Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Toy Story Video Night

It was video night at our house on Sunday evening. That meant that we ate dinner in the family room while we watched a dvd movie together. We did that quite a bit while our son was on winter break, but don’t normally do it too often.

The video selection this time was Toy Story 3.

For those few of you who are not familiar, Toy Story 3 is the third of the computer-animated films that follow a group of toys that come to life whenever humans are not around.

When Kai was a toddler, he and Mom watched the original Toy Story many, many times. As he did not play with toys like other children, this Pixar movie, along with Finding Nemo and Shrek, was his favorite source of entertainment for a long time.

But, one day, Kai got scared of the Pixar movies.

You see, on one of our Dad-and-son trips to the library, I got The Lion King. We are not sure why, but Kai did not like it at all. He found it scary, perhaps because the father lion dies. He associated his feelings of being scared with the fact that the movie had the THX sound system logo at the beginning. I’m not sure if all Pixar movies use THX, but he thought so and that was enough. From then on, he did not want to watch any more Pixar movies. Toy Story 2 sat on our shelf, unwatched, for two years.

Last summer, when Toy Story 3 came out in theaters, we wanted to take Kai to see it but wanted to watch the second movie first. He had liked the 3D movie Despicable Me and thought he would enjoy seeing this latest Toy Story in 3D as well. Still, he refused.

On Christmas, Kai received a Toy Story green army man Lego from his cousin, and that reminded us that we still had not watched Toy Story 2. Okay, we told him, we can have another video night, but Mom gets to pick the movie. He relented, and reluctantly agreed to watch Toy Story 2.

He loved it!

There were many funny scenes that he laughed hysterically at many different times. Of course, then he wanted to watch it over and over again.

So, when we came across Toy Story 3 on our latest visit to the library, it was a no-brainer that we would have another video night.

This third movie had many poignant moments as it pondered the fate of the toys when their owner, Andy, had gotten too old to play with them anymore. I don’t know how much of that Kai really understood, as he seemed to enjoy the sillier scenes. However, unlike with The Lion King, he did not seem to be bothered by a particularly intense scene near the end.

For me, though, the parts of the story that really got to me were those that dealt with the passing of time, growing up, and moving on. I think parents would view this movie in the context of their own kids. For me and my wife, it is so hard to imagine how Kai might be when he becomes Andy’s age. Developmentally, will he be similar to other teens? Will he be getting ready to go to college? I have trouble picturing Kai even a month from now, let alone anything close to infinity and beyond.

So, I’m glad that Kai overcame his fear of the Pixar movies so that we could see these last two Toy Story films. Taken together, the three Toy Story movies are among my favorite films of all time. And that makes for a great video night.

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