, because he might be made “real” if he is loved enough by a child in his life. After a wonderful life of picnics and friendship, the boy becomes sick with scarlet fever and is sent away to the seaside to recover. And that’s where things get dark ...
The doctor orders that the boy’s sick room must be disinfected and all of his toys burned. At this point, all of the toys are stuffed in sacks and carried outside to their gruesome death. What the what!?
Thankfully, the little rabbit is saved by the Nursery Magic Fairy and made into a real-life rabbit. Phew. Except, you know what this story doesn’t mention? That all of the OTHER toys are burned in a giant blaze of what has to be the most heartbreaking children’s story of all time! It’s a massacre.
Don’t worry if you’re now suspiciously eyeing all of the old toys in your room, or if you’re cracking an air vent in the toy chest in the attic... we know how to placate those grumpy toys that you have hanging around! Grab a new DBH Toy Story 4 shirt today and be prepared for when the toys come for you! They’d never go after someone wearing a DBH toy shirt, right?