5 Nightmarish Implications Of Classic Kids' Movies
The best kids' movies are always the ones that can be enjoyed by everyone. That way, parents don't start shrieking in existential agony in the middle of The Incredibles 2. However, because it's OK for us older folk to enjoy these movies, it also means that we're noticing things that might escape the elementary schoolers in the audience. You know, things that are ridiculously creepy when you devote more than a second of thought to them. Things like ...
The Comic Relief In Cars Gleefully Butchers Corpses For Profit
By the time the events of Cars occur, it can be safely assumed that all humans have gone extinct, probably as a result of a horrific war between people and tanks that can frown. Humanity has been replaced by anthropomorphic vehicles, and the society that they've created is much like ours. There are judges, lawyers, and even creepy little shits, just like in real life!
When it comes to that last career path, I'm specifically talking about Mater, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy doing a heightened "country" accent that sounds like a man being slowly choked to death behind a Cracker Barrel. His job involves towing destroyed cars to the junkyard, which basically makes him the town mortician. Now, we're never actually shown the process of a vehicle dying in this universe, but we know that it absolutely happens, because Mater unceremoniously chucks cars into mass graves. Of course, Pixar leaves a lot of this out, as it's hard to market McDonald's Happy Meals with "Each comes with a toy Mater, stinking handler of the departed!"
It's possible that some cars receive proper burials, but which ones? Does Mater only dispose of the poor, sad cars who couldn't pay for a proper funeral? Mater does seem like a stickler when it comes to ensuring that he gets paid, reminding Lightning McQueen that he owes him $32,000 in towing fees. But even more weird than Mater being a remorseless capitalist about hauling his lifeless friends around in a post-apocalyptic automotive utopia is the fact that he's totally gonna cannibalize those friends for parts.
Look at the sign on the front of Mater's business: "Towing & Salvage."
If your car wife cannot be revived, you can rest easy in knowing that the star of Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector will be digging through her corpse to see if her break pads are still in decent shape so he can sell them. And since cars require constant maintenance, it's entirely possible that every "person" in the Cars universe is being powered somewhat by their dead friends' parts, recovered from a mountain of discarded corpses. That's Hell, right? I think that sounds a lot like Hell.
Inside Out Becomes Horrifying If Your Life Is Anything Less Than Perfect
As far as I can tell, the little girl in Inside Out has had a pretty charmed life. Even by the end of the film, when some big changes are happening, her core memory islands are still fun things like Hockey Island and Family Island and Kicks-Ass-At-Call Of Duty Island. They're all pretty whimsical:
The film wisely ends before Riley starts to experience the real shit of life and her mind creates a Why-Does-It-Say-That-I-Need-To-Have-Five-Years-Experience-For-This-Entry-Level-Position Island. But even before that, what will happen when Riley hits puberty and builds a "sexual awareness" island? The islands are all hugely metaphorical, so is there some strange, confusing phallic statue in the middle? Are you picturing it?
And as her sexuality develops, will the island be destroyed completely, or will new experiences simply be added onto it? You don't just hit young adulthood and suddenly have all of this shit figured out. Will it eventually become an island filled with monuments to amazing emotional connections and Ferris wheels of disappointing attempts at sex acts from early boyfriends?
And that's what you'd get if you were a well-adjusted person. We know that not all kids get the "Happily Ever After" Pixar film ending, so what do the islands of kids who have experienced truly traumatic shit look like? Is there a Divorce Island, or Abuse Island, or Alcoholism Island, or Racism Island? What kinds of physical edifices is your subconscious constructing to represent those? Does an island look like the dim apartment that a parent stayed in after getting kicked out of their house? A statue of an abuser's face? Sculptures dedicated to the awful stereotypes that racists believe in?
And as the movie shows us, it takes a great deal of power and pain to destroy one of these islands -- meaning, for the most part, you and the little cartoon characters who control your brain are trapped with that shit forever. Suddenly the death of Bing Bong becomes the most heartwarming part of the movie.
Toy Story Is An Existential Nightmare Of Possessed Mismatched Body Parts
The Toy Story saga has always been about making us feel guilty for throwing away our bullshit toys. If Pixar got their way, we would be thanking our old Furbies during our high school graduation speeches. That's why audiences were so upset with the way Sid tortured and reassembled toys like a little Dr. Frankenstein with braces. But thanks to 2010's best horror film, Toy Story 3, we now know that Sid wasn't merely physically abusing his toys; he was throwing them into terrifying existential crises.
In Toy Story 3, Mrs. Potato Head looks through her detached eye to see Andy getting ready for college and packing just, like, a thousand condoms, probably. Even though it's no longer a part of her body, she is able to "see" out of her eye like she normally would. Like forms of bacteria or Rudy Giuliani, the toys don't require fully functioning nervous systems that must remain connected or anything.
Similarly, there are times when Slinky Dog's butt goes rogue on him, and Slink is forced to argue with his own ass in order to get it to cooperate. These two scenes show us that in the Toy Story universe, body parts can work independently of their primary host. And so the question comes to Sid's, umm, habits: What happens when a part becomes soldered onto a new toy? Which toy parts gain the most control in this scenario? Is that baby head fighting an unending mental battle with its erector set legs for dominance? Is there a twisted spider-headed baby doll creature lurking around somewhere else in the house that hasn't yet figured out how to get its disparate body parts to work in unison? Is there a loving god?
All this body horror points to another frightening fact about Toy Story toys: They're immortal. If they can survive extreme dismemberment and being grafted into ass-to-mouth toy centipedes, they can pretty much live through anything. Remember how Lotso gets hilariously tied to the grate of that dump truck as punishment for his sins? Well, he's going to be trapped there for who knows how many years, his fuzzy flesh slowly being torn away by the wind until he's finally chucked into a landfill to live out eternity in claustrophobic darkness.
That Blank Check Kid And His "Girlfriend" Are Both Totally Screwed
Blank Check is the stirring tale of an 11-year-old boy named Preston, who easily scams a million dollars from a hardened professional thief, and the 30-year-old police detective named Shay who wants to fuck him. I know what you're thinking, and yes, this movie came out in 1994. The more you learn about '80s/'90s cinema, the more it becomes apparent that all you needed to get a movie made in those days was a teenage boy and a script that involved something that's a felony in most states.
See, after Preston's reckless spending habits inadvertently lead to the successful capture of the aforementioned criminal, the lady cop who'd been investigating him rewards him with his first kiss and erection. And while it'd be easy to claim that Shay was being nice -- you know how sometimes people commit statutory rape just to be polite -- there's a great deal of evidence to show that Shay was actually into Preston and his extensive collection of dope water toys.
See, the entire build-up to that kiss involves a significant amount of actual dating between Preston and that grown-ass woman. They go to fancy restaurants together ...
... and romp through water fountains in the park like they're making a desperate bid for Instagram likes.
And that's all before Shay straight up promises to go on a date with Preston in six years once he's barely legal, which is definitely a form of emotional manipulation. With that in mind, what in the hell is Shay supposed to write in her police report about the methods she used to bust that criminal? She very publicly dated a child. And when she goddamn kissed him. There were tons of FBI agents around when she did it. Also, if Shay tries to write her report without including Preston, the bad guy can pretty easily prove that he wasn't the one purchasing all that stupid kid shit like go-karts and video games.
And that's just Shay's problems. At the end of the movie, all Preston has learned is that money is rad and that it can help you get hot women. After all, his money is the only reason a 30-year-old woman was interested in an 11-year-old. That's gonna stick with him forever. He has learned no other lessons, and so Blank Check goes from being a comical movie about a kid with a lot of cash to an origin story about the biggest douchebag on the planet.
Coco's Afterlife Screws Poor People In A Way You Wouldn't Expect
Coco is about a kid named Miguel who wants to play music more than anyone on Earth has ever wanted anything. Unfortunately, his attempts to play result in him being cursed and taken to the afterlife. The good news is that he can escape as long as he receives a blessing from one of his deceased relatives. So after meeting one who asks for him to stop playing music and choosing to endure more deathscape instead, Miguel meets a guy named Hector who will take him to see another of his relatives, but only if Miguel agrees to bring a photograph of Hector back to the Land of the Living with him.
See, the way the afterlife works in Coco is that dead people are allowed to visit the Land of the Living on the Day of the Dead, but only if their family has put up a photograph of them (a rule that exists only in the movie, not the actual holiday). Hector's family doesn't appear to have any photographs of Hector, and he's afraid his daughter will forget him. That's a sweet way of looking at how the afterlife works ... as long as it's in the modern day or you're very wealthy.
Nowadays, our phones alone could revive every random stranger that we've met in a bar in the last ten years, but even just 100 years ago, photographs were expensive as hell, and family photos were only common for the fancy upper class. And even when a family was able to scrape enough money together to purchase a photograph of a loved one, there wasn't really a way to produce tons and tons of copies. So in Coco, if you lose that one photograph, your relative is banished to the afterlife for eternity. If your clumsy kid accidentally drops it somewhere, goodbye forever, Aunt Brenna.
And how did it all work before photographs were invented? Were the dead trapped forever, or could they be summoned via a painting? And did it have to be a perfectly lifelike painting, or could the enter the Land of the Living with a drawing that you scribbled with a crayon on a Burger King napkin? Because even these days, a realistic portrait will set you back some $15,000.
So basically, no matter how you look at it, through most of history, the Day of the Dead was a celebration of rich dead people. Dead poor people needed to accept that they'd never get to see their living children and/or grandchildren again, unless they happened to become the protagonist of a Pixar film. And only a very rare kind of Pixar film. You're way more likely to be a talking car.
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