Pixar has had a strange relationship with conservatives over the years — the conservative movement has trumpeted, on a few occasions, Pixar films as ideologically aligned with their beliefs. Everyone knows about The Incredibles’ association with Ayn Randian objectivism, but conservatives have also pointed to the family-values messages of many of the other Pixar films, like Monsters, Inc. and Up.
So it’s odd that Focus on the Family has decided to turn against Pixar for what it believes are the amoral themes of Toy Story 3. First and foremost, they take issue with the newest major character, Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton), who they are claiming is ambiguously gay (and the trailer suggests as much). (I guess that makes Barbie his beard. I knew it!)
They’ve also picked up on this bizarre notion that the entire Toy Story series encourages children to masturbate. They point, almost too obviously, to the character voiced by Tom Hanks, “Woody.” And then they actually suggest that all of the toys are really phallic representations begging their owners to play with them. Moreover, Focus on the Family is also apparently upset that Mr. Potato Head, at some point in the movie, changes into a pickle, which they believe is a flagrant attempt to conjure subconscious thoughts about penises, as are references to “Lincoln logs.” What?!
I dunno. It’s like certain people can read almost anything into a two-minute movie trailer, if they try hard enough.
Check out the second, and final, full trailer for Toy Story 3, and see if you don’t think Focus on the Family is a little strange in the the head. It does make you think twice about what the “Playdate with Destiny” refers to, though.