Multiculturalism and Diversity in Toy Story 3
Like all Disney/Pixar films, Toy Story 3 showed one of their signature short films before the feature. These shorts are always fantastic, and just when you think that the next one could never be as amazing as the last one, you’re proven wrong. Toy Story 3’s short was titled “Day & Night” and was absolutely astounding. I know I panned 3-D in a previous post, but this short was made for the use of 3-D. Using 2-D and 3-D animation, it tells the story of two very different characters who find, in the end, just how similar they really are. Take a peak at this preview:
The whole film is visually stunning and yes, enhanced further with the use of 3-D. Yet, I enjoyed the film even more for its message. In a nut shell, the story is about race relations. Two characters, one light, one dark. When they first meet they despise each other, but as they grow to know each other, they become friends. In the end, the sun rises inside the Night character, and the sun sets inside the Day character, essentially, putting them both in the others shoes. Note that I’m a pretty left leaning gal, but the short seemed pretty poignant in this day and age, after the election of Obama.
Adding to that, I found the whole scenario of Spanish speaking Buzz Lightyear to be quite affecting, especially in the mere weeks after Arizona’s new immigrations policies. Spanish Buzz almost seems to yell out to the country, “Uhm, hola. Excuse me, the Latino/a and Hispanic Americans are an integral part of the diversity of the country thankyouverymuch.” I’ve read that eventually this minority group won’t even be the minority for much longer, and will most likely outnumber white people by 2050. Watching Toy Story 3 where I did in Queens, Spanish Buzz didn’t even need his subtitles. But imagine for a moment that you are a young child in Middle America and have never heard a foreign language in a film before. Perhaps this type of exposure at a younger age will help them grow up to embrace the inherent diversity of this country.
And they call it a kids’ movie.