I think I may have found an interesting and unwitting theological analogy in Toy Story: The Land that Time Forgot. I’m sure everyone is familiar with toy story. You may have missed this 30 minute holiday special.
The plot revolves around a play date. Bonnie, the little girl that inherited Andy’s toys after he went off to college, are transported to a friends house with Bonnie. It must be just after Christmas. Her friend does not want to play with toys he wants to play video games. As a result his new battle dinosaurs do not know they are toys just like Buzz didn’t know he was a toy because he hadn’t been played with. Unlike Buzz, these dinosaurs are barbaric (battle dinosaurs after all!) and live savage little lives in a plastic world. When Woody, Buzz, Rex, and Trixie show up, hilarity ensues. And so does a very powerful analogy.
Trixie the dinosaur tries to turn off the video game so that the battlesaurs will get played with and finally recognize they are toys. Reptilus Maximus, the champion of the battlesaurs tries to stop her even though he now knows he’s a toy. He doesn’t want to be a toy. He wants things to stay the same where he can be the Battlesaur in charge:
Trixie: Your world
is bigger than you know. Let me show you who you really are.
Maximus: But I am a battlesaur!
Trixie: You can be so much more!
And you know it.
Maximus: Put down your —
Trixie: Reptillus, it’s your kid who
chooses what you’re going to be. It could be a dinosaur, baby reindeer, Or something
you’d never even think of. It’s about being there for your kid. It’s — it’s about…
Yes it is. Isn’t it? Maximus wants his own way but he was made to be a toy. The only way to be who he really is requires him to surrender himself to the child. He may have freedom but its not freedom that makes him happy. Its freedom that destroys others.
A curious thing happens though when he surrenders. He finds that he is more fulfilled than ever.
The child and the toy enjoy each other and the toy finds that being a toy is what he was made for and what he truly was searching for. Being a battlesaur is no longer that important.
I hope by now, you can see the gospel parallels. Augustine says:
You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”
Amen. The only thing that chafes is the loss of freedom. We cannot be battlsaurs and be happy if we were made to be toys. Some people, many people, just can’t let that go. They can’t surrender their own sense of who they are. But Trixie’s words are so haunting to those who would kick against the goads of God’s invitation:
is bigger than you know.
Let me show you who you really are.
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