Happy Election Day! While you’re waiting in line at your local polling place, take some time to enjoy this insane editorial by mystery novelist Andrew Klavan at the LA Times, who stretches in a perilous and alarming fashion to read into this year’s Pixar film a heated commentary on our current political climate:
Last summer’s Pixar blockbuster — one of the best American films in a decade — was a similar rebuke, not perhaps to the Obama White House specifically but to its underlying ideas. The fact that the film was such an immense hit, earning back over half its estimated $200-million budget in a single weekend, should have served as a warning that Americans, though they might like the president personally, do not share his agenda.
Totally. Except that you’d be hard pressed to find another human being, American or otherwise, with any kind of interpretation of the film in the same ballpark as the one offered by Klavan. He goes on to suggest that the daycare is a metaphor for socialism (“‘At Sunnyside, we own ourselves.’ Maybe he should’ve thrown in something about redistributing wealth and taking over the means of production, but it’s a kid’s movie, so never mind.”) and that the film is about the tragedy of leaving behind the “virile, lovable archetypes” of Buzz the astronaut and Woody the cowboy for “modern American paradigms” like “the shallow, metrosexual Ken doll,” Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear and Big Baby, an obvious stand-in for the tattooed child gangs terrorizing our streets, or maybe that’s just my read on the character.
Klavan concludes that the midterm election “may also be the beginning of a narrow escape indeed — a narrow escape from a leftist culture that has sought for 40 years to people and shape our imaginations with Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bears, Big Babies and sissified men.” But never an escape from hack writing, hmm?
On Twitter, “Toy Story 3” director Lee Unkrich responds to the piece with “Really? REALLY? Please keep Toy Story 3 out of your politics.”