Toy Story 3, Liberty, and Self-Determination

June 18th, 2010

I just had the absolute pleasure of watching Toy Story in 3D Imax. It was unbelievable. Simply stunning.

But a few things stood out about this movie that make it blogworthy—especially the views on law and liberty. There are some spoilers here, so read on after the jump.

Long story short, the toys are transported to a day care center. At first they are welcomed by a Fuzzy Pink bear named Lotso, who tells them that they will love life at the day care center. Lotso tells them to go to the “Caterpillar” room. Sadly, the caterpillar room is reserved for the toddlers, who play rough with the toys and abuse them. When the toys try to escape to the Butterfly room, where the more mature kids play, they are halted.

Lotso explains the racket. The new toys are sacrificed to the younger kids, so the older toys can thrive, for the good of the whole. This is statism at its worst. Sacrifice new entrants to the market for the betterment of the collective. In essence, Lotso creates barriers to entry in order to be a well-played toy.

However, Ken, Lotso’s lieutenant, becomes quite attracted to Barbie. Because of this attraction, Barbie gets special treatment because of her looks and special relationship.

Despite living in the dream house with Ken, Barbie rejects this adoration, feeling empathy for her compatriots, and returns to the Caterpillar room, with the other hostage toys.

Needless to say, Woody and the crew refuse to accept this collectivism and hatch a plan to escape.

At the pinnacle moment, when the toys are about to be thrown by Lotso into a dumpster, Barbie proclaims “Authority is derived from the Consent of the Governed.” I started clapping enthusiastically!

The toys would not be subject to the tyrannical rule of Lotso the despot.

This movie was a proud endorsement of autonomy and self-determination, and a paean to liberty and freedom.

The toys escaped, returned to Andy, and determined their own destiny.

Kudos to the team at Pixar for making an amazing movie, and teaching an awesome lesson.