I loved the Toy Story movies and The Incredibles, but I have to admit that this Cracked article about their moral lessons has a good point.
When you think about it, the villains in Toy Story 1 and 2 are only villains because they treat toys like inanimate objects rather than sentient feeling beings. But in the real world, toys are inanimate objects. In the world of the film, this isn’t the case, and audience knows that. But there’s no reason for the humans to suspect this at all. To them, they’re living in the same world we are.
When you recognize this, Sid is just a kid who is creatively repurposing junk to make new works of art. And Al the Toy Collector is putting a lot of work and research into finding items that people are discarding as worthless junk, which could instead be put in a museum to bring happiness to many people. They don’t know the toys have feelings. So why are they considered bad people? At worst, they’re victims of ignorance.
In The Incredibles, Syndrome is trying to invent technology that will improve everyone’s lives. Yes, he’s also murdering people, so he can’t be considered innocent the way Sid and Al are. But the film portrays the murder as secondary to his villainy, whereas his primary evilness comes from him wanting to create beneficial technology.
Some interesting stuff to think about.
As my Movies We Still Care About project has progressed into the mid-80s, there have been more and more movies per year that fit the category.
This is partially because it’s easier for a film to stand the test of a shorter period of time. But mainly, this is a period where the craft of filmmaking was advancing, so movies were legitimately getting better.
Certainly a plethora of excellent movies is a good thing. But it does make my task of cataloging them to be more difficult. So I’m going to make the following changes:
1. I will start breaking up years into multiple posts. This will help keep them at a reasonable length for you to read. It will also keep them at a reasonable length for me to write, and allow me to post more often. I will be breaking up my discussion of movies alphabetically, though I will keep the full lists on each post.
2. I will start including a section called “Other Fond Memories.” This is for movies that fit the category of Movies We Still Care About, but for which I personally can’t think of anything interesting to say. Please don’t consider a movie being placed into this category to be me passing judgement on it. It’s simply that if I force myself to come up with commentary for everything, that will turn this project into a chore rather than something I enjoy. And such forced commentary would inevitably be lower quality, making this blog less interesting for you to read.
This “Other Fond Memories” category is distinct from the “Other Notable Movies” category. That is for films which don’t quite fit the topic of “Movies we still care about,” but for which I do have something interesting to say.
As readers, you are always invited to post your own thoughts regarding the films discussed, listed, or omitted in the comments.